Dell Software sets sights on BYOD and cloud

John Swainson
John Swainson: 'arms supplier' to cloud providers

Dell Software is aiming to get more involved in supporting 'bring your own device' (BYOD) and cloud service providers, according to the head of the division.

John Swainson, President of Dell Software Group, told journalists in London that the company, best known as a hardware provider, has its eyes on boosting the division's annual revenues from $1.5bn (£1bn) to $5bn (£3.2bn).

While it is focusing on three general areas – systems management, security and information management – it sees the biggest potential for growth in BYOD and cloud.

"We are going to build out in these areas," Swainson said.

Security factor

He related the BYOD drive to Dell's effort to help customers deal with complex threats to their information security.

"We think that BYOD is principally a security issue, and much less so a connectivity problem," he said. "There are connectivity questions to be sure, but the real issue companies have to address is what policies they put in place about allowing access by these devices to their systems, and how are they going to deal with breaches and other problems related to the potential loss of data.

"What we've tried to do is define a set of scenarios or use cases that go from the fairly simplistic all the way to the very sophisticated, that might correspond to a small business up to a large complex one, and articulate what products you would need.

"Security really is the theme behind our 'bring your own device' message."

Arms supplier

Swainson described Dell as "arms supplier to cloud providers", saying that it's providing products and supporting deployments.

"We provide hardware and software for people who want to build public and private clouds, and provide services to help them build those clouds, and will provide a hosting service if they want us to host those clouds," he said.

He said Dell has no ambition to be a public cloud provider, despite having run a service for some customers on a test basis, but that it could be ready to host private clouds.

Last month the company discontinued its public cloud in favour of infrastructure-as-a-service Cloud Partner Programme, saying that it would focus on working with partners to provide public clouds.

Swainson also suggested that Dell is not preparing any major commitment to software-as-a-service (SaaS). He said that while some businesses will be eager to use it, most will continue to choose on-premises software, and referred to an IDC forecast that SaaS's share of the global software market will not exceed 10% by 2015.