Internet of Things At Dell EMC World

Internet of Things At Dell EMC World

Enterprise begins to meet operations from the enterprise side of technology at Dell World—now Dell EMC World following the mammoth acquisition of EMC by Dell last year–via the Internet of Things. That followed Michael Dell leading the company into privately owned territory.

Michael Dell himself prominently mentioned manufacturing and Internet of Things (IoT) during his keynotes of 2015 and 2016. Perhaps not as much this year at the first totally combined conferences held May 8-11 in Las Vegas. But there was so much enterprise product news and so little time.

Dell also stressed the success of combining the companies as well as making clear the new organization structure of Dell Technologies—the company name—consisting of Dell, Dell EMC, Pivotal, RSA, SecureWorks, Virtustream, and VMware.

Digital Transformation formed the theme message of the week. This conversation consists of business transformation and applications changes rapidly taking place now. Part of the transformation is formed by IT Transformation requiring adoption and assimilation of a new generation of servers, applications, and technologies. Millennials’ expectations (and maybe also some of us “old” guys) fire the Workforce Transformation now building. One study found that 82% of millennials would quit or not hire in initially based upon the level of technology tools offered. Finally all this digital infrastructure, the cloud, and communications are fueling the Security Transformation.

Of course, Dell Technologies is positioned to lead in all of these. Michael Dell pointed out that the company is the leader in 15 Gartner Magic Quadrants.

Internet of Things

But we are really here to discuss the point of intersection of all this IT stuff with Operations Technology—the Internet of Things. Dell EMC IoT leader Andy Rhodes received prominent positioning during the Day Two Keynotes. As an aside, the Day Three technology keynotes blew away any really cool tech keynotes I’ve seen in the past. Must be nice to have marketing dollars.

By the way, at 5’10” I think of myself of at least average height. Talking with some of the IoT team leaders made me feel like a refugee from the Island of Lilliput. Andy Rhodes, Jason Shepherd, and Keven Terwilliger are 6’5”, 6’’7”, and 6’8” (if memory serves).

News Summary:
• New VMware Pulse IoT Center, Dell EMC IoT Technology Advisory Services simplify IoT deployments
• New IoT partnerships with Atos, Bosch and more
• Dell EMC and VMware, founding members of new EdgeX Foundry Linux Foundation project, join 50 other companies to build open framework for edge computing

New IoT Products and Services

Simplified “Things” Management – The new VMware Pulse IoT Center is a secure IoT infrastructure management solution that will enable customers to have complete control of their connected things. VMware Pulse IoT Center will help customers to more efficiently manage, operate, scale and protect their IoT projects from the edge to the cloud. Dell will be offering VMware Pulse IoT Center as the preferred enterprise management and monitoring solution for Dell Edge Gateways. By plugging Pulse IoT Center into the new EdgeX Foundry, VMware will be able to offer system and device management for the EdgeX ecosystem.

IoT Advisory Services – IoT Technology Advisory Service is a new consulting offer from Dell EMC Services to help organizations determine the key capabilities and architecture required to leverage IoT data (e.g., sensors, beacons, gateways, mobile phones, wearables, connected devices). This information can be used for initiatives such as optimizing key operational processes, reducing compliance and security risks, uncovering new revenue opportunities and creating more compelling customer engagements.

Open Source Framework for Interoperable Edge Computing – The Linux Foundation recently launched EdgeX Foundry, an open source software project chartered to build a common framework and surrounding reference platform for edge computing. It will drive interoperability between proprietary value-added applications and existing connectivity standards. It was started by a community of more than 50 companies such as AMD, Analog Devices, Dell EMC, Foghorn and VMware to enable an ecosystem of plug-and-play components that can be combined to quickly create secure and scalable IoT solutions. Dell contributed more than a dozen microservices and over 125,000 lines of source code under Apache 2.0 to seed the project, additional contributions are already underway from other members. EdgeX Foundry is architected to operate on any hardware, on any operating system and with microservices developed in any application environment for maximum scale.

