Q&A with Dell's Cary Gumbert

We met with Dell executive Cary Gumbert to find out what the company is doing in the Software as a Service (SaaS) market.

Do you people adopting the cloud bit by bit, with everyone entually there or will some people still hold back?

I think there will be both, even with CRM [that has] a lot of adoption and a lot of growth, it is not all in the cloud.

I think that is why we offer both. We have an on-premise solution if you want. Want a managed solution? We can do that.

We have a SaaS model too but within the SaaS model we do see that modular adoption.

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One example is a legal firm in New Orleans. When Katrina came through they activated, I think they were on that for 30 days and they could still access email. It saved their business because if you lose your email for 30 days and are a legal firm, you lose all your clients. They then expanded and added other services.

That kind of modularity is what you need. You don't need what some people called shrink-wrap technology where you buy something but you don't need 95 per cent of what you receive.

During the recession a lot of companies have been focused on simplicity, efficiency and cost saving. Is that what Dell is doing?

One of the big things we see is a shift from before the recession, big budgets but not a lot of reason to change.

With the [current] economic conditions, folks who we had talked to before have come back and said "Hey, now we're actually open to an alternative way. Can you tell me more and if it is more cost effective show me."

In these terms, SaaS is a great solution for the environment if you are trying to save costs in a quick and easy way with deploying it and maintaining it.

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If you are laying off people how do you do that and still provide the same level of service? SaaS.

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