Dell EMEA boss: Artificial intelligence of immense value

The debate about the benefit of artificial intelligence rages on, but for those trying to make it deliver benefits for partners, the value of the technology can already be appreciated

Generative artificial intelligence (AI) is the buzz phrase of the moment, but those backing the technology believe it has the potential to deliver significant revenues for the channel and benefits for users.

Last week, Dell joined the ranks of those major suppliers encouraging its channel to get involved with the technology, and this week followed that up with placing more partner focus on storage, where the impact of AI can be clearly understood.

Adrian McDonald, president at Dell Technologies EMEA, is firmly in the “AI is positive” camp, viewing it as an opportunity to drive digital transformation.

“If you look at the market in general, the market itself is accelerating, which is kind of an interesting conundrum,” he said.

“We have difficult economic times, we have geopolitical issues, inflation, power and energy issues. But we are clearly seeing the fact that the world will become more digitally focused – not less.

“I would say that generative AI is almost like the new iPhone moment for business,” said McDonald. “The iPhone and subsequent developments really focused on utilising data to drive fundamentally more service and value to the consumer, to the individual, and brought an immense amount of functionality to your hands, to your immediate control.

“This immense amount of data that we can draw insights from is being utilised increasingly in the business sense, in the government sense, in healthcare and in any other human endeavour, in one form or another,” he said. “I think we’re at the dawn of the next big age. We’ve been in the data age for a number of years, but we’re about to go through a huge acceleration in that regard.”

AI fears

There have been recent headlines about the “rise of the robots”, and fears that AI will replace humans and lead to rising redundancies. McDonald said there’s a valid discussion to be had about the long-term impact on society, but from the standpoint of helping to unlock insights and improve knowledge of a user’s business processes, there are clear benefits.

“We are firmly in the camp of this providing immense value to society, immense value to key subjects like healthcare, and hopefully key subjects like the environment, and we’ll all be positively influenced, in terms of how this extra intelligence can drive a new and hopefully better life for everyone on the planet in one form or another – and that’s human or non human,” he said.

McDonald also pointed to the “sheer amount of investment” that was going into generative AI from vendors including AWS, Microsoft, Apple and indeed Dell as further evidence that this is an area of the market that’s going to grow.

He added that generative AI sat alongside security, edge and 5G as areas for growth for the channel, and that Dell was making sure it could support activities in all of those areas.

“The partner community across the world, but certainly in EMEA, places a great deal of trust in that long-term partnership, delivering long-term goals,” said McDonald. “We feel very optimistic that it’s going to deliver the goals our customers want, and our partners want, going forward.”

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