UPDATED 20:11 EST / OCTOBER 22 2020

sriraj-kantamneni-and-howard-elias-dell-technologies-world-2020 CLOUD

Cargill plows new digital ground with Dell in time of accelerated tech adoption

Sometimes it takes a major crisis to bring technologies that have been available for some time suddenly into the limelight.

Video collaboration tools, online delivery services for meals and groceries, even touchless, QR code-driven menus in restaurants have been around for years. However, the adoption rate has suddenly been thrown into hyperdrive by the global pandemic.

“Think about what’s happened in your local town and how technology has enabled restaurants to do takeout and delivery through digital tools,” said Howard Elias (pictured, right), chief customer officer and president of services and digital at Dell Technologies Inc. “It’s not just the large professional, industrial and financial services companies. Your local butcher, your local dry cleaner, everybody is having to be creative and reinvent. These trends were already underway; they’ve just been put into hyperspeed.”

Elias spoke with Dave Vellante, host of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s livestreaming studio, during the Dell Technologies World Digital Experience event. He was joined by SriRaj Kantamneni (pictured, left), managing director at Cargill Inc., and they discussed Cargill’s adoption of digital tools to assist farmers, as well as Dell’s own transformation journey. (* Disclosure below.)

Chomping shrimp

Few U.S. businesses, local or national, have been around as long as Cargill. Founded in 1865, the final year of the American Civil War, Cargill built its company to support the worlds of food, agriculture and nutrition.

The company’s farm customers have felt the impact of the global pandemic as well, leading to their own embrace of digital transformation, which occasionally includes the use of technology tools for some unusual research.

“Imagine that you could listen to a shrimp eat and then turn that into unique insights about the feeding patterns and behaviors of shrimp,” Kantamneni said. “What COVID has done is just accelerate the need for technology on the farm and with our customers. We’re seeing that take hold in the form of digital adoption, use of analytics, use of really unique sensor technologies like cameras and computer vision and sound.”

As a Dell customer, Cargill has relied on the company to help navigate the digital waters. At the same time, Dell is undergoing a transformation of its own.

“We’re no different than any of our customers in having to focus on our own digital transformation agenda,” Elias noted. “We’ve digitized and automated thousands of processes in our services organization. We’re moving from a project-based Dell digital and IT organization to one that’s a product model. We’re software defining everything, and it’s really paying dividends.”

Watch the complete video interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of the Dell Technologies World Digital Experience event. (* Disclosure: TheCUBE is a paid media partner for Dell Technologies World. Neither Dell Technologies, the sponsor for theCUBE’s event coverage, nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

Photo: SiliconANGLE

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