I have previously written about the Open Source EdgeX Foundry. This, I feel is the most significant of the news. The VMware announcement shows the coming together of the various parts of the Dell Technologies portfolio. People studying IoT for implementation in their companies are considering whether going with a consultant is the wise thing to do. Dell EMC now offers that alternative.

Curated Partnerships

Dell has carefully curated a group of IoT software and services partners through the Dell IoT Solutions Partner and Dell EMC Partner Programs. Many partners have deep, proven expertise in industry-specific IoT challenges, and can help with everything from managing multiprotocol data sources to security to analytics. New partners recently added to the program include Atos, Bosch, GreatBay Software, ForgeRock, IOTech, Mocana and Modius.

Today’s key IoT partner news includes:
• Dell and Bosch have jointly developed an Industry 4.0 jump start kit to help customers implement IoT projects quickly to realize faster ROI. The kit consists of multiple Bosch XDK sensors, a Dell Edge Gateway, ready-to-go use-cases, cloud integration and software, all preconfigured.
• Atos and Dell EMC are working together to build an IoT service management framework, Atos Codex IoT Services, to allow customers to be assured that all users can continuously create value from their connected devices.

[DISCLAIMER: Dell Technologies provides some compensation to support my work. It does not edit what I do.]

Digital Transformation Theme of Dell EMC World

Digital Transformation Theme of Dell EMC World

The conference was all about digital transformation. Company leaders must begin thinking about digitally transforming their companies or they face disruption from digital startups.

This was Dell EMC World—the first user conference after the major acquisition of EMC by Dell forming Dell Technologies. Touting the size and breadth of the combined companies, Michael Dell began the meeting, “Let the transformation begin.”

A poll of business leaders returned these sobering thoughts:

  • 45% may be out of business in 3 years;
  • 48% 2-3 years see big changes;
  • 78% digital startups will be a threat

As Jeff Immelt, CEO of GE put it, “You go to bed an industrial company and wake up a digital and analytics company.”

“Dell EMC will be the trusted provider of essential infrastructure for the next industrial revolution,” proclaimed Dell further into his keynote.


I attended the conference at the invitation of the Dell social influencer marketing group. Press conference attendance broke down as 41% analysts, 41% press, and 18% social influencers. They expect the press number to decline and influencer number to increase over time.

Michael Dell in press conference: “Internet of Everything helps customers embrace the digital future.” Dell also sees the need to help customers move from CapEx to OpEx. This need financial need from customers was echoed the next week at the Emerson Exchange. Companies in many industries at this time have slashed capital expenditures. Any movement forward in facility and process improvements must be done through operations expenditures.


This was my second Dell World. The Internet of Things group is just over a year old. Its unveiling was last year’s conference. This year’s presence was greatly enhanced. The booth layout simulated an ice cream factory (see diagram). Emerson Automation was represented (along with partners OSIsoft, Microsoft, and Dell) showing valves, wireless transmitters, date ported to a database into the Microsoft Azure cloud using a Dell IoT Gateway.


Emerson’s Jim Cahill wrote this section of the process in his Emerson Process Experts blog.

Dell has taken an embedded PC platform, added its services, mixed in a variety of partners and baked up an IoT solution. Other partners included Air Watch, Eigen Innovations, V5 Systems, IBM, KMC Controls, PTC Kepware, ELM Fieldsight. Solutions included quality, security, data communications, analytics.

As I have written several times over the past year, Dell is serious about the manufacturing space. The IoT platform is designed to leverage Dell’s vast IT contacts to achieve IT/OT convergence from the IT side.

Dell Technologies new products

Dell Technologies is a serious technology player on many fronts. I’ll just highlight some of the many announcements it made during the conference.

Michael Dell was insistent that integration of Dell and EMC was achieving rapid results. Many of the products announced resulted from just that integration.

