Home » Cloud Computing strategy » Analysis: Michael Dell acquiring the rest 84% stake in Dell for $2.15B in cash, before becoming the next IBM, and even getting the cash back after the transaction

Analysis: Michael Dell acquiring the rest 84% stake in Dell for $2.15B in cash, before becoming the next IBM, and even getting the cash back after the transaction

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OR Michael Dell’s new cash skimming strategy by privatization and targeting the high-growth and fast SME/SMB (small to medium-sized) businesses with solutions worldwide which will help the adoption of Dell solutions by larger enterprises later on as well. OR how to exploit Dell’s competitive advantage of having NO legacy (“old things”/”old”) business in the enterprise market versus the established enterprise solution players like IBM, HP, Oracle et al. OR the story of leaving its traditional PC business behind, and how the explosion of consumer IT devices and consumerization of IT is playing well with this specific kind of small to large enterprises focus by Dell. OR Michael’s way of showing a fig to all stock market actors (the diversity of “analysts” included) inspired by his thinking ‘You are utterly stupid, and will remain so’. OR the huge bonus for creating the tremendous value in the last 6 years he’d lead the company again, as described in the details sections of this post, as well as earlier in the Pre-Commerce and the Consumerization of IT [Sept 10, 2011] and Thin/Zero Client and Virtual Desktop Futures [May 30, 2012] posts on this same blog. OR, in the very worst case, getting a normal evaluation (sooner or later) of his 16% of shares.

ANYWAY Michael will become hyper-rich. As a minimum think of attaining a $36B value instead of his current $3.8B for his 16% share of Dell when the company indeed becomes the next IBM. This is absolutely possible, and for no more time than another 6 years he will continue to lead Dell. See more about all that in the first section of this post titled:

Michael Dell: We are not a PC company anymore

Update: Highlights From Dell Tech Camp 2013 [DellVlog YouTube channel, Feb 12, 2013] will provide the latest and only 3 minutes long glimpse into the current state of such a “non-PC company anymore”

The event, now in its fourth year featured: * Dell’s latest technologies and solutions that address customer issues and challenges around Cloud Computing, Data Insights, Mobility and Converged Infrastructure * Speakers from Dell including Marius Haas, President of Enterprise Solutions; Aongus Hegarty, President, Dell EMEA; and Tony Parkinson, Vice President, EMEA Enterprise Solutions alongside a number of Dell solutions experts, customers and partners * Hands-on, deep-dive sessions around Dell’s latest Cloud, Storage, Mobility and Convergence solutions * Customer and partner insight on the latest enterprise technology challenges and trends * Two live-streamed Think Tank events at the event which bring together some of the industry’s principal thought leaders to discuss Converged Infrastructure and enterprise solutions for SMBs

Here is a slide copy which is speaking for itself in showing the difference:

Then read the second section of this post titled:

The Indian case as a proofpoint of readiness

Before those detailed background sections I should elaborate somewhat more about the founder’s cash skimming approach. Michael Dell’s classical business recipe was to collect the bills ahead of paying his suppliers. What was possible in the 90’s is not anymore. Nevertheless: Dell Push-Pull Supply Chain Strategy [Ian Johnson YouTube channel, June 11, 2012]

http://www.driveyoursuccess.com this video explains how to run Dell’s Push-Pull supply chain strategy.

Now he decided to apply the original idea to the current state of Dell’s business. This was the sole reason of his one a half year effort taking Dell private with which he succeeded 3 days ago. The official press release, certainly, has no mention of that at all, just the usual bullshit:

Dell Enters Into Agreement to Be Acquired By Michael Dell and Silver Lake [press release, Feb 5, 2012]

Mr. Dell said: “I believe this transaction will open an exciting new chapter for Dell, our customers and team members. We can deliver immediate value to stockholders, while we continue the execution of our long-term strategy and focus on delivering best-in-class solutions to our customers as a private enterprise. Dell has made solid progress executing this strategy over the past four years, but we recognize that it will still take more time, investment and patience, and I believe our efforts will be better supported by partnering with Silver Lake in our shared vision. I am committed to this journey and I have put a substantial amount of my own capital at risk together with Silver Lake, a world-class investor with an outstanding reputation. We are committed to delivering an unmatched customer experience and excited to pursue the path ahead.”

An opinion a little bit closer to the real aim:
Dell Computers In Buyout Bid By Firm’s Founder [spworldnews YouTube channel, Feb 5, 2012]

With an attached background article: Dell Heads For Radical Restructure

Dell Computers was built from scratch in a college dorm room, and now its founder launches a $24.4bn bid to make the firm private. Once-dominant US computer company Dell has unveiled a £15.5bn plan to take the firm private in a buyout by founder Michael Dell. The firm said it had signed “a definitive merger agreement” that gives shareholders $13.65 (£8.70) per share in cash – a premium of 25% over Dell’s January 11 closing share price.
“I believe this transaction will open an exciting new chapter for Dell, our customers and team members,” Mr Dell said.
The deal was unveiled with investment firm Silver Lake, and backed by a $2bn (£1.27bn) loan from Microsoft. Dell shares dropped 2.6% to $13.27 on the Nasdaq after the plan was announced. The move, which would de-list the company from stock markets, could ease some of the pressure on Dell, which is cash-rich but has been seeing profits slump.
Michael Dell Michael Dell founded the firm in his college dorm room. The Texas-based computer maker, which Mr Dell started in his college dormitory room, once topped a market capitalisation of $100bn (£63bn) as the world’s biggest PC producer.
The plan is subject to several conditions, including a vote of unaffiliated stockholders. It calls for a “go shop” period to allow shareholders to determine if there is a better offer.
“We can deliver immediate value to stockholders, while we continue the execution of our long-term strategy and focus on delivering best-in-class solutions to our customers as a private enterprise,” Mr Dell said of the plan.
Dell was a pioneer of phone-ordered, custom built PCs in Britain during the 1990s.
The company worked from facilities in the Irish Republic, Britons were able to specify their hard and software requirements before machines were delivered to their home.

But a realistic assesment I’ve found only in that source:
Here’s The Secret Private-Equity Plan For Dell by Henry Blodget [Daily Ticker on Yahoo! Finance, Feb 6, 2013] CLICK TO THE LINK AS THERE IS A VERY GOOD VIDEO RECORD OF DISCUSSION BETWEEN DAILY TICKER’S HOSTS AARON TASK AND HENRY BLODGET

Earlier, I wrote about what Dell was likely to do now that it is taking itself private.

I suggested that Michael Dell and his private-equity backers would coin money, in part by paying themselves a huge one-time dividend with the cash sitting on Dell’s balance sheet.

I also bemoaned the fact that Michael Dell had to take his company private to coin this money instead of executing his plan as a public company and sharing the loot with his current shareholders.

More broadly, I complained that too few public-company management teams (like Dell’s) have the balls to tell short-term public-market investors to take a hike and implement long-term strategic plans.

And that is indeed a bummer.

But it’s also the reality.

Most public-company management teams are so cowed by Wall Street’s short-term demands that they sacrifice the vision and cojones that enabled them to build big public companies in the first place. And then they just manage their companies from quarter to quarter while avoiding the tough, ballsy decisions that separate great companies from good ones.
Anyway, Dell has decided to go private.
So the questions are:
  • Why is Dell going private?
  • What is Dell going to do as a private company?
Earlier, I speculated about what a generic private-equity firm might do with Dell after taking it private.
I have since spoken with sources familiar with the specific Dell situation. So I have some better information.
Here’s what the sources told me:

  • Dell is going private because the company is in the middle of a 5-year transformation from “PC manufacturer” to “single-source provider of corporate cloud and security solutions” (sort of a mini-HP or mini-IBM model) and the market is giving it no credit for that transformation. The company feels it has been making good progress on its transformation, but management is worried about meeting quarterly targets and other milestones that are slowing the transformation down. And the stock just keeps dropping. So Michael Dell and Silver Lake felt there was an opportunity to be bolder and more aggressive with Dell as a private company.

