Our Liveliest Interview from Dell World: Tarkan Maner on Cloud + Innovation

Tarkan Maner, Vice President and General Manager of Cloud Client Computing at Dell, returns to theCube to talk with John Furrier and Dave Vellante at Dell World 2012 in Austin, Texas. The lively conversation starts on the topic of Michael Dell and the company as a whole (full video below). Maner says that Michael Dell has been fantastic to work with since Dell acquired Wyse Technology. He feels that despite the size of the company, $60 billion plus, Dell has the feel of a startup. The environment he says is largely to do with Michael Dell and how the executive and management team run the company.

Maner states that the five big areas that he is seeing with customers are “social, mobile, virtual, converged, and contextual in the cloud”. He says that though PCs are still relevant with 1.5 billion units currently in the market, 600 million smartphones are expected to hit the market and that number is going to grow in the next few years. Virtualization and tying to the cloud is largely controlled by the convergence piece. Convergence of the backend with the datacenter, storage, and networks all running with an active integrated system that manages all the workloads and still addressing the end user experience with the big data and contextual intelligence. The Dell Wyse unit combines all these things in their portfolio. They sell everything from the datacenter to the network to the software to the services, and the end user clients. Last year Wyse finished with just under $400 million revenue and this year under Dell they are growing nearly 300%, having finished the last quarter with $300 million alone.

Maner expresses that Dell has all the components that customers are looking for in one place, which he feels makes them unique. While other companies can provide a few of the components that a customer needs, they are not able to bring everything together in a unified package like Dell. Dell can provide an actively computing infrastructure, secure it and manage it, connect it with the right networking and software “glue”, and provide the best end user platform for its customers. Dell is service oriented and is an end to end company that can provide solutions for numerous client cases. Dell’s software solutions for the cloud are being utilized my many customers. Maner gives the examples of how several large companies that have their own cloud infrastructure and datacenters are utilizing Dell’s software and services to manage and integrate the systems they already have.

When asked about “active infrastructure” Maner explains that convergence is all the way from the backend to the front. There are numerous utilities and system management tools to address the many layers of convergence, but with an active infrastructure all these tools will be wrapped into one. Administrators will be able to manage the infrastructure from one location.

At the end of the interview Maner brings former CIO of State Street Madge Meyer to talk about the challenges of the CIO today. Meyer first advises that the “I” in CIO stands for “Innovation”. She says that a large concern is business continuity. Many companies do not want, or cannot afford, to have downtime or interruption to their information and activity flow.

Meyer briefly talks about her book that focuses on innovation. She says that the message of the book is that innovation is not a one-time occurrence. Without innovation no new revenue is generated and things get stagnant. Both Meyer and Maner feel that innovation should be part of a company’s culture, and be a part of their everyday function.

Check out the full discussion below.