From the press release:

Global business leaders agreed that moving toward a cloud model, expanding software development capabilities and enabling faster innovation and deeper insights from data are key strategies to digital transformation. However companies are struggling to evolve their data centers, with 69% saying they are being held back by too many traditional applications. They are challenged with reducing sprawl and spend, while bringing systems up-to-date. New products and solutions announced this week at Dell EMC World are designed to help organizations accelerate their transformation and manage costs.

“To ensure that they’re not “Uber’d”, “Airbnb’d” or “Tesla’d” in their marketplace, today’s organizations must embark on a digital transformation. To truly realize their digital future, we believe the vast majority of organizations will transform their IT through a hybrid cloud strategy, ” said David Goulden, president, Infrastructure Solutions Group, Dell EMC. “The first ‘no regrets’ step is to modernize their data center through the most advanced converged infrastructure, servers, storage, data protection, and cybersecurity technologies to name a few. This week we are launching a wave of new products and solutions designed as the building blocks for this endeavor.”

Announced this week at Dell EMC World:

  • #1 Scale-Out NAS System Dell EMC Isilon Goes All-Flash For Unstructured Data
    Dell EMC will announce a new member of the Isilon product family, combining the high performance of flash technology with the #1 scale-out NAS platform in the industry. Dell EMC Isilon All-Flash is designed to help IT organizations modernize their infrastructure and deliver on the capabilities of a digital business.
  • Dell EMC Extends Common User Experience to SC Series
    Dell EMC will announced it has boosted the capabilities of its mid-market proven SC Series (formerly Compellent) storage arrays by making it interoperable with the world’s leading portfolio of storage management, mobility and data protection solutions formerly only available to EMC customers.
  • Extraordinary Dell EMC Partner Program To Provide Transformational Business Value and OpportunityDell EMC announced a preview of the company’s new and highly anticipated channel partner program. The Dell EMC Partner Program provides an unprecedented business opportunity for partners and validates Dell EMC’s commitment to the channel. Built on three core tenets—to be Simple, Predictable, and Profitable—the new program strategy ensures partners have ample opportunity, business continuity and commensurate profitability no matter their program tier.


Internet of Things At Dell EMC World

No Austin Technology Trip This Year

I’m sitting in Ohio’s 90-degree heat instead of the 100-degrees of Austin, Texas this week. After attending 18 straight NI Week technology events, I’ve taken a break. I have two things on this post while I think through my next post on Internet of Things and communication technologies.

National Instruments has changed tremendously over the past five years or so. All the marketing and media relations people I’ve known are gone. For the first time last year, I walked into the press room and no one knew me. There were no interviews. No suggestions on finding great information. Even the keynotes no longer brought awe and spontaneous applause at the technology advances. The applause was more perfunctory.

NI is no longer family with a tremendous enthusiasm for technology advancements. It’s a big company.

I’m saving the $1,200 or so it would have cost me to go to Austin in August. I’ll be there in October for Dell World. I’ll visit the other Austin technology companies then. (And run along Town Lake–er, Lady Bird Lake, eat good barbecue, take in some music.)

OPC and the REST of it

I’ve been seeing news and receiving press releases from companies promoting MQTT and REST–perhaps instead of OPC UA. (More in my next post.)

So, I have been researching industrial communications–protocols, platforms, architectures, standards. OPC has been a workhorse for moving structured data from control to HMI and beyond. It is developing a publish/subscribe technology to complement its client/server technology to enhance cloud communication.

I’m seeing interest from suppliers from alternatives, or, if not alternatives, other technologies that could complement or supplant much of the work of OPC UA. MQTT, AMQP, REST, DDS. Companies are exploring them.

I wonder why? I’m interviewing many people on the subject. There is much to read.