  • Silver Lake and Michael Dell are borrowing about $17 billion of the $24 billion Dell purchase price ($15 billion from banks and $2 billion from Microsoft), which means they are temporarily putting up about $7 billion of equity capital. Dell has $15 billion of cash sitting in the bank. So it seems highly likely–we’ll know in 45 days, when the SEC filing appears–that Silver Lake and Dell will pay themselves a big dividend to cover their cash investment. After that point, they’ll be playing with house money. (Correct–it doesn’t suck to be in the private-equity business!).

  • The secret plan for Dell is NOT to fire thousands of people and chop the company up and sell off the parts. Sure, some folks might get fired and some divisions might get sold. But the plan is to invest in the company’s product suite, R&D, pricing*, and marketing capabilities, thus accelerating Dell’s transformation into a solutions provider. This investment will temporarily reduce the company’s free cash flow and profits, which public-market investors might (stupidly) have freaked out about. This was one of the reasons Michael Dell wanted to take the company private.

  • Dell’s plan is to focus on selling its solutions to mid-market companies (~500 employees [more precisely to companies with 215-2,000 employees, see the details in the first “Michael Dell: We are not a PC company anymore” section of my analysis]), not the gigantic Fortune 500 companies that are already well-served by IBM, HP, and other huge “solutions” providers. By providing comprehensive solutions for cloud and security to companies that are not currently well-served, Dell also hopes to increase demand for PCs at these companies–PCs that Dell will obviously provide.
The private-equity firm backing Dell, Silver Lake, has a long history of investing in troubled tech companies, and it has posted excellent returns over the years. Silver Lake’s target investment time horizon is about 5 years, which is about 100-times longer than the time horizon of the typical public-market investor. So Silver Lake is willing to depress Dell’s earnings and cash flow for a couple of the years while investing heavily to transform the company–thus, hopefully, creating a more valuable Dell over the long term.
That said, Dell’s competitor HP is not so optimistic and had these crushing statements about Dell’s turnaround:
That said, Dell’s competitor HP is not so optimistic and had these crushing statements about Dell’s turnaround:
“Dell has a very tough road ahead. The company faces an extended period of uncertainty and transition that will not be good for its customers. And with a significant debt load, Dell’s ability to invest in new products and services will be extremely limited. Leveraged buyouts tend to leave existing customers and innovation at the curb. We believe Dell’s customers will now be eager to explore alternatives, and HP plans to take full advantage of that opportunity.”
Public market investors and wimpy management teams take note: Your obsession with quarterly performance creates the opportunity for firms like Silver Lake to come along and buy your companies on the cheap, thus coining money for their private-market investors. In short, your quarterly earnings obsession is ruining companies and destroying value. So grow a pair, tell Wall Street to be patient, and focus on creating value for the long term!
* What I mean by “investing in pricing” is cutting prices on hardware and, thus, reducing profit per unit. This will hurt profit margins but make the company’s solutions more attractive to customers. And given that the focus is now on “solutions,” they’ll be looking to sell the hardware at closer to cost and then make money on add-on software and services.

In addition I will draw your attention to the following facts in the first “Michael Dell: We are not a PC company anymore” section of my analysis:

  • John Swainson President of Dell Software Group was senior advisor to Silver Lake before he came to Dell a year ago to form this most essential unit for Dell’s long-term business strategy. His earlier role was to advise on value creation activities for Silver Lake’s portfolio companies. Prior to that he was CEO of the big software company Computer Associates (now CA Technologies) for five years, and before that worked for IBM Corp for more than 26 years, including seven years as general manager of the Application Integration Middleware Division, a business he founded in 1997. During that period, he and his team developed the WebSphere family of middleware products and the Eclipse open source tools project. He also led the IBM worldwide software sales organization.
  • Marius Haas hired in August to lead the Enterprise Solutions Group (ESG) came from Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P. (KKR). KKR was the leader of the leveraged buyout boom of the 1980s. Its biggest LBO deal is still the biggest one in the histroy of mankind, and well documented in both a book and a film Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco. Prior to KKR Haas was senior vice president and worldwide general manager of the Hewlett-Packard (HP) Networking Division, and also served as senior vice president of Strategy and Corporate Development. Before that he worked in senior operations roles at Compaq and Intel Corporation.
  • Jai Menon became CTO of Dell’s Enterprise Solutions Group in last August but before that he was CTO and VP, Technical Strategy for IBM’s Systems and Technology Group (STG). … Jai joined IBM Research in 1982. He has made many contributions to the storage industry and to IBM in the areas of disk emulation, storage controllers, disk caching, storage networking, storage virtualization, file systems and RAID. He is one of the early RAID pioneers that helped create a technology that is now a $20B industry.

With such high level of private equity, leveraged buyout and both business and technical strategy expertise in the Executive Leadership Team, as well as top enterprise technology leadership behind that, Michael Dell is best positioned to reap both immediate and ongoing financial benefits of unprecedented scale from taking Dell private. Some more information from the business media to support my statement:

Inside Michael Dell’s World [The Wall Street Journal, Feb 5, 2013]

… The buyout would give Mr. Dell the largest stake in the company, ensuring that the 47-year-old is the one who gets to oversee any changes. … As part of the deal to go private, Mr. Dell would contribute his nearly 16% stake valued at about $3.7 billion, plus $700 million from an investment firm he controls, the people said. Microsoft would invest about $2 billion in the form of a subordinated debenture, a less-risky investment than common stock. … Microsoft isn’t expected to get board seats or governance rights in a closely held Dell, one of the people said. Instead, the companies would tighten their relationship regarding use of Microsoft’s Windows software, the person said.

Microsoft Loan Said to Help Dell While Avoiding Favorites [Bloomberg, Feb 5, 2013]

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) is using a $2 billion loan to help finance Dell Inc. (DELL)’s $24.4 billion buyout to bolster one of the largest makers of computers using Windows software and fend off competition from Google Inc. and Apple Inc.

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft’s chief executive officer, discussed the loan with Dell founder and CEO Michael Dell, according to two people familiar with the negotiations. Microsoft opted for a loan rather than an equity investment to avoid rankling other personal-computer makers that use Windows, said one of the people, who asked not to be named because the matter isn’t public. …

… Microsoft’s investment helps to support “the long term success of the entire PC ecosystem,” the company said in a statement. Peter Wootton, a spokesman for Microsoft, declined to comment beyond the statement.

Microsoft won’t be involved in day-to-day operations, Dell Chief Financial Officer Brian Gladden said in an interview. …

Michael Dell coughs up $750 million cash to buy out Dell [Reuters, Feb 6, 2013]

Michael Dell and his investment firm are ponying up $750 million in cash toward the $24.4 billion purchase of Dell Inc to help bankroll the largest private equity-backed buyout since the financial crisis.

The Dell founder and CEO this week struck a deal to take private the company he created out of a college dorm room in 1984, partnering with private equity house Silver Lake and Microsoft Corp.

Michael Dell will contribute $500 million of his own cash, and MSDC Management – an affiliate of his investment vehicle, MSD Capital – will contribute another $250 million, according to a company filing on Wednesday.

Dell Inc also said it is targeting the repatriation of $7.4 billion of cash now parked abroad to help finance the deal. That may dismay some shareholders, as a hefty tax is usually levied on cash brought back from overseas.

