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Cloud will NOT eat the tech industry, Michael Dell declares

Oh, and that HP split? That was me, adds Texan supremo

Canalys Channels Forum 2016 Michael Dell shrugged off the threat from the public cloud this morning, suggesting that many users will eventually realise running a server on Amazon is a lot more expensive than actually owning one.

The Dell Technologies chairman, speaking on stage at the opening of the Canalys Channels Forum EMEA, said the current hype about the cloud was reminiscent of the mid '90s, when companies suddenly felt the need to have internet strategies and VPs of internet. Now, he said, the internet was everywhere, and no one worried about it. "Twenty years from now, it [the cloud] will be like that."

When it came to Azure, AWS et al, he said, “They won’t take the whole market away … cloud is not just where you do computing, it’s how you do computing.”

The software principles underlying the cloud - abstracting the work load to the application layer and ignoring the silos underneath – could be replicated on private cloud, servers, or by MSPs: “You’re seeing big growth in converged and hyperconverged.”

More explicitly, he said, companies had the choice of buying a $5,000 server, perhaps from Dell for example, or running the workload on AWS. Doing the latter, over three years, worked out to an outlay of $45,000, he claimed, before discounts, etc.

But while the cloud providers would trumpet that customers need not worry about babysitting and managing the hardware, he said hyperconverged systems removed much of this. “All the costs of operating in silos goes away.”

Dell also rejected the idea that the PC is dead, saying that since going private, the firm had had 14 quarters of growth in the sector.

Asked if would go private again, Dell said an emphatic yes. Amongst other benefits, he said the firm could devote much more though, and resource, to R&D and planning for the future without the pressure of the 90-day earnings cycle.

“Let’s re-imagine this company in five years, 10 years. Love it.

He said he had been contacted by at least 10 other “giant” firms about delisting.

He didn’t say whether HP (as was) was one of them.

However, he did claim that’s HP’s split was caused by Dell-EMC – and he didn’t just mean by giving the sprawling tech giant inspiration. He said EMC had explored a combination previously, through the course of the company’s long on-off sales partnership. He then referenced when HP announced its split plan – back in October 2014 – and the fact that there had been speculation previously it had been talking to EMC. He left it at that. ®

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