What do you think? Send email or comment. Is there something about OPC UA that makes you consider other technologies? Why would you pick MQPP? REST is an API specification most used to get large amounts of information into Web pages. Could you use that in place of an MES? Or, to assist your MES?

There are lots of questions. I’m looking for answers. Thoughts?

NI Announces LabView2016

I am receiving news from NI Week. Here is the first announcement.

NI announced LabVIEW 2016 system design software, empowering engineers to simplify development and effectively integrate software from the ecosystem into their systems. The latest version of LabVIEW introduces new channel wires to simplify complex communication between parallel sections of code. Available on both desktop and real-time versions of LabVIEW, the channel wire method helps improve code readability and reduces development time.

“The new channel wires in LabVIEW 2016 enable us to develop applications even faster by making architectures that are more transferable across domains,” said Christopher Relf, chief engineer at VI Engineering. “With channel wires, we can set up sophisticated software architectural patterns that natively have multiple sources, without having to create and maintain considerable amounts of custom software in the background.”

Much of the success that LabVIEW users have had relies on the openness of both the product itself and the ecosystem that supports it. LabVIEW 2016 continues this trend with enhanced interoperability with Python and third-party devices. This openness, combined with several new enhancements, helps users continue to improve productivity by streamlining code development and deployment. With the latest version of LabVIEW, users can:

  • Simplify development with new channel wires that reduce complex asynchronous communication to a single wire
  • Take advantage of more RAM and memory with new 64-bit add-on support for the LabVIEW Control Design and Simulation Module, LabVIEW MathScript Real-Time Module, LabVIEW Unit Test Framework Toolkit, LabVIEW Desktop Execution Trace Toolkit and LabVIEW VI Analyzer Toolkit
  • Streamline the automation of benchtop measurements with the Instrument Driver Network, which supports 500 new devices in addition to the existing 10,000 supported instruments
  • Integrate Python IP using the new Python Integration Toolkit for LabVIEW, which is a simple API from Enthought, Inc. (available in the LabVIEW Tools Network) that can integrate Python scripts into LabVIEW applications


Digital Transformation Theme of Dell EMC World

Dell Celebrates One Year In IoT

I first learned about Dell entering the Internet of Things (IoT) market last October at Dell World. It introduced its first product—Edge Gateway 5000—and partnership with Microsoft. This month marks the one-year anniversary of the founding of the division. It has come a long way in a year.

The division not only has a couple of Edge Gateway devices, it also has released its first embedded computers. The significant partnerships have extended to Intel and, with the one-year press release announcement, VMware.

Dell Embedded PC

It also held a successful Think Tank session at Hannover Messe that showed off the commitment of several partners and the potential benefits to customers.

Dell Intel IoT Think Tank

Dell not only has aggressively signed on technology partners, it also has enlisted a number of OEM and integrator partners. Considering only a year passed since the division started, there were enough applications implemented that Dell and Intel hosted a “Connect What Matters”  IoT Contest from October 2015 to March 2016 to encourage businesses large and small to submit interesting, practical, data-driven ideas. There were many submissions leading to announcement of 16 winners with $600,000 in total prizes.

VMware, Nokia, Eurotech and others joined the program, while DGLogik , Exara, and FogHorn were promoted from Registered to Associate tier.

“We’re  proud of the progress that we’ve  made this past year,”  said Andy Rhodes, executive director, Commercial IoT Solutions, Dell. “With the launch of the Edge Gateway and Embedded Box PCs, our quickly growing partnership program and now our successful IoT Gateway Contest, our efforts underscore Dell’s  deep commitment to driving IoT adoption for real world use.”

IoT Contest Winners

The platinum winner is V5 Systems , a provider of portable, solar-powered security and Industrial IoT solutions. This technology can be deployed without being tied to power or data cables for applications from law enforcement to agriculture to other outdoor uses. The portable units contain analytics, multiple sensors (including video, acoustic and chemical detection), power, computing and Wi-Fi and cellular communications. V5 evolved its intelligent security platform to support more use cases and technologies by working with Dell OEM Services to provide intelligent gateways for use at the edge of networks expanding Industrial IoT applications.

