Info-tech

Dell makes India its second research hub outside the US

Sangeetha Chengappa Bengaluru | Updated on March 12, 2018

Data centres, security tech and mobility are the focus areas of research team

Dell’s new research division, created 18 months ago in the US and supports all four of its business units, is now expanding its presence to India.

The $62-billion PC-maker already has a sizeable research and development presence in the country with a pool of 2,500 engineers in Bengaluru and Chennai, and has produced 120 patents to date.

Jai Menon, Vice-President and Chief Research Officer, Dell, who is visiting the country to set up a research team in Bengaluru and Chennai, told Business Line that he has chosen India as the next location outside the US to grow his team. “The IT talent in the country as well as the great universities here make it the right place for us to expand our presence.”

Democratisation of tech

Dell’s research division, created after the company was privatised, has a long range focus of 18 months to five years and delivers organic, disruptive innovation, spanning its four business units—End User Computing, Dell Services, Enterprise Solutions Group and Dell Software Group. “We establish research alliances with leading universities, and create a long-range technology outlook to help inform Dell’s strategy and product road maps. This new research division has just formalised the long history of innovation over 30 years at Dell,” Menon said.

The fledgling research division’s key areas of focus are: transforming data centres, security technologies, data insights/prescriptive analytics and mobility/Internet of Things. “Dell has democratised PCs, laptops and servers, now the research division will continue the journey of end-to-end democratisation of technology to cover cloud, big data and analytics to make it easy to adopt and accessible to even Mom ‘n’ Pop stores,” he said.

Partnerships

To do this, Menon’s research group in California and Texas has adopted an open innovation model wherein it collaborates and co-innovates with customers, start-ups, universities, partners and its internal R&D teams. “We have signed an MoU with IIT Chennai where a small team of three-four engineers from Dell will work on the next version of our High Velocity Cloud project, along with a professor and three students from IIT Chennai. We are working on a similar MoU in Bengaluru, where we are considering partnering with Indian Institute of Science and NIT Suratkal with a small team of seven-eight people in server systems software, systems management and software defined data centres,” he said.

In 18 months, Menon’s team has already created one new product – OpenGENI Rack, targeted at university and research communities, which allows them the flexibility of playing around with networking algorithms in a particular area and invent new protocols. The team has also created a new business for Dell – High Velocity Cloud that helps increase the speed and service delivery of telcos.

“We plan to start small in India and once the two projects in Chennai and Bengaluru are complete, we will assess the progress and decide on further expansion, either by hiring or by using our internal resources,” he said.

Published on December 04, 2014

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