The deal, which ends Dell’s rocky 24-year run on the Nasdaq just as the once-dominant PC maker struggles to revive growth, is contingent on approval by a majority of shareholders — excluding Michael Dell himself.

Several shareholders, including prominent investor Frederick “Shad” Rowe of Greenbrier Partners, have spoken out against the deal, protesting a lack of specifics as well as a potential conflict of interest with Michael Dell being the company’s single largest shareholder with a roughly 16 percent stake.

“Some shareholders are glad. But there are others who feel it’s a raw deal,” said Shaw Wu, an analyst with Sterne Agee, who has spoken with several Dell shareholders since the announcement but declined to provide further details.

The company has not given many specifics on what it would do differently as a private entity, angering some shareholders who said they needed more information to determine whether the $13.65-a-share deal price – a 25 percent premium to Dell’s stock price before buyout talks leaked in January – was adequate.

On Wednesday, an individual shareholder filed the first lawsuit, in Delaware, attempting to stop the buyout. The lawsuit – which is seeking class-action status – maintains that the $13.65 per share offered sharply underestimated the company’s long-term prospects.

By engaging in the going private transaction nowin the midst of the company’s transition from a PC vendor to full service software and enterprise solution providerthe board is allowing defendants M. Dell and Silver Lake to obtain Dell on the cheap,” read the lawsuit filed by Catherine Christner.

Dell, the world’s No. 3 personal computer maker, broke down details of the equity and debt financing secured for the buyout in Wednesday’s filing.

Silver Lake is putting up $1.4 billion, while banks including Bank of America, Barclays, Credit Suisse and RBC will provide roughly $16 billion in term loans and other forms of financing.

Wednesday’s filing also disclosed that under certain circumstances if the merger cannot be completed, Michael Dell and Silver Lake could have to pay a termination fee of up to $750 million to the company.

What Should Dell Shareholders Do? [Seeking Alpha, Feb 6, 2013]

… let’s have a look at some balance sheet items. If the company was highly leveraged, things would be different and this price could make some kind of sense given the risk. But, if we look at the numbers, at the end of last quarter Dell had $11.2 billion in cash and equivalents, a long term debt of $5 billion and a total equity of $10.1 billion. In other words, a very healthy balance sheet.

Putting things together, it’s very hard to recommend accepting the current offer. Unless you have another investment where you can put your money to work at a higher rate of return than you would by sticking with Dell (and with the safety of its balance sheet) I cannot recommend selling the shares at this price.

Of course, Michael Dell and Silver Lake know the company is worth much more, and that’s why they are offering to take the company private.

Unplugged: Why is Michael Dell buying back his company? [USA TODAY, Feb 5, 2013]

… Because the 47-year-old CEO is already a billionaire, who has had scrapes with the Securities and Exchange Commission, critics contend that he has become adept at financial engineering and is simply sticking it to current shareholders to enrich himself yet even more. (The chairman and the company settled fraud allegations with the SEC in October 2010.)

No doubt, Michael Dell is a capitalist. But I doubt his sole motivation is pure greed and a perverse joy in sticking it to shareholders, which include employees.

Yet having met and interviewed Michael Dell on a number of occasions over the past decade, I think he is far more complex than a money-grubbing tech titan without heart or soul. In fact, I think he really cares about his legacy, the company and Austin. …


Channel: Happy, Worried [CRN, Feb 5, 2013]

Solution providers see two sides to Dell’s privatization move.

The first side is the opportunity for Dell to go through the painful transformation into an enterprise solution developer. Paul Clifford (pictured), president of Davenport Group, a St. Paul-based solution provider, said Dell should be able to accelerate its enterprise transformation without the eyes of Wall Street on them. “Dell is bringing us great products and support,” Clifford said. “If they go private, I think we’ll see more good stuff.”

The second side is how Microsoft’s new relationship with Dell will impact the rest of the industry. Michael Goldstein, CEO of LAN Infotech, a Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based solution provider, said such a close relationship between the two is a little scary. “Dell is Microsoft’s biggest reseller partner,” Goldstein said. “They’re hugely important. Seeing the two of them combined makes me a little nervous because we’re a smaller solution provider, and we don’t want to get lost in the mix if [the deal] does happen.”

What Will We Learn From Dell Tomorrow? [Bloomberg YouTube channel, Feb 5, 2013]

Feb. 4 (Bloomberg) — Today’s “BWest Byte” is 1, for how many more days until we find out what’s happening at Dell. Cory Johnson reports on Bloomberg Television’s “Bloomberg West.” (Source: Bloomberg)

Dell Gets Hit Hard by Sluggish Worldwide PC Market [Bloomberg YouTube channel, Nov 16, 2012]

Nov. 15 (Bloomberg) — Nicole Lapin reports on trouble at Dell. She speaks on Bloomberg Television’s “Bloomberg West.” (Source: Bloomberg)

Dell and HP down for the count? [CNNMoney YouTube channel, Aug 22, 2012]

Slow to find success in the realm of mobile, HP and Dell are caught in a downward slide with no apparent end in sight.

Michael Dell:

We are not a PC company anymore

Michael Dell addresses Dell’s future [published on FortuneMagazineVideo YouTube channel, Jan 16, 2013; recorded on July 17, 2012]

Michael Dell, Chairman and CEO, Dell, was interviewed by Fortune’s Andy Serwer at Brainstorm Tech in Aspen. They talked about the PC market, the enterprise, China, and Apple. He also announced a new $60M venture fund and said sales have slowed in China.

Full transcript: Michael Dell addresses Dell’s future [Fortune, July 17, 2012]
See also: Pre-Commerce and the Consumerization of IT [this same ‘Experiencing the Cloud’ blog, Sept 10, 2011]

A sure sign of that “not a PC company anymore” statement came recently with
Financial Reporting Change – Product and Service-based P&L by Robert L Williams [DellShares blog, Jan 10, 2013]

In 2009, we charted our course to become a leading provider of end-to-end solutions. We’ve been executing our strategy with discipline and consistency ever since, investing for growth in the data center, software and services.  Our Enterprise Solutions and Services business revenue was about $14 billion in FY08 and by Q3 FY13 we saw an annual run rate approaching $20 billion.  We now have critical mass in these businesses, and we need a financial reporting structure that supports their growth and success.  Today in an 8-K filing Dell announced in the first quarter of fiscal 2014, which begins on February 2, 2013, it will replace its current global customer segment reporting structure with the following product and services groups:
•  End User Computing (EUC), led by Jeff Clarke, vice chairman of operations and president Dell EUC, will include a wide variety of mobility, desktop, desktop virtualization, third-party software, and client-related services and peripheral products.
•  Enterprise Solutions Group (ESG), led by Marius Haas, president Dell ESG, will include servers, networking, storage, and related peripherals products.
•  Dell Services, led by Suresh Vaswani, president Dell Services, will include a broad range of IT and business services, including support and deployment services, infrastructure, cloud, and security services, and applications and business process services.
•  Dell Software Group, led by John Swainson, president Dell Software will include systems management, security and business intelligence software offerings.
Steve Felice, chief commercial officer, will continue to lead Dell’s global sales and marketing organizations.

That was already well manifested at Dell World [2012] Influencer Panel Highlights – December 11, 2012 [DellVlog YouTube channel, Dec 11, 2012]

Highlights from the Dell World Influencer Panel and Q&A with Michael Dell and Dell’s Executive Leadership Team held December 11, 2012 live from Austin, TX. Join the conversation on Twitter via #DellWorld.

