Forrester cloud watcher James Staten says it's good that Dell is integrating technology it acquired less than a month ago from Enstratius, a powerful management platform that allows customers to deploy resources to a more than 20 public cloud providers, including all the major leading cloud companies like Amazon Web Services, Rackspace, Microsoft Azure and Google, among others.
On the downside, Staten says Dell will have to show some compelling reason for customers to use its "partner ecosystem" clouds, such as providing some integrated billing, security or service level agreement support. Orakwue offered little details about any of those areas, but said there will be "tight" operating and business support system (OSS/BSS) integration with partner providers. "[It] looks like more of Dell adding things to the catalog hoping you will want to buy out of their catalog," Staten says.
Wayne Pauley, an analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group, says he thinks the moves are good for Dell. If the company had launched a public cloud it would have been competing with some of its service provider partners. Instead, Dell can enable providers to use the company's technology, including Enstratius, as well as Dell Boomi — a tool for enabling hybrid cloud connections — as well as other acquisitions it's made, like Quest, which makes IT and database management software. Even though Dell is dropping plans for an OpenStack and VMware clouds, it still does have cloud offerings focused on specific vertical industries, like healthcare and education, too. "By providing software and hardware capabilities, it enables service providers to stand up Dell branded clouds, which is a great direction for them to move in," he says.
That cloud management layer where the company hopes to compete is a crowded one, though. Pauley recently reviewed more than 30 providers offering such services, showing just how competitive that market is.
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