Dell outlines a transition to the cloud at Dell World 2011

Keynote discusses $1 billion investment in technology solutions, extending Dell's reach into data center, cloud environments

Last week, Dell wrapped up an exciting week at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas, with keynotes, breakout sessions, and a solution exchange all focused around the topic of enterprise IT. Dell's inaugural conference kicked off each day with an impressive list of key industry presenters that included Dell chairman and CEO, Michael Dell; Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer; Salesforce.com chairman and CEO Marc Benioff; former CIO of the United States, Vivek Kundra; VMware CEO, Paul Maritz and Intel president and CEO, Paul Otellini.

Earlier this year, Dell announced a $1 billion investment in technology solutions, extending the company's global reach into data center, mobile, and cloud environments. And last week, as part of that investment, Dell showcased a host of solutions and technologies at Dell World that would make good on its commitment to delivering value to customers.

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The conference was called Dell World 2011, and it had a theme of "Unlocking Innovation in the Virtual Era." The show was the company's first major, worldwide event of its kind. It represented a major shift in strategy for the company, who up until then had been chiefly known for its PC and server hardware. But with the help of this event, Dell is working hard to transform that hardware-only image as it makes its way up the stack and deeper into virtualization and the cloud services market.

According to Michael Dell, that strategic shift means that Dell will be servicing much larger companies by providing a better mix of both software and hardware products.

"We have a new Dell," he claimed during his keynote announcement. "Technology is no longer the tool that enables business, it is the business."

As its chief competitor, HP, transitions from one CEO to the next and trying to answer questions around its commitment to the PC business, Dell continues to look forward as it attempts to grab more market share away from HP and others by targeting larger enterprise companies and by becoming an end-to-end solution provider. To do that and to reach its goal of being considered more than just a hardware company, Dell will rely on the technologies that it has been acquiring along the way to solve customer pain. Some of those technologies spotlighted by Michael Dell during his keynote presentation included EqualLogic, KACE, Boomi, Scalent, Compellent, and Force10.

The company is focusing on open solutions, which it believes are essential for transforming IT environments. Those include the upcoming 12th-generation Dell x86-based servers with built-in flash storage; the company's EqualLogic and Compellent storage offerings with advanced tiering, de-duplication, and management features; its new top-of-rack Force10 networking product; and the Dell enhanced Virtual Integration System, including VIS Creator, for provisioning resources for public clouds.

Dell mentioned that SecureWorks monitors 15 billion security events every day for several thousand customers worldwide and said the company protects $14 trillion in assets in the financial services market alone.

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