The Dell wants to be more than your box provider post from The Register summarizes the above [Dec 12, 2012] as:

Solutions in hand – but supply your own drinks

… Dell is dead serious about being a “solution provider” … – and it has to be, because as we all know the margins are in software and services.

That’s why Steve Felice, Dell co-president and chief commercial officer, bragged that Dell had spent over $10bn in the past five years to acquire Perot Systems, Quest Software, Wyse Technologies, Scalent, Boomi, AppAssure, SonicWall, KACE, SecurityWorks, and a slew of others to build out its portfolio of services and software.

The executive roundtable was a way to introduce some of the new faces of Dell to customers and partners, with just about everybody but Dell, the man, and [Steve]Felice [Dell co-president and chief commercial officer], who joined Dell in 1999 from third-party tech support firm DecisionOne, and Jeff Clarke, vice chairman and co-president in charge of global operations and end user computing, being the old Dell hands.
Marius Haas, president of the cross-group Enterprise Solutions (gulp!) group, just came aboard this year after a short stint at private equity firm KKR and a long career at rival HP. John Swainson, who runs Dell’s Software Group, is a long-time IBMer who turned CA Technologies around. After the surprise resignation last week of long-time EDS executive Steve Schuckenbrock, who has been at Dell since 2007 and who has run its Services and then its Large Enterprise groups, Suresh Vaswani is the new president of the Services group and was formerly in charge of Dell’s Indian services group; before that, he was the co-CEO at Indian services giant Wipro. The consensus on the street seems to be that Schuckenbrock wants to be a CEO, and it ain’t gonna happen at Dell. (There could be some openings up at HP.)
The opening of Dell World was also a way to toss out some more statistics. Dell says that it has presence at 95 per cent of the Fortune 500, and that more than 10 million small and medium businesses rely on its solutions (gulp!) and services (okay, new rule, when Dell says services, you have to pay the person to your right $5.) Dell also has something on the order of 115,000 partners, with about 650 of them showing up at Dell World to get the inside track.
The execs were also put on the spot to answer questions, and Dell, the man, was asked about what he thought about the future of the PC business, something on the minds of both HP and Dell these days and not something that IBM is worried about much these days. (IBM is more worried about the future of systems and services, and it will have its own issues here, fear not.)
“We spend a lot of time talking about this and working and working on it together,” Dell said, referring to his collaboration with Clarke. “We’re quite optimistic about Windows 8. You’re going to hear over the next few days about a broad set of products. Think about a product like Latitude 10, which is a thin, light tablet that also docks to become a full workstation – totally secure, works with all of the other Windows things that a customer have, runs Microsoft Office, and has a USB port, and so on.
“That’s the kind of product that really excites out customers and helps address some of the challenges that exist. We think the touch experience is incredible. We have this stunning 27-inch, quad HD display with our XPS27 all-in-one. We think we are seeing a real revolution in the PC.”
Clarke was more adamant: “We still believe that the PC is still the preferred device to do work, to drive productivity, to create. I look at the long-term prospects of the PC business and I am very optimistic; 85 per cent of the world’s population has a PC penetration rate of less than 20 per cent. I look at the middle class as it grows over the next 20 years from 1.8 billion people to 4.9 billion people, and I see the opportunity there. I look at the number of small businesses that we sell to today, and the creation of small businesses continues at an unprecedented rate and serving that with PCs is still a huge opportunity for the company.”

One of the big events at Dell World on Wednesday, which Felice hinted at, would be a partnership with the Clinton Foundation, the organ of former president Bill Clinton, to help spur the growth of small businesses. (I doubt they talk about solutions much.)

The real issue, explained Dell, was moving from selling individual point products to standing up combinations of servers, storage, networking, PCs, software, and services to solve a particular problem. This is precisely what every major systems player is trying to do, and the big independent OS suppliers (Microsoft and Red Hat) as well, who treat x86 iron the same way they treat electricity: as a given and not worth much consideration or profits.

The company  issued the following press releases to clarify everything:
Dell Investment in Enterprise Solutions and Services Gives Customers Worldwide the Power to Do More [Dell press release, Dec 11, 2012], an important excerpt to add to the above

Strategy, Execution and Progress
Dell’s long-term strategy is grounded upon helping IT organizations more rapidly respond to business demands, improve efficiency and capitalize on new, standard-based technologies. Dell is successfully executing on its long-term strategy, including key acquisitions of Wyse, SonicWall and Quest Software in 2012, while growth in its Enterprise Solutions and Services businesses continues to outpace its competitors.

  • Dell’s server and networking business grew 11 percent in the 3rd quarter, representing the 12th consecutive quarter of growth.
  • Dell’s server business grew revenue 4 percent in the 3rd quarter, and was the only provider among the top three to achieve positive unit growth, while other providers lost share.
  • Dell’s storage business (Dell-branded storage) grew at twice the rate of a major competitor and continues to outpace other providers, many of which reported declining revenue.

Dell Enterprise Solutions and Services now represent one-third of the company’s revenue and half of its gross margin. These businesses, which were about $14 billion in FY08 are on an annual run-rate approaching $20 billion through the 3rd fiscal quarter, are up 4 percent from the previous year. Dell is making solid progress in executing its strategy and continues to add to capabilities valued by customers.

Dell Backs Growing Businesses With Scalable Technology Solutions, Resources and Capital to Fuel Job Creation, Economic Growth Worldwide [Dell press release, Dec 11, 2012], an important excerpt to add to the above

Dell today announced a renewed commitment to accelerate growth of small and midsize companies with scalable technology solutions, resources for entrepreneurs, and a new partnership with Clinton Global Initiative designed for next generation business founders.

Fast-growing entrepreneurial companies are an important catalyst for global economic recovery and job creation,” said Michael Dell, Chairman and CEO of Dell. “At Dell, we’re delivering agile, efficient and powerful solutions to help entrepreneurs succeed today, scale quickly and have their ventures grow as big as their dreams and ambitions.”

Dell started to communicate heavily this change about one and a half year ago as evidenced by My Take on Dell’s Solutions Strategy post by Lionel Menchaca, Chief Blogger [Direct2Dell blog, June 13, 2011]. More communication since then were given in the following posts:
My Thoughts on Dell’s Analyst Meeting by Lionel Menchaca, Chief Blogger [Direct2Dell blog, July 5, 2011]
I see a mixed data center environment in your future by Praveen Asthana [Direct2Dell blog, Dec 15, 2011]
Enterprise Solutions and Services Strength Highlight Dell’s FY2012 Results by Lionel Menchaca, Chief Blogger [Direct2Dell blog, Feb 21, 2012]
Business Intelligence for the Mid-Market by Vickie Farrell [Direct2Dell blog, Feb 27, 2012]
New Dell Appliance Makes Data Warehouses Simple and Affordable by Vickie Farrell[Direct2Dell blog, July 11, 2012]
How Dell Helped Grow Financial Grow by Scott Schram [Direct2Dell blog, May 21, 2012]

In my prior role with Dell I was part of the SMB business transformation team charged with integrating M&A acquisition solutions including KACE, Boomi, Compellent, SecureWorks and Force10 Networks into the core business. So when I moved into my new role with our Commercial Verticals organization focused on the Financial Services industry, I was anxious to observe firsthand how this newly acquired Dell IP was meeting customer needs. It didn’t take long.

