Dell World C-level briefing: Steve Lalla, GM Commercial Client Solutions at Dell, explains why mobility isn’t about “doing a phone”.
It’s easy to think that enterprise mobility is about devices. But to Steve Lalla, Client GM at Dell, enterprise mobility is really about what’s on the device – the device itself is irrelevant.
"What we find at the endpoint is that most of our customers have heterogeneous environments. They have PCs, phones and tablets and the solutions we provide need to work across those devices.
"We took a position a few years ago that data mobility is really what mobility is about; it’s not about whether you do a phone. For you to be productive, you want your data when and where you need it, and it doesn’t matter what network you are on."
Dell’s approach therefore focuses on "data liberation", as Lalla explains: "We took a principle of approach that if you focus on securing, managing and liberating data you will help customers help their employees to be more productive."
This means rethinking security, he argues. "Data is exploding and more things are going to produce more data. Data is the new money, the new oil, the new gold. That’s why people want to steal it.
"In the past 30 years, [the industry] locked down PCs and locked down the data," says Lalla. "It tried to make sure that the data stays within this thing.
"We thought that this is probably not where the future is going to be. So we’ve really focused on data liberation and many of the assets we’ve bought and much of the technology that we’ve built is based on that."
A change in definition is perhaps in order, he says. "Customers say they want to mobilise their workforce, but they are not trying to let them make phone calls but to liberate data in a secure and managed way to people wherever they are.
"The industry characterises mobilisation as whether we are doing a phone.
"There are a lot of phones out there, and I don’t think the world needs another phone."
Speaking about Dell’s plans to address many areas of the market, Lalla says: "We don’t make cookies at Dell. It’s not only important to pick what you will do, it’s important to pick what you won’t do. "Michael wants to continue to build the business to be an end-to-end solution provider. We want to be the trusted advisor and a one-stop shop, even if that stop isn’t necessarily Dell IP.
"Customers really appreciate that sometimes we’ll actually say to them what is the best solution and it may not be obvious to them why we would recommend it."