Gold winners include:

  • Eigen Innovations  who built a video analytics solution that leverages thermal imaging cameras and PLC/sensor data for real-time process and quality control
  • Iamus  leveraged its IoT platform and facilities management expertise to build a unique smart streetlamp solution for various applications in smart city project.
  •  applied its unique technology to turn a manually-dependent, subjective farming operation into a highly-instrumented and autonomous example of precision agriculture
  • RiptideIO  created a packaged software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution designed to scale in small retail building spaces
  • Software AG  built a predictive maintenance solution that includes in memory edge analytics for acting on collected machine data in real-time

Silver winners include AZLOGICA , Blue Pillar , Calibr8 Systems Inc, Daliworks , ELM Energy , Independent Automation , Onstream , PixController, Inc, , PV Hardware  and We Monitor Concrete.

IoT Partner Program

Dell’s continued expansion of its IoT Partner Program , which now consists of almost 50 companies, is designed to offer customers a broad spectrum of industry-specific expertise in conjunction with Dell’s reputation as a global leader in computing technology.

Additionally, VMware has qualified its new Liota (Little IoT Agent)  open-source software development kit (SDK) with Dell’s IoT hardware, providing customers with further choice for IoT gateway management and the ability to build apps on Dell’s gateway. LIOTA also acts as a bridge to VMware’s  AirWatch and VMware vRealize Operations  to allow customers to configure, monitor and deploy millions of things from one console, view device health and act on anomalies as they arise. With Liota open-source SDK, developers can write applications that interact with any data center component, over any transport, for any IoT gateway.

In the spirit of the program, three partners that have demonstrated differentiation have been promoted from the Registered to Associate tier. DGLogik  offers an end-to-end platform for Industrial IoT and Building Automation applications with a particular focus on enabling the rapid creation of rich data visualizations with its DGLux offering. Exara  is collaborating with Dell and Intel to deliver digital oil and gas production optimization solutions that leverage software-based edge data management technology. Exara’s software delivers machine data at any fidelity, any view and always on -demand to enterprise customers and applications without compromising existing industrial control system security or service levels. FogHorn’s  platform is purpose-built to enable edge intelligence and analytics for gateways in Industrial IoT use cases, hosting high performance processing, analytics, and heterogeneous applications closer to control systems and physical sensors. Also joining the program as new Associate partners are KMC Controls, Eurotech, Nokia, and V5 Systems.

“Working with Dell h as allowed us the opportunity to expand our product offering and our product vision with the Industrial IoT as our primary focus,” said Mazin Bedwan, Co -Founder and President, V5 Systems. “We have integrated the Dell IoT gateway into our technology offering taking edge computing and Industrial IoT to the outdoors; where it belongs.”

“Working together with our customers and partners, including gateway vendors such as Dell, VMware is paving a way for IoT innovation across industries,” said BaskIyer, chief  information officer, VMware. “Our Liota  open source SDK provides the libraries to develop apps that connect and orchestrate data and control flows across things, gateways and the cloud.”

“As IoT moves from hype to reality, the diversity of applications an d use cases among the IoT Innovation contest winners clearly demonstrates the value developers and customers can capture by implementing real IoT solutions.” said Jonathan Ballon, vice president in the Internet of Things Group  (IOTG) and general manager of the Markets and Channels Acceleration Division from Intel. “Through our partnership, Dell and Intel are able to provide re-usable building blocks that will help these applications scale in the future.”

Digital Transformation Theme of Dell EMC World

Dell Announces Internet of Things Partner Program

Internet of Things Dell

Dell, Fog IoT Alliance

I’ve been writing about Dell’s entrance into the manufacturing/industrial space since last October. It introduced its Internet of Things products, Edge Gateway, at Dell World. Recently its embedded computing line was announced. (Disclaimer: Dell is a client.) Several people wrote to me after that last announcement to say something like, “About time.”