Dell announces the completion of its acquisition of Make Technologies by Suresh Vaswani, Chairman–Dell India [Direct2Dell blog, May 24, 2012]
The NHS Information Strategy and Information-Driven Healthcare by Andrew Jackson [Direct2Dell blog, May 29, 2012]
Dell AppAssure takes you beyond backup by Zorian Rotenberg [Direct2Dell blog, June 12, 2012]

It’s been a little over four months since Dell acquired AppAssure, and we’ve settled right into the Dell family. Today at the Dell Storage Forum in Boston, Darren Thomas announced the first new Dell AppAssure release – Dell AppAssure 5 – designed to allow customers to achieve higher levels of scale, speed and efficiency for backups of big data sets.

Mid-size organizations can gain first-mover advantages with desktop virtualization by Brent Doncaster [Direct2Dell blog, June 13, 2012]

Watch how DVS Simplified offers a simple, easy-to-deploy and operate VDI appliance that delivers traditional desktop virtualization benefits in an all-in-one package. Learn more at:http://lt.dell.com/lt/lt.aspx?CID=823…

Start virtualizing desktops with DVS Simplified DaaS – a cloud-based solution for desktop virtualization by Janet Diaz Solutions Communications Manager, Desktop Virtualization Solutions – End User Computing at Dell [Inside Enterprise IT blog from Dell, June 22, 2012]

DVS Simplified DaaS delivers full-featured virtual desktops delivered from Dell’s state-of-the-art data centers and powered by Desktone’s industry-leading, secure, multi-tenant DaaS platform. DVS Simplified DaaS is ideal for organizations that want a cloud-based virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) solution, simple onboarding and management (deployment takes only a few days and can include a proof of concept), a low set-up cost with monthly subscription-based pricing, and the flexibility to scale from a few seats to thousands of seats.
DVS Simplified DaaS provides organizations of all sizes – SMBs, large enterprises and public sector entities – the ability to quickly deploy a VDI solution to address a variety of business imperatives. Picture workers in industries such as healthcare, insurance, construction, etc. using different devices to connect to their desktops while in the field. Or picture a company needing to quickly provision hundreds of desktops for an incoming class of interns (and also needing to redeploy these desktops at the end of the internship program). Or think of an organization that has a few employees on a different continent but does not want to invest in data centers and IT resources there. DVS Simplified DaaS can be the right solution in each of these cases.

Knock Down the Barriers to Desktop Virtualization by Ann Newman, a technology writer, blogger and editor for Digital Online Marketing at Dell with specialties in BYOD, desktop virtualization, Windows 8 and other high-technology topics. Follow Ann on Twitter at @DellWebWoman [DellWorld 2012 blog, Oct 12, 2012]

In today’s business environments, where BYOD (bring your own device) is becoming a fact of life, desktop virtualization is becoming a must-have. Don’t let the old barriers hold you back.

Winning the data center by Paul Shaffer [Direct2Dell blog, June 18, 2012]
Dell’s Enterprise Solutions Strategy Will Drive Company’s Long-Term Growth [Dell press release, July 13, 2012]

“Through strategic acquisitions and organic growth, we are creating innovative solutions that provide more value and competitive edge for our customers,” Michael Dell, chairman and CEO, told stockholders. …
Mr. Dell and Brian Gladden, Dell CFO, outlined the steps taken by the company to establish Dell as a full-service solutions company, and how the company’s business has shifted, with enterprise solutions and services accounting for 50 percent of its gross margin in the first quarter of fiscal year 2013. Among those actions was the formation earlier this year of a Software Group to add to Dell’s enterprise solutions capability, accelerate strategic growth and further differentiate the company from competitors with standards-based, scalable and flexible Dell-owned intellectual property.
Dell is building its software portfolio in part through strategic acquisitions. The company recently announced a definitive agreement for Dell to acquire Quest Software, an award-winning IT management software provider offering a broad selection of IT solutions. The Quest acquisition is expected to be completed in Dell’s fiscal third quarter. Dell has made eight acquisitions in the last 12 months and 16 in the past two years.

Dell Software Leadership Team Event #DellSoftware by Sarah Richardson Luden [Direct2Dell blog, July 19, 2012]

Dell’s software organization leverages the strength of existing Dell software assets, as well as those obtained through organic and acquisitive growth, to better provide our customers with competitively differentiated hardware, software and services solutions. Dell recently announced its intent to acquire Quest, an IT management software provider, which extends Dell’s existing capabilities in security and systems and data management.
Dell Software will initially focus on these four core areas:

Dell CloudExpo Keynote Presentation from Kevin Hanes, Executive Director of Dell Services by Stephen Spector [#DellSolves blog, June 14, 2012] about Dell’s solution oriented approach to cloud computing to meet the challenge for any organization how to evolve, to adopt new architectures and processes that increase business agility, scalability and governance/compliance and decrease risk.
Dell Cloud Client Computing launches public beta of Project Stratus by Allison Darin [Direct2Dell blog, Aug 27, 2012]

Project Stratus is a comprehensive cloud-based management console that is geared at helping enterprises thrive in a world of “Consumerized IT” where corporate and consumer technologies intermingle. It empowers employees with the highest productivity and the best user experience, while giving IT organizations the required control to allow them to welcome employee owned devices into the enterprise. Through its unified, cloud-based console, IT administrators will be able to to securely manage user devices as well as deliver applications and services to their users across a variety of scenarios; in office, mobile and remote, corporate owned and managed, user owned and self-service.
“As the BYOD trend expands the private or public cloud access paradigm beyond PCs to include mobile devices of all types, and organizations start to adopt other consumer technologies like apps, we see IT needing the ability to rapidly adapt and embrace new end user service delivery models,” says Hector Angulo, Product Manager for Project Stratus at Dell. “Project Stratus was designed to provide this agility in a simple, secure and cost-effective package – if IT needs to manage end user devices, they can; if all they care about is managing how corporate data and apps are delivered regardless of device, it supports that too.”

Data Center Evolution by Scott Herold [Direct2Dell blog, Sept 6, 2012]
Powering the Possible in Smart Grid by David Lear, Executive Director—Sustainability [Direct2Dell blog, Oct 3, 2012]
Building a Practical Foundation for Big Data Transformation by John Igoe [Direct2Dell blog, Oct 3, 2012]
My New Role as CTO of Dell’s Enterprise Solutions Group by Jai Menon, the former CTO of IBM Systems and Technology Group [Direct2Dell blog, Oct 10, 2012]
Executing BYOD programs by Rafael Colorado Marketing Director, Desktop Virtualization Solutions [Inside Enterprise IT blog from Dell, Oct 10, 2012]

Let’s start with a common use case of an enterprise customer enabling remote and internal employees to access company resources through various devices and provide more than simple e-mail; they need access to a variety of corporate applications.
The first variable to consider, Device Management, ensures that governance and policies are applied to all end points. Dell KACE offers a practical device management solution deployed as an appliance or SaaS offering. Additionally, Dell can provide BYOD consulting for organizations that need a more customized solution.
The second variable, Secure Data, is mission critical because it safeguards the integrity of corporate information. Dell’s SonicWALL ensures secure access to intranet resources with secure SSL/VPN technology to manage encryption across all corporately-managed mobile devices. For a higher level of enhanced security Dell SecureWorks can be added to account for threat management.
The third variable, Develop and Modernize Applications, helps organizations optimize applications for deployment into BYOD environments. Dell offers AppDev services that provide image optimization and application rationalization services. With PocketCloud, Dell also offers a comprehensive application delivery solution to remotely connect to your desktop with your iOS or Android device. Here’s a quick video on PocketCloud:
The expanded Wyse PocketCloud family fuses streaming apps and data with search, file management and sharing across personal devices delivering content management from the cloud.
Finally, Infrastructure Optimization is the variable over which my team, Dell Wyse, has the most influence. Infrastructure Optimization is about providing the backend infrastructure to host and manage your desktops and applications by centralizing data and applications in the cloud or the data center. Dell Desktop Virtualization Solutions (DVS) provides the datacenter infrastructure, including preconfigured networking equipment, storage, and Dell 12G servers to accelerate the adoption of VDI and application virtualization. DVS also offers virtual desktops in Simplified or Enterprise “as-a-service” configurations where virtual desktops are hosted and managed in the Dell Cloud. Finally, DVS offers an assortment of services to help you asses, plan, and roll-out desktop virtualization deployments.

