NEW YORK — Dell named a veteran IBM storage and systems technologist to head a research division dedicated to security, data analytics, mobility, and infrastructure. The company did not disclose the budget or headcount for what amounts to the first independent group dedicated to research at the company historically known for a minimalist approach to R&D.
"Dell has always been dedicated to driving practical innovation, which its individual business units have pursued organically and led in innovative areas such as iSCSI," Jai Menon, vice president of research and innovation and head of Dell Research, told EE Times. "The new Dell Research organization is a recent addition to Dell's innovation focus within the last six months, charged specifically with research and innovation from a long-range, disruptive, and pan-Dell perspective."
As part of its charter, the group will write the Dell Technology Outlook on disruptive trends. The outlook will help drive Dell's research agenda.
Menon said his research team will start small and remain project-specific, aiming to enable differentiated products and new businesses. It will work with other parts of the company, as well as customers and universities, and it will build strategic alliances with researchers around the world.
Predictive security will be one of several focus areas for Dell Research, said Menon, using the example of firewalls that can modify their settings based on threats perceived in other regions. Menon also expressed interest in homomorphic encryption, a form of computation that uses encrypted data and delivers an encrypted result.
"We believe that, over the next 3-5 years, practical forms of homomorphic or partially homomorphic encryption will become available, allowing customers to benefit from the greater level of security that results," he said.
Next page: On analytics and servers