Internet of Things Partners

Further expanding its efforts, Dell is launching the Dell IoT Solutions Partner Program for the advancement of Internet of Things (IoT) technologies and solutions. The program builds an ecosystem of partners to help customers navigate the fragmented IoT landscape and identify the right technologies to develop their IoT solutions. Dell will offer participating partners access to its robust and reliable product portfolio, world-class support and increased opportunities for incremental business growth.

The program will combine a global, multi-tiered (Executive, Associate, Registered) network of experienced Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) with Dell’s broad portfolio of IoT assets, including purpose-built intelligent gateways, embedded PCs, security and manageability tools, data center and cloud infrastructure, and data integration and analytics software like Boomi and Statistica. These assets will help organizations develop, deploy and maintain leading-edge IoT solutions.

“Dell believes that opportunities increase when you help others win,” said Andy Rhodes, executive director, Commercial IoT Solutions, Dell. “We are passionate about collaborating with this strong group of companies and believe ISVs are critical in building the bridge between the exciting industry potential of IoT and profitable market reality.”

Dell works with Information Technology (IT) and Operations Technology (OT) organizations to create a unifying IoT strategy for bridging their differing business approaches. The IoT Partner Program will include companies across a wide range of industries that further strengthen Dell’s expertise in areas such as industrial and building automation and transportation. It launches with more than 25 partners including GE, SAP, Software AG, Microsoft, OSIsoft and others, many of which are utilizing the Dell Edge Gateway 5000 Series to power their own IoT solutions. Dell also continues to build relationships with systems integrators (SIs) with vertical expertise and deployment scale.

Additional partners include Azeti, Blue Pillar, Datawatch, Eigen Innovations, Flowthings, Flutura, GE, Kepware, Lynx Software, Microsoft Azure, OSIsoft, Relayr, SAP, Software AG, and Thingworx.

Kepware’s Role

Dell Predictive Maintenance IoTCreating use case blueprints is one of the many ways Dell is working with partners to help customers speed up their Internet of Things projects and make sense of the vast ISV landscape. Dell, Kepware, and Software AG are collaborating to develop IoT enabled predictive maintenance models utilizing distributed analytics to address the industry’s biggest operational challenges, such as unplanned downtime, overall equipment effectiveness, maintenance cost and return on assets.

Specifically looking at Kepware’s role with the Partner Program and the Predictive Maintenance model, I had the opportunity to interview Eric Dellinger, Kepware’s IoT manager. We’ve met several times, most recently at the Industry of Things conference in San Diego last February. We caught up by phone this time.

Dellinger told me he had been talking with Dell for six or seven months about various partnership and collaboration opportunities. “One great benefit,” he said, “is getting access to hardware and being part of marketing initiatives. Another great thing with program has been ease of working with them. Sometimes companies hold you at more of an arm’s length. Dell is dealing in a more strategic manner. For example, our work with Dell on the predictive maintenance model where it outlines how to go to market. And it shows how various vendors can go together to create a solution. This is a really nice approach to collaborate on an initiative.”

There are other benefits to Dell’s approach such as sharing go-to-market strategies, leveraging training, and leveraging each other’s channel, continued Dellinger. “Then there is what it looks like to embed a solution in the IoT box. Maybe we can include ThingWorx (another PTC company) app development platform. Or we can go off-the-shelf with Software AG and SAP on a solution. This open program offers a way of thinking from customer’s perspective, bringing innovative solutions. There is less pushing products specifically and more on finding solutions.”

Part of joining the partner program is certifying products run on the platform. Dellinger said, “So on the certification process, we installed our product on the Dell IoT Gateway connecting to a Rockwell Automation PLC using the MQTT protocol to send data to the cloud and had it up and running in 10 minutes.

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