A Blockchain Q&A with Dell’s Shishir Vadhavkar

In this blog, we chat with Shishir Vadhavkar, Director Industry Solutions – Banking and Financial Services at Dell about IoT, the future of blockchain and more. Shishir will be speaking at the Blockchain World Congress this September in NYC.

What is Dell’s role in the blockchain adoption? Is Dell looking to use Blockchain internally as well as externally?

SV: We view Blockchain as one of key defining technologies of this decade. As such, we have set up a dedicated Practice for Blockchain to help our customers adopt and implement Blockchain technology, streamline processes, reduce costs as well to capture new revenue opportunities. We have setup a Blockchain innovation lab to focus on platform assessments and to build solution prototypes. Our Banking practice has taken a unique approach to help banks not just adopt an inward-looking approach to this technology and how it might help to make certain existing banking processes & services ‘better, faster & cheaper…’, but also look at ‘what else’ can you do with this disruptive technology, particularly if combined with other new technologies, to either extend existing business models or develop entirely new ones. Obviously we are also constantly looking to see how we can leverage this technology internally to improve our processes and identify new revenue streams.

What are some of the most recent Internet of Things efforts, use cases and lessons learned from those?

We are working on several IoT devices and have developed prototypes for smart buildings, etc. We have even established a Digital Lab in our headquarters in Plano, TX to experiment with these technologies as well as collaborate with our customers. I believe there is a lot of synergy at the intersection of IoT and blockchain (I am going to talk about this in my session at the event) and it can spur a lot of innovation.

Where do you see the future of blockchain?

SV: Blockchain is certainly a very revolutionary technology. While I think that it will take some time for the technology to become mainstream (3-5 years), I think it will open up completely different business models. And I think the impact of this will be felt way beyond just Banking and Financial Services.

Take off your Dell hat and tell me what you really think of Blockchain? Will it change the world?

SV: I think my view of Blockchain (even without the Dell hat) is what I have articulated above. I think this is a great technology. However there are some people that are looking at Blockchain to solve every problem that ails the current business processes, for example using blockchain to make equity trading, clearing and settlement instantaneous. My view is that even the current technology can make that happen but it is more a business process or regulatory constraint rather than a technology one that is holding us back from moving to a T+0 paradigm. So it is important to keep things in perspective and use this technology to rethink operating models and even think of new business models. Like using this technology for maintaining Health Records or Land Registry, and other things no one has thought about are what really excites me about how it will change the world.

Do you think there will be one leader in Blockchain that everyone will go to? Like Uber in ride sharing/ Google in search/ Facebook in social media.

SV: I doubt that there will be one or even 2 leaders in Blockchain. Currently almost all Banks are exploring different permissioned blockchains within their internal innovation centers. Additionally they have also joined some consortiums like R3, Hyperledger etc. Obviously not all will survive, but I think there will be a multitude of blockchains that specialize in different value chains/use cases.

If you could hear one person speak about Blockchain, who would it be and why?

SV: I think rather than one person, I am more interested in hearing from people with different viewpoints and from people who are exploring this technology in very different ways (& not just in BFS space). I think it is important to open up to different and innovative uses of the technology to broaden one’s horizon.

Shishir will discuss The Peril of Blockchain: The Impact To Banking By Combining Blockchain With Other New Technologies. Don’t miss your chance to hear from Shishir, as well as the big names in tech, financial giants and the startups leading the blockchain revolution. For more information on speakers and sessions, click here.