I'd like to congratulate Cisco and welcome them to the Azure Stack OEM club. Those of us at Dell who have been intimately involved in the development of our Azure Stack systems know how powerfully transformative the Stack platform is, and we're all excited to bring it to the market. This is unequivocally great news for everyone – customers, Microsoft, Cisco (obviously), and even Dell EMC.
For customers, choice is more critical than just being able comparison shop between vendors. When you have more vendor offerings, you'll have different perspectives and approaches. It drives innovation. For Microsoft, it widens the path to market, and increases overall investment in the Azure Stack ecosystem. Cisco gets a seat at the table as customers (and the software vendors they rely on) modernize their applications to leverage the technologies enabled by Azure PaaS on-premises.
This is also important and good news for Dell EMC, too! The name of the game in all platforms (Azure Stack included) is ubiquity. The primary factor preventing independent software vendors (ISVs) from wholesale re-platforming and modernization of their core applications is the lack of a universally available platform offering predictable, consistent, and curated cloud technologies. For example, there are a ton of vendors that offering object storage, but none have attained the kind of critical mass to the point where those ISVs can reasonably count on their customers having access to it. So systems of record continue to use relational databases even for use cases where it's an awkward technical fit.
Azure Stack promises to change that – its entry price points, along with Microsoft's proven history of creating platforms that are easily deployed, maintained and consumed mean that a LOT of people will be running Stack. When ISVs see that happening, they can justify the investment necessary to re-platform their applications based on Azure Stack (and by extension, Azure). A robust and healthy ecosystem with a high level of customer choice benefits everyone in that ecosystem – Dell EMC included.
While adding Cisco to the mix is great news for everyone, it's doesn't change Dell EMC's strategy. We will deliver a highly differentiated Azure Stack offering, featuring our industry-leading backup and recovery solutions, exceptional security and encryption, innovative and flexible pricing and consumption models, and a powerful and portable PaaS offering offering in Pivotal Cloud Foundry. Our product quality will benefit from Dell EMC's unmatched combined experience engineering, delivering, and supporting both converged platforms and engineered cloud platforms of all stripes. I can't wait for Dell EMC World in May. It's going to be one for the books.