Dell Technologies World 2018 – Monday General Session – The Engines Of Human Progress – Rough Notes

Disclaimer: I recently attended Dell Technologies World 2018.  My flights, accommodation and conference pass were paid for by Dell Technologies via the Press, Analysts and Influencers program. There is no requirement for me to blog about any of the content presented and I am not compensated in any way for my time at the event.  Some materials presented were discussed under NDA and don’t form part of my blog posts, but could influence future discussions.

Here are my (very) rough notes from Monday’s General Session – The Engines Of Human Progress – at Dell Technologies World.

Michael Dell takes the stage.

He talks briefly about “[a] vision of technology as the driver of human progress” and then introduces a video about AeroFarms, based in New Jersey who are doing some cool stuff with tech and agriculture.

Dell then continues on, talking about technology amplifying human creativity. The notion of taking an idea and making it real. Dell says they’re well placed to do this, from the intelligent edge and IoT through to multi-cloud. Technology is now at the very top of the agenda for business leaders, for the C-suite. All of us, the nerds, the techies, are at the centre of the conversation and there’s “an urgent need to deliver”.


Success going forward looks very different from success in the past. You need to use AI, software and data, and you have to do it at record speed and scale. The data makes the product / service better, attracting more customers, which gives you more data, and the cycle continues. The advent of 5G means that data is moving even faster than before. “If AI is your rocket ship, data is the fuel for your rocket”. IoT is going to give you a tonne of data. 200PB of new data every single day by 2020 in a city – thanks mainly to IoT. As IoT explodes, so too does the attack surface. You need more storage, compute and AI-ready infrastructure . 

Edge / Core / Cloud

The distributed core composed of tech where Dell already lead. It’s been about 20 years since IBM declared the Post-PC era, since then over 4 billion PCs sold. Handheld and embedded devices have taken off though, and 125 billion ARM-based chips have already been shipped.

“The cloud is not a place, but rather a way of doing IT”

  • Isilon Cloud inside GCP 
  • VMware cloud number one in private, now extending to public with VMWonAWS
  • VMware NSX bookings grew over 50% last yet

Dell EMC Services – investing in automation, AI/ML as well as skills development for delivery folk around the world

Multi-cloud world, distributed core, intelligent edge.

Video – vodafone

Dell goes on to talk about the four pillars, being:

  • Digital Transformation
  • IT transformation
  • Workforce transformation
  • Security transformation

Digitally driven business isn’t just the new normal, it’s the new mandatory. Work isn’t a place, it’s an activity. Digital is potentially the biggest accelerator and roadblock – security is critical to success. From devices to endpoints to apps – security is engineered into the products.

Dell says he started the company over 34 years ago and they’ve accrued over $1 trillion in revenue – “that’s kind of hard to do”. We need to innovate at speed – this is the slowest time it will ever be relative to the future.

Doomsdayers versus the optimists 

Realizing 2030” is “[a] look at how technology will reshape our lives in the coming years”.

Alison Dew (CMO for the last 22 days) takes the stage.

Optimist about what technology can do. Half of us don’t know what business we’ll be in in 5 years, and don’t know what the industry will look like either. It’s the next era of human-machine partnership. Dell Technologies have teamed up with “The Institute for the Future” and done some research.

  • 50% believe machines will free up time
  • 49% agree will be more productive through collaboration
  • 82% plan to be software-defined businesses within 5 years

Dell then talks about his belief that it’s about the people and the machines. Amplify and extend human intelligence, creativity, passion and potential. Platform for the possible.

Karen Quintos, Chief Customer Officer takes the stage to present the Dell Technologies Customer Awards.

Trailblazer award recipients

  • Unidad de Conocimiento
  • State Bank of India
  • Travelers
  • Volvo Cars Zenuity

Innovator awards

  • AeroFarms
  • Bank Leumi
  • Ford Motor Company
  • Johnson & Johnson

Dell then announces, donating $20000 in awards to 4 non-profit orgs on behalf of the award winners this year to:

  • Save the children
  • Deaf kids CODE
  • Next wave
  • Beat Childhood cancer

A video then plays – it’s that guy from Westworld. Jeffrey Wright takes the stage.

The belief that technology exists for a simple reason – to advance human progress on a global scale to improve human lives. He’s involved with helping veterans suffering from PTSD (Community Building Art Works).

Introduces Dr Albert “Skip” Rizzo.

  • “Project Bravemind” interactive VR system as a way to treat PTSD
  • Demonstration of the system’s capabilities
  • People plus machines plus creativity ultimately leading to healing

MD takes the stage again to thank Skip and Jeffrey, announcing a $100000 grant to the USC Institute of Creative Technologies.

Thanks to the sponsors, and the conference attendees.