Q&A Tarkan Maner, vice president and general manager, Dell cloud client computing

The former CEO of Wyse, who sold the client computing firm to Dell, takes time out at Dell World to talk to IT Pro about his new role and what the future holds.

You say across verticals, but the two main ones you have mentioned are both public sector. Is this because healthcare and education are just so big, or is public sector leading?

The public sector is kind of leading and the reason is that during and economic downturn, there is a lot of money in the public sector, some of the private sector verticals are suffering from a shortage. Citibank, for example, just laid off 11,000 people, Barclays, RBS etc all have problems.

There is a lot of money available for IT in healthcare and education, but people don't know how to allocate it.

To cut a long story short, we are seeing a lot of activity at this stage in healthcare and education, where there is a lot of money available, but they don't know how to allocate and manage it, and the budgets effectively [when it comes to IT]. And there is a need for cutting cost and what we do, as cloud client computing division of Dell, is help them cut costs in the front end via unified communications, and in the backend from a converged infrastructure perspective. All we do is basically cutting cost, with better security management they are able to be more reliable not only in operations but also in capital expenditure. In the past, buying a PC cost $1,000, now you can buy a thin client for $25 starting price. It changes the game. But, overall, from a solution perspective, we make more money from cloud than through the back end gear.

How do you manage security when it is as sensitive as with financial, healthcare and education?

It is not just them, we also have a big involvement with the military. We are one of the biggest providers for NATO, both in Virginia at the operational centre, but also in the two military centres in Belgium. They are all run on WYSE gear.

What we provide is all the applications from a private cloud. The devices are all fibre channel connected, not even wireless, for security reasons. We just delivered 40,000 units to the ministry of defence in the Netherlands. Our gear runs their ships and when it comes to security, thin clients and zero clients are inherently secure, because they don't have a hard disk in there, so there is no information kept on them.

The area where security becomes a big deal is the connectivity, so authentification, authorisation, access control and identity measurement perspective. However, as part of Dell, we also have that covered, like SonicWall's end-to-end solution, or Quest's security management and single sign on technology.

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