Business transformation is enabled by digital transformation, IT transformation, workforce transformation and security transformation. Dell EMC is sharing its products and solutions with top African partners at the Dell EMC Partner Summit in Cape Town. Kathy Gibson reports


The real value of digital transformation

Digital transformation is no longer a nice-to-have: organisations that have not at least begun their digitalisation journey run a very real risk of becoming irrelevant.

This is the word from Dell EMC channel manager Brad Pulford, opening today’s Dell EMC Partner Summit.

But digital transformation is a vast topic, and many companies are grappling with questions around where to start, what can be achieved and how to measure value.

Mohammed Amin, senior vice-president: Middle East, Turkey and Africa at Dell EMC, says CEOs and CIOs see the transformation coming, and many are confused about what to do

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ITaaS enables IT transformation

We’ve heard all the cloud buzzwords, and largely got our heads around software as a service (SaaS), infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and platform as a service (Paas). The concept of IT as a service (ITaaS) will pull them all together, and provide complete solutions that can change lives.

IT transformation – one of the pillars of digital transformation – is about giving users a choice of great services that meet their needs, says Shams Hasan, infrastructure manager: Middle East, Turkey and Africa (Meta) at Dell EMC.

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Into the era of man-machine partnerships

Human-machine partnerships are going to be central to business in the future, which means that organisations have to master artificial intelligence (AI).

“AI often feels like we are looking into the abyss,” says Shams Hasan, infrastructure manager: Middle East, Turkey and Africa at Dell EMC.

In Africa, there are huge opportunities for AI, he adds. “AI is being used to increase the efficiency of dairy farming, building, hospitals and telecommunications.”

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IoT goes well beyond the things …

The Internet of Things (IoT) is about more than connecting things – in fact, it goes well beyond the things themselves.

This is the word from Odile Aboumarad, partner pre-sales manager: Middle East, Turkey and Africa at Dell EMC,  who says IoT is about the data, sent from things, using networks , to the compute or storage – and ultimately it’s about analytics and the realisation of business value.

“We believe that IoT alone is not what the future is about. We need to add value to IoT with artificial intelligence (AI) from the edge, to the core, add into to the cloud.”

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Data protection to the fore

In the era of digitalisation, with data becoming more pervasive than ever before, it is key to ensure that data is protected.

The problem, says Servaas Venter, DPS sales lead at Dell EMC, is compounded by the fact that IT is getting more and more complicated – and their data volumes are growing exponentially.

On top of this, that data is becoming more distributed, adding to the risk of cyber-attack.

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All the winners at Dell EMC Partner Awards

Partners are responsible for 88% of Dell EMC sales in Africa, and a massive 98% in South Africa.

This demonstrates the vendor’s commitment to partnering in the region, says Mohammed Amin, vice-president: Middle East Africa and Turkey.

Dell EMC has recognised its top partners in three regions: North-West Africa, Central-East Africa and Southern Africa.

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The data centre of the future

Adopting a modern data centre is less about technology, and more about a new way of thinking.

This is the message from Ossama El Samadoni, regional director: modern data centre at Dell EMC, who points out that organisations have to consider the disruptive factors that are affecting their industry.

“If most cars are driverless, who owns the motor industry? Is it the consumer, the software companies or the motor manufacturers? But, since cars become assets on the move, the banks could end up owning the automotive industry.”

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Transformation begins with the workforce

Technology is an important enabler of workforce transformation, but the change actually begins with the user.

Today, one technology cannot support the whole workforce, says Chris Buchanan.

What’s critical is enabling users to be productive, he adds. Although most organisations are still focused on saving money, those that aim for productivity are reporting better returns.

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Christel House and the legacy of doing good

Christel House is a school that aims to break the cycle of poverty in the poorest Cape Town communities.

The school not only focuses on education, but life skills and nutrition as well.

In South Africa, only 10% of children who enter Grade 1 attain a matriculation certificate – at Christel House, this is 98%.

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Security at the heart of transformation

Every organisation has security at top of mind, and CIOs are grappling with the challenge of implementing digital transformation while keeping it secure.

Hein Kern, who looks after the RSA business in South Africa, explains that security transformation is a vital leg in the business transformation journey.

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