Dell’s IoT strategy is one way it expects to take cloud technology sales away from rivals like Amazon and Microsoft.

Dell Technologies Inc. is doubling down on the internet of things in a new strategy that targets competitors in cloud technology like Inc. and Microsoft Corp.

The company said today it is creating a division that will focus on developing products, research and partnerships for a field that connects everything from factory robots and heart monitors to driverless cars and light bulbs to the internet. Dell said it’s investing $1 billion over the next three years for the effort, which will employing artificial intelligence and machine learning technology.

IoT is fundamentally changing how we live, how organizations operate and how the world works.
Michael Dell, chairman and CEO
Dell Inc.

CEO Michael Dell says he is looking for fresh ways to attract customers who are spending more on cloud-based computing services at providers such as Inc. and Microsoft Corp. With the internet of things, companies may opt to buy Dell’s gear that can be placed near a connected device to manage all of the information it’s creating—instead of waiting for the bits to be sent to a far-away cloud data center via a network. Dell is No. 16 in the B2B E-Commerce 300; Microsoft is No. 13, Amazon Business No. 104.

“IoT is fundamentally changing how we live, how organizations operate and how the world works,” Dell said. “Dell Technologies is leading the way for our customers with a new distributed computing architecture that brings IoT and artificial intelligence together in one, interdependent ecosystem from the edge to the core to the cloud.” Artificial intelligence, or AI, is a term used to describe software that learns from the data it compiles to improve on its own such functions as recommending product maintenance or sources of new products.

The company added in a statement: “In an age where every type of device, from phones to cars to oil rigs to robots to heart monitors are alive and intelligent, there is a requirement for a ‘distributed core’ focused on real-time processing of information. These devices simply cannot wait for a response from centralized cloud infrastructure that may be ‘seconds’ away.”


Dell already sells some gear and software designed for the internet of things, including devices that come with chips and networking features to manage data that might come from a security camera or industrial sensors.

The new unit will be led by Ray O’Farrell, chief technology officer at data-center software provider VMware, which is part of Dell, the company said today.

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