Ron Pugh Breaks Down IoT, Industrial Automation and Dell OEM’s New Role

The Smart Connected High Performance Intelligent Buildings Conference (IBCON) was a busy event for Dell OEM Solutions. While there, we had an opportunity to sit down with Ron Pugh, executive director and general manager for Dell OEM Solutions to discuss all things OEM, IoT, industrial automation and Dell’s role in these hot industries.  Below is a quick Q&A with him to get a taste on what we have been working on recently.

digital signage from Dell spells out the words Bring IT in a conference room

What are some of the future technologies and trends that Dell OEM is focusing on now?

There are many technology advances shaping the industry today, and even more innovations being introduced to prepare the market for the next wave, or future, of computing.  While much of these technologies are still being defined, Dell and its strategic partners are focusing on and developing solutions that address our customers’ complex needs today that address these advancements.  A few areas that Dell OEM has been creating solutions for are:  The Internet of Things (IOT), an ecosystem where sensors, devices and equipment are connected to a network and can transmit and receive data for tracking, analysis and action; the Smart Office, the transformation an existing building(s) into one that creates efficiency; and Industrial Automation – turn-key solutions for industries needing “industrial grade” technology.

How is Dell addressing the Internet of Things?

Customers are looking for partners to help enable their IoT strategy, and Dell OEM has the capabilities and partnerships to help them implement their strategy and evolve their business.  One of the primary challenges that IoT presents is how to effectively manage an infrastructure that continues to add devices of varying sizes, types and functions to its roster.  Data is what will drive IoT; collecting the data, analyzing the data and then, most important, using the data to uncover new opportunities for growth.  IoT can be a bit overwhelming, but Dell takes a pragmatic approach to IoT – start small, build fast and connect what matters most. 

How important a role will security take in the Internet of Things?

Customers tell us it is their number one concern.  Since it will be hard to secure IoT devices as endpoints we need to take up a renewed focus on securing the data itself.  In IoT, data needs to move freely through the ecosystem and be assessable at various steps along the way.  This means the development of new methods for securing the data that allow its free flow to the right locations.  This will likely require evolved types of encryption and new challenges for wrapping data.  Dell’s deep security experience is able to provide customers’ best practices when it comes to protecting their IoT solution.

What is Dell OEM’s approach to the Smart Office?

Dell believes that there is a standard approach to transforming an existing building into a “smart” one.  To start, you need to determine what the final outcomes and experiences you want from your smart building; considerations could be noise and temperature control, energy cost savings or ergonomically friendly spaces.  Next, would be to construct timelines for both technology and facilities design.  Developing them together enables stakeholders to see the impact that both areas will have on the overall project.  The next step is to adopt a reference architecture for all the stakeholders – operations, security, maintenance, IT and sustainability to ensure that your building will be “future proof.”  The final step should take care of itself if the first three steps were done correctly; the creation of a platform-based approach, with a reference architecture with the ability to implement new standards-based solutions for your Smart Office as the market continues to mature.

Will Industrial Automation continue to be important to customers?

Yes, automation capabilities continue to be of great importance to the oil and gas, life sciences and manufacturing sectors.  Dell OEM has an extensive suite of customizable hardware ideally suited for automated process control systems, test and measurement applications and heavy machinery instrumentation.  Our solutions include industrial-grade servers and storage, thin clients and ruggedized industrial PCs.

About the Author: Kirsten Billhardt