Dell’s Desktop Virtualization Strategy from Citrix Synergy 2012 [DellTechCenter YouTube channel, June 6, 2012]: [1:10] We are the only company that can offer an appliance, a VDI appliance [(DVS) Simplified appliance]. Nobody else has that. [1:19]

Rafael Colorado from Dell talks about Dell’s Desktop Virtualization Strategy from Citrix Synergy 2012 in San Francisco.

Feeling the Energy at Synergy by Janet Diaz Solutions Communications Manager, Desktop Virtualization Solutions – End User Computing at Dell [Inside Enterprise IT blog from Dell, May 10, 2012]

After viewing a live demo of our Dell Desktop Virtualization Solutions (DVS) Simplified appliance featuring Citrix VDI in a Box software coupled with a Wyse zero client in action, or testing out our DVS Simplified Desktop as a Service (DaaS), or seeing how our Dell Virtual Labs solution is purpose- built to solve the specific IT problems in the education field; our customers came away impressed that Dell’s transformation into a solutions-focused company is gaining major traction.
As part of the DVS Simplified demo, we are also excited to be showcasing Dell’s partnerships with both Citrix and Wyse, which gives our customers a truly end to end VDI solution that is easy to buy, easy to deploy, easy to manage and easy to scale.  Dell worked closely with Citrix to develop DVS Simplified, incorporating Citrix’s VDI-in-a-Box, to deliver VDI as an applianceBy adding Wyse to the partnership, Dell can now deliver a wide array of plug-and-play, automatically managed thin clients to further extend that simplicity to the end points.  We are very excited to be demonstrating this end to end solution in our booth for all Synergy attendees to see first-hand.

What the new release of [Citrix] VDI-in-a-Box 5.2 means to you by Rafael Colorado Marketing Director, Desktop Virtualization Solutions [Inside Enterprise IT blog from Dell, Oct 18, 2012]
– see also: Accelerating desktop virtualization gains [Dell Power Solutions, 2012 Issue 2, May 16, 2012] discussing the issues which lead to the creation of Dell desktop virtualization portfolio of end-to-end solutions—available in Simplified and Enterprise segments—in order to effectively address the diversity of organizations
– see also: Thin/Zero Client and Virtual Desktop Futures [this same ‘Experiencing the Cloud’ blog, May 30, 2012]
BYOD: A Love Story by Ann Newman, a technology writer, blogger and editor for Digital Online Marketing at Dell with specialties in BYOD, desktop virtualization, Windows 8 and other high-technology topics. Follow Ann on Twitter at @DellWebWoman  [DellWorld 2012 blog, Oct 26, 2012]

At Dell, over 15,000 employees use their iOS®-, Android™- and Windows®-based devices at work, worldwide. The company is thriving because the BYOD strategy is built on a solid foundation of mobile device management, application modernization and end-to-end security and networking IT.

Dell Cloud Client Computing Solutions Support Citrix HDX 3D by Dan O’Farrell Director of Product Marketing, Dell Wyse [Direct2Dell blog, Oct 17, 2012]

Dell Wyse Cloud Client Manager Eases Consumerization of IT and BYOD Challenges by Rami Karam Product Marketing Manager, Dell Cloud Client Computing [Direct2Dell blog, Nov 7, 2012]
Release of Dell Quickstart Data Warehouse 2000 Hits Sweet Spot for Mid Market by Matt Wolken [Direct2Dell blog, Oct 17, 2012]
Unveiling Dell’s next generation converged infrastructure solutions — Active System 800 by Ganesh Padmanabhan [Direct2Dell blog, Oct 18, 2012]
Converged Infrastructure without the Compromise: Introducing Dell Active Infrastructure and Dell Active System by Dario Zamarian [Direct2Dell blog, Oct 18, 2012]
Dell developed and acquired IP converge in Active System by Ben Tao [Direct2Dell blog, Oct 22, 2012]
Taking a more “Active” approach to delivering applications and IT services by Marc Stitt [Direct2Dell blog, Oct 25, 2012]
One Million Reasons to Celebrate – DCS [Dell Data Center Solutions] Ships its One Millionth Server by Tracy Davis, VP/ GM—Dell DCS Team [Direct2Dell blog, Oct 30, 2012]
Dell and SAP Hana, or how organizations can harness the power of in memory databases and analytics with joint solutions from Dell and SAP, by Kay Somers  discussing with Mike Lampa, Global Practice Lead for Dell Services Business Intelligence practice and Jeffrey Word, Vice President of Product Strategy at SAP on Direct2Dell blog:

Part 1, Oct 30: about in memory databases, SAP HANA and how it can dramatically alter organization responsiveness and performance … the capabilities and performance of the SAP HANA platform.

Part 2, Nov 5: the various ways to add SAP HANA to your database and analytics environment

Part 3, Nov 11: building the business case for an SAP HANA installation or migration

Dell Speeds Path to SAP HANA with New Service Offerings in Europe by Andreas Stein [Direct2Dell blog, Nov 12, 2012]
The Year of the Virtual Desktop- really! by Eric Selken [Direct2Dell blog, Oct 31, 2012]
Dell Services Introduces New Microsoft Dynamics Solution for Manufacturers by M J Gauthier [Direct2Dell blog, Nov 6, 2012]

Our manufacturing customers will benefit from the best practices Dell learned from implementing Microsoft Dynamics AX in its own manufacturing supply chain in 2010. Dell’s own implementation generated a 75% reduction in factory IT footprint, 50% reduction in server downtime and a 40% decrease in the IT cost of goods.

What you may not know about Dell SonicWALL by John van Son [Direct2Dell blog, Nov 13, 2012]
Dell Acquires Gale Technologies, a Leading Provider of Infrastructure Automation Solutions to help accelerate the momentum of Dell’s converged infrastructure family, Active Infrastructure [Dell press release, Nov 16, 2012]
Enterprise Business Momentum and Major Milestones by Jai Menon CTO of Dell’s Enterprise Solutions Group [Inside Enterprise IT blog from Dell, Dec 3, 2012]
Project RIPTide: Business Analytics meets innovation at Dell by Shree Dandekar Director BI Strategy [Direct2Dell blog, Dec 21, 2012]

Real-time analytics solution for midsized customers is enabled by Dell Boomi and real-time business intelligence capabilities

Imagine a midsized company collecting data in real time from different sources. Of course they’ll want to convert this data into meaningful insights to improve their business, also in real time. There’s a catch though, they don’t have the IT resources or, necessarily, the expertise to extract those meaningful insights, much less in real time or in plain English.
Sounds like the right kind of challenge to tackle for Dell’s incubation program.
With RIPTide, we designed a solution that can assemble relevant data sets (structured and unstructured) on-the-fly, using real-time data integration enabled by Dell Boomi and real-time business intelligence capabilities for reports, dashboards, analytics, and services for easy deployment.
And it gets even better. This solution simply scales – it can be delivered on a laptop, a server, or an enterprise class platform depending on the customer’s size and needs. A customer also has the option to start off with the Dell Quickstart Data Warehouse and then build the solution on top of it. As part of this project, we’re also exploring to offer this capability as a service for customers to use within their private cloud environment, using Dell managed services.
We wanted to help customers simplify interpretation of their data – ask a question, get an answer. What is my sales pipeline in real-time? What is my account status with a given customer? What are they saying about me in social media? What does my retail stock look like? Is my fall collection trending on Pinterest?
We put our project to task, just in time for the two major shopping days of the year – Black Friday and Cyber Monday – with Team Express, a San Antonio-based sporting goods retailer with a small IT staff responsible for maintaining their legacy SQL-based transaction system as well as reporting on daily business activities. Team Express, just like other midsized companies, is challenged with assembling data from various sources, including Salesforce.com and their legacy transaction system, to glean actionable business insights, quickly and easily.

