Dell opens regional IoT lab in Singapore
By Benjamin Cher January 20, 2016
- One of three global Dell IoT labs currently in operation
- To focus on public safety, industrial automation and healthcare
DELL Inc, in collaboration with Intel Corp, has launched its first Internet of Things (IoT) lab in Asia Pacific, choosing Singapore as its location.
This is the third such global IoT lab that Dell and Intel have launched, joining existing facilities in Silicon Valley and Ireland.
The IoT lab, housed in Dell’s solutions centre in the city-state, will help customers develop and demonstrate proofs-of-concept (PoCs), according to Glen Burrows, area vice president, Dell OEM, Asia Pacific and Japan.
“We think that this IoT lab in the Asia Pacific region is a terrific footprint from which we can help customers work on PoC technology and demonstrate global interoperability with the other lab locations,” he said at the media launch on Jan 19.
“This would also allow customers to come in and work together with us in developing and testing their solutions,” he added.
The IoT lab in Singapore will be focused on public safety and industrial automation solutions, and will look into, for example, video surveillance, building automation, energy and water optimisation, and transport and rail network management and optimisation.
“It is also important not to overlook the opportunity for healthcare optimisation, as we go through the migration from the old model of healthcare delivery to the distributed model of the future,” said Burrows.
The new lab will work with the other two IoT labs.
“All of our labs are interconnected, therefore they can work in real-time and demonstrate these solutions – the practicality of doing that is quite valuable,” said Burrows.
Smart nation story
Singapore was chosen to host the lab because of its Smart Nation initiative, according to Burrows. “Singapore has got a fantastic story in this space.
“You got terrific infrastructure, great connectivity, world-class human capital and engineering expertise available to us here, as well as the ecosystem required to launch a digital transformation as comprehensive as the IoT,” he said.
While nations all over the world have their own IoT story, Asia is one of the fastest adopters, Burrows declared, boosted by how governments here are setting directions and priorities.
“In the Asia Pacific region, the role of governments in setting priorities is quite strong and allows the incubation of some of these core technologies,” he said.
Intel’s South-East Asia managing director Prakash Mallya concurred, citing the strong appetite for the IoT from governments here.
“Singapore happens to be one of the centres of excellence … the appetite we see within the ecosystem and the Government to make it a smart city, is pretty high,” he said.
“The impact of doing a very successful deployment in Singapore can be felt all across Asia, to be honest, and I think the partner ecosystem maturity makes it easy to leverage on centres like these to make the best possible solutions happen,” he added.
Partnership, universal standards
The Dell and Intel partnership goes back to the time when Dell first burst onto the personal computer scene with its radical built-to-order business model, and both companies seem pretty upbeat about the opportunities the IoT wave can bring.
Intel’s technology has been a huge draw for Dell in this relationship, according to Burrows.
“Dell solutions are built on Intel technology – it is absolutely critical that Intel delivers the technology and the intelligence at the edge, so we can deliver the promise,” he said.
“Our story at Dell is the ability to deliver our solutions from the edge to the network, and our ability to deliver that is powered by the work that Intel does,” he added.
This is also further supported by Intel’s technology roadmap, which hits all the sweet spots Dell is looking for – price points, performance specifications, and power consumption.
“So it is a very central relationship – our solutions architecture is based on the technology Intel brings to the market,” said Burrows.
Intel’s Prakash said his company and Dell are working together in all the key IoT markets.
“On the product front, we worked closely with Dell to develop IoT Gateway products and solutions for a range of diverse market segments,” he said.
“For example, in healthcare, Dell and Intel are working together to leverage IoT technologies to help telemedicine providers improve security, device interoperability, and treatment decision-making via analytics,” he said.
Such solutions would also require scalability and accessibility, he added.
Standards are also becoming a critical area for the IoT as multiple industries start to connect their devices, which themselves are taking on various form factors – gateways, sensors and robots included.
This requires a common-denominator framework of technologies and standards, according to Prakash, and one which the industry is trying to put in place.
There is also ongoing work on a minimum standard for interconnectivity as well. “We are making good progress as an industry in going down that direction,” he said.
However, a universal standard across all industries might still be an impossible task due to different I industry requirements, he conceded.
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