Dell, Microsoft extend partnership with new Cloud Platform System Standard

The long-time partners say their co-engineered hybrid cloud offering will greatly expand the addressable market for Azure, by making it more affordable and accessible for companies leery of the cost of hybrid cloud deployments.

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Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

AUSTIN –,At Dell World’s official opening keynote Wednesday, Dell and Microsoft announced an expansion of their long-time partnership with the launch of Cloud Platform System Standard, a new Microsoft platform built on optimized Dell modular infrastructure and co-engineered by both companies. It is designed to provide a truly integrated, Azure-consistent hybrid cloud.

“Integrated with our Dell Cloud Manager, this brings the power of Azure to a hybrid cloud environment,” said Michael Dell, Dell’s CEO, to the keynote audience.

“Now we are going to democratic the cloud platform system with this,” said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, who joined Michael Dell on stage for the announcement. “This really brings it to everyone.”

“We have a very clear, concise and comprehensive cloud strategy, and our strategy, vision and intent are very clear,” said Jim Ganthier, VP and GM, Dell Engineered Solutions and Cloud. “We believe the world needs to go to a hybrid cloud. Nine of ten IT decision makers have told us this is fundamental for the future-ready enterprise. Every customer has a different waypoint, but it must be open, it must be heterogeneous, and it must span a combination of private, public, managed and consultative services. We need to make sure that the hybrid cloud is future-proofed.”

Ganthier stressed that Microsoft was the logical partner for this task.

“Azure is the only hyperscale public cloud with on-prem consistency,” he said. “With Dell, this will give customers unheard of opportunities in the industry when it comes to cost and control. Regardless of the customer’s pace on their journey to the cloud, Dell and Microsoft can help them.”

CPS Standard is a fully integrated, preconfigured system designed to let customers build multi-tiered, scalable applications. It is purpose-built to remove many of the complexities and costs traditionally associated with hybrid cloud deployments.

The factory integration and joint engineering development automates all the deployment work,” said Glen Keels, Executive Director, Product Management for Dell Cloud, HPC and Integrated Systems. “You can uncrate it when come in to work in the morning and be operational at lunch.”

Keels stressed the system’s simplicity, in order to provide the more flexible and malleable category of system Dell says their customers demand. It provides the ability to build and provision workload templates and flexibly deploy business services like cross-cloud budgeting management and service delivery from one management construct, through the out-of-the-box integration with Dell Cloud Manager.

“This is a huge, huge breakthrough here both for large customers and common enterprises that need that same TLC,” Keels said. “Microsoft and Dell did a lot of joint innovation around designing, configuring and deploying to crush complexity.”

The solution is also designed to deal with issues of both cost and risk.

“We want to lower the barrier to entry so organizations can start smaller and unlock and unpack capacity as they have demand,” Keels stated. “Equally important if not more is the issue of financial risk, providing flexibility and removing upfront costs for risks of both over and under provisioning.”

The key here is the new Dell Cloud Flex Pay program Cost and risk, which Dell is adding to its portfolio of Scale Ready Payment Solutions. It creates a differentiated payment solution for the Dell Hybrid Cloud System for Microsoft, letting customers avoid an upfront long term commitment and letting them experience hybrid cloud usage levels before committing to the purchase.

“Dell Cloud Flex Pay all but eliminates short term and long term cost risk,” Keels said. “Customers can roll out and turn on capacity in and across systems based on demand. It is a unique system which has the flexibility you won’t find in integrated systems from either us or our competitors.”

At the end of the initial six-month term, customers have several options available, including the ability to extend the evaluation period, continue to use the solution, return it or take ownership of it.

Dell also announced that it has joined the Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider program and will sell Microsoft cloud solutions across Azure, the Microsoft Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS) and Office 365.