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Michael Dell lays out enterprise plans for re-privatised Dell

Cliff Saran

In a keynote presentation at the Dell Technology Camp in Paris, Michael Dell outlined how the newly re-privatised company will target the enterprise.

The founder of the newly re-privatised company said: "We are primarily focused on the commercial space where people move from Win XP to Win 7. We think Win RT was a mistake and we are all done with RT. Win 8.1 looks a lot stronger."

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Speaking about the re-privatisation, Dell said: "In the US there is an affliction of short-term thinking. Public companies have an 89-day planning cycle and have to constantly adapt their plans. We can have a five-year plan and we have a plan to accelerate our strategy to expand R&D to build solutions for the long term."

Companies generally go public to raise finance. Dell said the re-privatised Dell will have the finance to grow. "When we went public 25 years ago, we needed capital. Today we don't need the capital. In the last four years we have generated $22bn of free capital."

In terms of financing growth he said, “The capital structure we have now is much more favourable than as a public company. I feel very fortunate in being able to operate the company with a much longer time horizon and be as aggressive as we want to be. We have all the capital we need."

With no shareholders to pacify, He said that Dell represents its customers.As such,  Dell will continue to expand its enterprise business. "In the last four to five years we have built an entire business in enterprise and services. Our enterprise business grew 9%." He said the company now has a $21bn enterprise business outside its traditional PC business. Dell  would continue to acquire companies to bolster this part of the business. “Many investors said they did not want us continued to invest in the [enterprise business]. I did not agree with them so I bought the company back," Dell stated.

The PC market

Dell said the PC is not dead, but the company is expanding beyond the PC.  He said: "The virtual desktop is absolutely growing . Intel and Microsoft is growing, When we saw demand for Linux, we invested in Linux. And we are big supports of OpenStack. As a private company we don't have too focus on anything except for our customers."

Commenting on the slow take-up of Windows 8, he said: "There has been no Windows cycle that corporates have adopted immediately. We're a partner with Microsoft, but we have Android and Ubuntu systems.

"Dell has been in client business for 30+ years, and it's important for us to change. Extremely large volumes of products, focus on customers. We are growing the client business and in the virtual client and the tablet and we have already built an enterprise business beyond the PC."

The company recently introduced the N3800 workstation, a thin and light laptop, powered by an Nvidia graphics processor, that Dell hopes will compete directly with MacBook Pro devices, in the professional market.

Dell said the company had grown its PC sever market share. He said the12 generation PowerEdge server family and the growth of the partner programme had helped grow the business.

Another new server, the Dell PowerEdge VRTX  is a branch office server, which offers a complete server room in a single chassis. The VRTX is built on a 5U rack, with integrated ethernet switch and redundant power supply. Customers include Renault France and Caterham F1, which hopes the VRTX will enable it to reduce the amount of  IT equipment it ships to race tracks. 

He said the company will bring down the cost of in-memory computing. "We will show our next generation four socket server at Dell World which will support 6TB of memory for in memory computing in a server that is extremely affordable," he said.

Dell's software business is worth $1bn. He said the company had a substantial portfolio: "We have an army of software engineers focusing on security management, data protection and backup systems and information management." He said the company is moving into business intelligence (BI), with tools such as Toad BI, and is building capabilities in Hadoop and MongoDB.

Consulting is a major part of the Dell business. He said about half the people at Dell work in services. The company provides consulting around Microsoft, Oracle and SAP, plus SecureWorks for managed security services.

Summing up, he said: "We are excited to be a private company. Our partner programme has grown to 35% of our business, which expands our reach, and we are investing in our own systems to make it easier to do business with Dell."

The big opportunity for the company is to target organisations with 100 to 5,000 users and the emerging markets, Dell added.

"We see the next billion users coming from emerging markets, said Dell. The company's Pro Support service is available all over the world, not only to support new customers in emerging markets but also to help Dell's global customers expand into these markets."


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