MSP Today Expert Feature
January 15, 2013

Dell Expands Cloud Computing Portfolio with New Retail Offering

Dell (News - Alert) has brought its cloud computing strategy to the retail vertical, unveiling its Cloud Client Computing for Retail today. The new offering is geared toward helping retailers move seamlessly to an in-store cloud environment, and is the latest offering in the company's rapidly expanding Cloud Client Computing portfolio.

The new retail solution encompasses endpoint devices, networking, infrastructure, security, virtualization and management tools and services to help retail customers make the shift to the cloud. The offering will help customers experience increased efficiency and cost savings, all within a Dell-designed solution that may be customized to meet the unique needs of each customer.

Retailers may also simplify store system hardware by hosting and managing point-of-sale (POS) and inventory systems either centrally within their stores or in the cloud. Dell handles each aspect of the transition so that customers don't have to spend time and money piecing together products and services from numerous vendors.

Benefits of the new offering include the ability for retailers to access any application or content from any device, as well as increased device reliability along with decreased costs. The potentially risky need to store data on endpoint devices is also eliminated with the solution, and it also supports a "test-once-deploy-to-many-devices" deployment model. Additional features include enabling retailers to seamlessly repurpose endpoint devices for kiosks, POS, customer service or the end office along with quick replacement of endpoints without any imaging or staging required.

The new solution is comprised of three modules, including thin and mobile endpoints with and without POS peripherals; on-premise desktop virtualization infrastructure; and cloud-based desktop virtualization infrastructure. The offering's reference architecture also provides sizing guidance and configuration recommendations based on a variety of Dell servers and networking products that have been tested and optimized. Additionally, the solution has been tested and validated to work with a variety of retail POS applications and peripherals.

Dell Retail is now accepting proof-of-concept requests for the Cloud Client Computing for Retail solution, with the full solution set to be released in three phases beginning in March. Dell is aiming for fall of this year to have the full solution ready, with capabilities for store systems to be supported by Dell-hosted cloud infrastructure.

"Until now, most retailers have had to cobble together products and services from multiple vendors in order to address cloud solutions and virtualization in their store environment," said Mike Adams, retail industry practice lead at Dell. "As a result of our recent acquisitions that include Wyse, SonicWALL (News - Alert) and Quest, Dell is able to provide an end-to-end solution that has been tested and optimized for retail's unique environment. Cloud Client Computing for Retail delivers a reliable, cost-effective, end-to-end solution that can allow access to any application from any device."

"We no longer need to send our technicians out to do the initial set up of the stores," said Paul Dinoia, VP of IT at Bob's Discount Furniture and a Dell Cloud Client Computing customer. "The more Dell Wyse thin clients we have, the fewer devices we need to touch; which helps us maintain the consistency and integrity of our systems with existing staff, even though we're supporting more users...We really don't need to do much with our Dell Wyse thin clients. We can keep all software up to date easily."

Edited by Brooke Neuman