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CEO Outlook 2019: 5 Tech Titans Predict How The New Year Will Shape Up

How will the industry’s top executives ring in the new year? Here’s what Michael Dell, Pat Gelsinger, Antonio Neri, Chuck Robbins and Dion Weisler have to say about innovation, investments and the keys to success for their channel partners.

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Dell CEO: Artificial Intelligence-Enabled Infrastructure Is The Future

As far as Dell Technologies Chairman and CEO Michael Dell is concerned, the future is digital.

As Dell looks ahead to 2019, he’s focused on building innovative infrastructure that connects the Internet of Things with artificial intelligence “seamlessly and securely from the edge to the core to the cloud.”

“This AI-enabled infrastructure is the platform for human progress. There has never been a bigger market opportunity, or more important work,” he said.

With that opportunity top of mind, Dell Technologies will ramp investments next year in bringing to market offerings that support the “digital future”—one in which mission-critical applications span environments, service providers and vendor ecosystems.

“That means cloud-neutral development platforms and containers that let you iterate with agility and run workloads in any environment; highly automated and intelligent data centers; and a massive buildout of the distributed core at the edge,” Dell told CRN.

Enterprises that have not yet digitally transformed their businesses are missing out on meeting current customer and market demands, Dell said.

“For customers to grow and thrive in 2019 and beyond, they must be able to embrace new technologies and solutions,” Dell said.

The solution providers that will be charged with bringing Round Rock, Texas-based Dell’s expanding hybrid cloud, IoT and artificial intelligence portfolio to those customers, like Sentinel Technologies, are cheering on the company’s strategic innovations, realizing they’re critical to the channel’s success going forward.

Partners have a big role to play in making those cutting-edge technologies deliver value to enterprises, said Robert Keblusek, CTO of Chicago-based Sentinel Technologies.

“As technology integrators, we need to be designing and deploying solutions that enable the businesses to apply these technologies to their use cases rapidly and securely,” he said. “Modern data centers are no longer restricted to a room or facility. They have to securely extend to multiple cloud infrastructures and cloud platforms.”

Dell has the right strategy, Keblusek said, because it empowers business leaders to take advantage of the artificial intelligence advances delivered by hyper-scale clouds.

“The ability to tap into machine-learning platforms from leaders such as Microsoft, Amazon and Google will be a requirement going forward, and as Michael [Dell] pointed out, this means having a secure and manageable infrastructure from the edge to the core to the cloud,” he said.

Machine learning and artificial intelligence are currently being infused throughout a broad range of applications. While use cases like autonomous vehicles get a lot of attention, the possibilities are nearly endless, according to Keblusek.

Dell also recognizes the need to develop next-generation platforms that not only run software on devices in the field, but also, given the massive amounts of data generated at those sources, “allow for edge-based analytics and decision-making,” he said.

At the same time, the company appreciates that security features need to be integral components of that infrastructure while allowing workloads to run across multiple cloud platforms, Keblusek said. “IT needs to be easier and safer to consume,” he said. “Our customers are demanding it.”

—Joseph Tsidulko

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