With the RIPTide solution running on a PowerEdge R720xd 12th generation server, Team Express is now able to capture key business metrics along with new insights, including:

  • Top-performing products by region, customer, and revenue
  • Close-rate per salesperson
  • Sales team productivity
  • Opportunity and lead conversion rates
Here’s what Brian Garcia, CIO of Team Express … has to say about his experience with this project, “This solution will transform the way almost all of our departments think about how our business is behaving. Now we can see more, we can do more and we will get more with less effort.”

Dell Retail Announces Industry-Leading Solution to Help Retailers Move to the Cloud by Mike Adams [Direct2Dell blog, Jan 14, 2013]
2012 – The Channel Perspective by James Wright EMEA Channel Marketing Director at Dell Europe [Direct2Dell blog, Dec 21, 2012]

It’s almost five years since we started selling through the channel in Europe with Dell PartnerDirect, and it’s safe to say that, while the previous four years were headline years, 2012 has also been outstanding for both Dell and our partners; I want to talk about some of the great highlights that have come out of the Dell PartnerDirect program this year.  Three things really stick out for me – more partners (and more partners growing their Dell business), our continued move from pure PC sales to a far more comprehensive solutions offering for partners and customers, and a steady stream of acquisitions helping to build out our end-to-end solutions portfolio.

  • More than half of Dell’s European sales now go through indirect channels . We’ve now got over 900 Certified Partners in Western Europe. Many are seeing their Dell businesses growing by 30 per cent or more. Now, growth is nothing without volume, but this shows that you can use Dell to survive and thrive in your business despite the current economic climate.
  • We’re building far more complex, integrated solutions. Both server and networking businesses within Dell grew by 14 per cent in Q2. A third of Dell’s revenue, and over half of our profit comes from data centre solutions. In fact, we’re the only major computer vendor to increase server sales in the third quarter, according to both Gartner and IDC. We’re also seeing revenue growth year-on-year in this market. Let’s not forget about the other areas, too. Storage is a big deal for us – and the latest European event proved that it’s a big deal for the channel, too.
  • Thirdly (and this is linked to the point above), we’re acquiring organizations that give us – and our partners – significantly more scope, breadth and reach. Here’s a quick run-down for 2012. While it’s worth understanding what each business does, that is less important than understanding the bigger picture – what we are building in conjunction with partners:
    • Quest – scalable systems management, security, data protection and workplace management.
    • AppAssure – streamlined datacentre operations with backup and recovery software
    • Wyse – client cloud computing. See our earlier blog on what this means for partners here.
    • SonicWALL – network security and data protection – and one of the most recognised firewall and unified threat management brands in the business.
What of next year? If anything, it’s likely to be just as eventful for the industry as this and previous years. From my perspective, I’m looking forward to carrying on the great work we began five years ago with our partners; we’ve come an awful long way, but there are also plenty of great places we can go to. One thing I do know: it’s never going to be dull. Here’s to a fantastic, profitable 2013!

Interview Marius Haas, Dell, about its enterprise strategy [Marco van der Hoeven YouTube channel, Feb 6, 2013]

Witold Kepinski, editor in chief of Dutch IT Channel, speaks with Marius Haas, president, Enterprise Solutions, at Dell Technology Camp 2013, Amsterdam.

Marius A. Haas [Dell Executive Leadership Team]

Marius Haas serves as president, Enterprise Solutions, for Dell. In this role, he is responsible for worldwide engineering, design, development and marketing of Dell enterprise products, including servers, networking and storage systems.
Marius came to Dell in 2012 from Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P. (KKR) [the leader of the leveraged buyout boom of the 1980s with its biggest LBO deal, still the biggest one in the histroy of mankind, well documented in both a book and a film Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco] where he was responsible for identifying and pursuing new investments, particularly in the technology sector, while also supporting existing portfolio companies with operational expertise. Prior to KKR, Marius was senior vice president and worldwide general manager of the Hewlett-Packard (HP) Networking Division, and also served as senior vice president of Strategy and Corporate Development. During his tenure at HP, Marius led initiatives to improve efficiency and drive growth, including the execution and integration of all acquisitions, and he also managed the company’s strategic planning process, new business incubation and strategic alliances.
Earlier in his career, Marius held a wide range of senior operations roles at Compaq and Intel Corporation. He also served as a member of the McKinsey & Company CSO Council, the Ernst & Young Corporate Development Leadership Network and as a board member of the Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals.
Marius has a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University and a master’s degree in International Management from the American Graduate School of Integration Management (Thunderbird) in Glendale, Arizona.

Dell sets out enterprise solutions strategy [Tech Central, Feb 4, 2013]

New software group integrates acquisitions to offer end-to-end solutions

Dell has set out its strategy to offer end to end enterprise solutions.
At the Technology Camp 2013 in Amsterdam, Tom Kendra, vice president and general manager of the newly formed Dell Software Group, said the company was “steadily executing the strategy of becoming a full service solution provider to enterprise”.
Software is the next step in Dell’s evolution, said Kendra in a presentation. Leveraging its core strengths, Dell will provide solutions in the client, services and enterprise spaces, with an emphasis on adding value, differentiation and a focus on growth.
“Software’s intersection with our core strengths, combined with disruptive market trends, allow us to create relevant solutions for today’s, and tomorrow’s, challenges,” said Kendra.
Under the headings of data centre and cloud management, information management and mobile workforce, Dell will provide software solutions in Windows Server management, performance monitoring, virtualisation management, data protection and management, application and data integration, business analytics and intelligence, bring you own device (BYOD) and endpoint management.
The newly formed software group brings together elements from Dell’s recent acquisitions, Kace, SecureWorks, SonicWall, Quest, Gale and Wyse.
A “tough, rapidly changing market fosters transformation,” said Aongus Hegarty, president, Dell EMEA. “All these capabilities from the acquisitions are coming together to form integrated strategies.”
Hegarty said that Dell is now established as a key player in enterprise technology, as it boasts more than $1.5 billion (€1.1 billion) in software revenue, a 6,000 member software team, of which some 1,600 are engineers, with a 2 million user community from 100,000 customers.
Kendra cited an EMA Radar report that classed Boomi as a value leader for cloud integration, an NSS Labs highest overall protection award for SonicWall and 9 software Magic Quadrant appearances from Gartner.
“Customers asking for end to end solutions, right from SME to mid-market and enterprise,” said Hegarty.
Dell has clearly stated a position of open standards for its solutions. Stephen Davies, Services Solutions Group EMEA, Dell, said that its cloud offerings would be based on OpenStack. With the aim of protecting customers from vendor lock-in, the approach allows for elements of any solution to come from other vendors or providers, without any loss of capability or performance. Where a customer may have a significant investment in one area, Dell’s approach would be to have its solutions work wherever possible with existing implementations.
Dell launched two new offerings as part of integrated enterprise strategy, Active System Manager 7.0 and new workload solutions optimised for the SAP HANA platform.
Active System Manger 7.0 is based on Gale Technologies applications and extends the management capabilities of Active System beyond the physical infrastructure to the virtualised infrastructure and workloads. It will be embedded into an Active System 800 and its associated reference architecture.
Dell has said that it has certified the first of its server, storage and networking technologies in its pre-integrated systems to run SAP HANA. The systems are high-availability configurations that scale from 1 terabyte to more than 4 terabytes and are based on the same architecture found in its single-server appliances.
For full products details see page the February issue of ComputerScope, available 8 February.

