I received an invitation to Dell World that seemed like a great opportunity to broaden my horizons and dig deeper into the technologies that will provide the platform for Industrial Internet of Things applications and benefits.

When one of the Dell people asked me how it went, I told them that learning about Dell’s technologies helped fill in a gap in my coverage of the whole “connected manufacturing” space. As perhaps the only manufacturing focused writer attending, I certainly received attention

The ecosystem that many refer to as Internet of Things or IoT includes connected things, database + storage (cloud), analytics, and visualization. Dell does not play in the “things” space as defined by the end devices, but it has significant data center, software, and analytics plays. Two items announcemented at Dell World expanded the offering.

The first that Michael Dell, CEO of Dell, announced during his keynote was an IoT product called Edge Gateway 5000. This industrialized intelligent, connected device serves to gather inputs from the “things” of the system, perform some analytics, and serve them to the cloud. The second was announced jointly with Satya Nardella, Microsoft CEO. This is a cloud partnership where Dell will be supporting Microsoft Azure.

Some excerpts of the announcements are below, but first an observation. In the industry I cover, the CEO will usually appear for a few minutes at the keynote and talk a little about financials or the theme of the week. Then they have a motivational speaker who goes for 45 minutes. Sometimes there is a product speaker who will do 30 minuts of product introductions.

Dell held the stage for most of the 90+ minutes. He gave an outline of the new, private company, discussed the industry, interviewed several customers, yielded the floor for the CMO to talk about Dell company support for entrepreneurship, then sat for a 30 minute conversation with Nadella. He showed intelligence, grace and humor.

Here are excerpts from the product announcements.

Wednesday at Dell World, Dell and Microsoft Corp. announced a new cloud solution and program that enable organizations of all sizes to use the Microsoft cloud platform to transform their business. A new, Microsoft Azure-consistent, integrated system for hybrid cloud and extended program offerings will help more customers benefit from Azure and Dell to drive greater agility and increased time to value, whether they choose on-premises or public cloud solutions.

Dell today announced the launch of the new Edge Gateway 5000 Series purpose-built for the building and factory automation sectors. Composed of an industrial-grade form factor, expanded input and output interfaces, and with wide operating temperature ranges, the Edge Gateway 5000, combined with Dell’s data analytics capabilities, promises to give companies an edge computing solution alternative to today’s costly, proprietary IoT offerings.

The Dell Edge Gateway sits at the edge of the network (near the devices and sensors) with local analytics and other middleware to receive, aggregate, analyze and relay data, then minimizes expensive bandwidth by relaying only meaningful data to the cloud or datacenter. Thanks to new Dell Statistica data analytics also announced today, Dell is expanding capabilities out to the gateway. This means companies can now extend the benefits of cloud computing to their network edge and for faster and more secure business insights while saving on the costly transfer of data to and from the cloud.

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