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.

We also have tonnes of partnerships password management with Citrix, we do a lot of work with secure gateway of Citrix and VMWare, tonnes of work going on with Active Directory with Microsoft, some of which Michael [Dell] mentioned in his keynote.

So we have our organic portfolio for AAA: access control, authentification and authorisation but we also have partnerships and our own IP for identity management and single sign on. We do all these things not only at the client level, but also at the data centre level. We partner with other companies to deliver that kind of a solution at the data centre as well.

Dell started as a PC company and you cannot change that overnight.

As part of that, we also provide a firmware that is inherently secure. Typical Windows, the footprint is 4GB, typical Windows embedded footprint brings that to about 1GB. Typical Linux footprint in the client segment goes from 100mb up to 600mb, depending on the firmware you use. The typical Wyse zero firmware footprint is nearly 3mb. It is smaller than a PowerPoint presentation. It is so small, and when you have a smaller footprint, you have a smaller attack surface and when you have a smaller attack surface it becomes [much more difficult to breach].

Does Dell risk being left behind by the number of cloud specialists there are? Let's not forget Dell's history is as a PC and server vendor.

At the end of the day, we are a solution provider for IT, but the company was built on a PC model. Michael [Dell] made it obvious during his keynote that nothing can change that. But PC is not the core. We are doing a lot of work in the data centre and there has been a lot of investment and acquisitions in this area: WYSE non-PC, SonicWall non-PC, Compellent storage. All those initiatives are the proof of the pudding we are about IT systems, solutions and services. It is not necessarily the PC itself, but internal solutions from data storage to servers to networking to end user platforms, which includes the PC, but it is not the only thing. Our business unit, Dell WYSE, is the fastest growing business unit in the company and it is not PC in itself.

But the cognitive connection people have between the brand Dell and the PC will stay for a while because Dell started as a PC company and you cannot change that overnight. But people are going to hear more and more that Dell is an IT solutions provider, and that was the purpose of Dell World 2012.

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