Dell skips smartphones to focus on convergence

With the smartphone industry grinding to a halt,Dell has chosen to take the software avenue rather than trying to push into the smartphone space.

With the PC market constantly changing, businesses are looking towards other fields for growth. 

However, with the smartphone industry grinding to a halt, it’s no surprise that Dell has chosen to take the software avenue rather than pushing its way into the smartphone space.

Aongus Hegarty, president of Dell EMEA, has admitted that Dell has no plans to enter the smartphone industry as it is not the kind of technology that its customers need or expect it to offer.

He said: “We did some tests in it, we did bring some products out and test them a couple of years ago, so we always test and try things.

"But that’s not really an area our customers feel is important for us to provide – actual smartphone hardware technology.

"What they absolutely are looking for us to do is manage the data, the accessibility of that data and the breadth of devices from smartphones to tablets to PCs that companies use to access their data.”

Although producing smartphones is not in Dell’s near future, the company will still provide management solutions for workforces in need of mobile technology.

Hegarty explained: “We also wanted to make sure that we support all devices from a smartphone point of view, because the more value we can bring to our customers is in the manageability to securely access the data.”

Integrated solutions

As well as providing hardware and support for all devices, Dell has begun to focus on providing enterprise solutions that encompass the entirety of the business.

David Thorpe, communications director for EMEA commercial business, points out that there is a growing trend of enterprises, especially SMEs or mid-level, looking for an integrated solutions to cut costs and downtime during instillation.

He said: “I think what we’re seeing is convergence. People would buy servers separately to storage, separately to networking, separately to devices. But increasingly people want to manage those as one and buy those as one.”

Hegarty explained that small and medium sized businesses look to Dell to provide these end-to-end solutions, as they do not have the time or money to deal with several different suppliers in each area.

Acquisitions and growth

In 2013, John Swainson, Dell Software president, told Computer Weekly that Dell’s success in the software sector would depend upon Dell’s mergers and acquisitions activity.

In the last few years, Dell has driven its growth by acquiring other suppliers such as Quest, SecureWorks and most recently StatSoft to provide enterprises with technology such as security, networking and data management.

“You have to determine which areas will bring most value to your customers.” said Hegarty, “We’ve invested £18bn over the last three to four years in 20 acquisitions, so we’re not shy to invest significantly in areas.”

These acquisitions have given the company the opportunity to expand into new fields, such as data analysis. Using companies it has acquired, such as Quest and Statsoft, Dell is able to provide businesses with information about their data and how it is being used.

Hegarty said: “What good is that data if you’re not actually using it to analyse it to make better business decisions?”

Financial services

Dell has even implemented a solution whereby businesses can invest in a Dell solution and pay for it over an extended period of time.

Hegarty said: “We invested significantly over the last couple of years and launched Dell Financial Services six months ago.”

He explained that Dell is able to finance end-to-end solutions by providing hardware and software, as well as financial support to companies of any size, to allow them to pay for the technology over a longer period of time after the solution has already been implemented.

These changes show significant progress since it re-privatised at the end of last year and expanded its market share from PC manufacturing to software too. Despite this, Hegarty explains that the hardware sector is still important to Dell.

“Next month we celebrate our birthday and we’ve been continuing to innovate around our desktop products, around our notebook. We introduced Windows tablets, and our second generation of Windows tablets more recently. ” He said, “All of those areas of our business have been highly invested in and developed from an innovation point of view over the last number of years.”

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