What Dell Is Doing Today [VideoLifeWorld YouTube channel, Feb 6, 2013]

Dell Tech Camp 2013 – Tom Kendra VP & GM SW Group at Dell – Key Themes For What Dell Is Doing Today. Dell’s latest technologies and solutions that address customer issues and challenges around Cloud Computing, Data Insights, Mobility and Converged Infrastructure . Video By Dell’s Official Flickr Page http://www.flickr.com/photos/dellphotos/8450786­781/ creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed­.en

Dell Acquisition Strategy [DellVlog YouTube channel, Oct 25, 2012]

Dave Johnson VP of Strategy demonstrates how Dell’s recent acquisitions all fit together

Conversation with John Swainson, President of Dell’s Software Group [DellVlog YouTube channel, Oct 2, 2012]

On Friday September 28, 2012, Dell announced that we completed the acquisition of Quest Software, an award-winning IT management software provider offering a broad selection of solutions that solve the most common and most challenging IT problems. John Swainson, President of Dell’s Software Group joined us on DellShares to discuss the importance of Quest to Dell’s Software strategy. We invite you to listen to John as he provides perspective on the following: • Quest fit within Dell’s Software strategy • Synergies between Quest portfolio and existing Dell solutions • Platform nature of Quest acquisition and what that means Thanks and we look forward to your thoughts and feedback.

Dell Completes Acquisition of Quest Software by Tom Kendra [Direct2Dell blog, Sept 28, 2012]

If you haven’t already heard, I am excited to announce that Dell has completed the acquisition of Quest. This is an important acquisition for Dell Software because Quest helps extend our capabilities in systems management, security and business intelligence software, and it also strengthens our ability to bring industry-leading, differentiated, and easy to manage solutions to our customers around the globe.
With Quest, Dell will be able to deliver a broad selection of software solutions that will help simplify and solve our customers’ everyday problems and tackle their most challenging IT needs. Quest also brings with it critical mass and key talent. Quest currently has more than 100,000 customers worldwide, 5,000 partners worldwide, 1,500 sales and marketing resources, and 1,300 software engineers. As a relatively young and growing organization, these resources are invaluable to the Dell Software Group.
The acquisition of Quest is a critical step forward for Dell Software because, with Quest, Dell is better able to provide end-to-end solutions that help our customers simplify their operations, maximize workforce productivity, and deliver results faster. Quest supports heterogeneous and next-generation virtualized and cloud environments which is complementary to Dell’s design approach to develop solutions that scale with our customers’ needs. But most importantly, Quest’s software solutions and key technologies are strongly aligned with Dell’s software strategy to expand, enhance and simplify our capabilities and enterprise solutions in four focus areas: Systems Management, Security, Business Intelligence and Applications.
Quest will be joining other Dell Software assets Dell KACE, Dell SonicWALL, Boomi, Dell Cloud Business Applications and AppAssure as part of the Dell Software Group. Dell Software helps customers of every size take advantage of new technologies and address organizational challenges to grow their businesses and remain competitive. For more than a decade, Dell has been making strategic software acquisitions and partnering in the industry to support and enable the hardware and services solutions that we provide to our customers.  Our Software Group, now including Quest, will continue to extend Dell’s capabilities in software IP and total solutions offerings, and draw on the strength of Dell’s distribution capabilities and reputation to help clients in every industry achieve better business outcomes.
Please join me in welcoming Quest to Dell Software, and I look forward to the many opportunities we will have to demonstrate that Quest and Dell are truly “Better Together.”
For more information about Quest software, go to: www.dell.com/quest

Software strategy and innovation related excerpts from Cover story: Piloting innovation [Dell Power Solutions Magazine 2012 Issue 4, Dec 7, 2012] the executive Q&A by John Swainson

make the cloud more accessible
My vision for the cloud is an intelligent technology that organizations can literally just plug into without the need for excessive configuration, security measures, and other manual interventions. All of these things need to be automated and policy-based, but making this vision a reality will take a lot of invention, systems work, and integration. But, that’s the direction we need to take if cloud computing is to achieve its full potential.
Cloud environments today, in general, are far too siloed, complex, and inefficient to really deliver on their full potentialBut as we move forward in time, the cloud can become so much easier to use and so much more automated than it is today. We want to give customers the best of both worlds—on-premises access to resources when they want it and access to the public cloud when they need it—seamlessly.
security solutions
Right now, our particular focus is on securing the pieces in the middle of the security equation. How can we secure data center access through a firewall? That’s Dell SonicWALL™ software. How can we secure access to applications and databases? That’s where the Quest™ identity and access management solutions come in. How can we measure and monitor all of these parts to build confidence that security has not been breached? Dell SecureWorks provides security monitoring and risk remediation services. And finally, how can we enforce security policies on the endpoints of the data environment? Dell AppAssure™ and Dell KACE™ software address that area. Dell Software is all about making sure that the right people get access to the right data, and that the wrong people do not get access. Risk management and secure access to information are at the core of all of these solutions.
It’s a big, complicated world out there. A threat environment that once comprised casual hackers has evolved into a complex landscape of advanced persistent threats—including industrialized espionage, or cyber-espionage—in many places around the world. One important aspect of Dell’s comprehensive approach to security is the SonicWALL consulting service, which helps organizations safeguard their valuable data and protect the productivity of their workforce.
big data analytics
To help improve efficiency, the Dell Quickstart Data Warehouse Appliance provides a prepackaged solution that combines Dell PowerEdge™ 12th-generation servers, the Microsoft SQL Server® database, Dell Boomi™ cloud-based data integration software, and Dell-provided consulting and training services.
We also offer database tools that allow organizations to go back and forth between conventional data sources and open source solutions such as the Dell | Cloudera Apache Hadoop solution. Our Dell Toad™ family of products has been enhanced to support big data as well as conventional relational data management tasks. On the services side, we have created Hadoop offerings that enable organizations to gain access to the power of Hadoop without having to set it up themselves. They can deploy Hadoop in production environments quickly and transform large data sets into intelligent information. And our Dell Boomi solution makes it easy for organizations to integrate data from various sources within a single data warehouse for analysis.
And, we have only scratched the surface. We can do so many other things to make it easy for people without data science skill sets to collect and analyze data for enhanced decision making in business settings. This data analysis area is where we are going to see a lot of investment from Dell over the next couple of years.
bring-your-own-device (BYOD)
Looking ahead, the BYOD trend presents an enormous opportunity for Dell to offer additional products that manage personal and mobile devices. It also provides the software and services that help organizations simplify IT and derive added value from their systems. The cloud, mobile devices, converged infrastructure, social media—all of these trends have very positive implications for our customers if they have the tools to manage them securely. And that’s obviously where we at Dell Software come in.

More information:

Dell Targeting $5 Billion in Software Sales, Swainson Says [Bloomberg, July 20, 2012]

Dell plans to build or acquire software in areas including computer security, PC and server management, data analysis and business applications for midmarket customers, he said. … It may also compete with SAP AG (SAP) and Oracle Corp. (ORCL) in some segments of the business-applications market, said Swainson. … “Companies like IBM, HP and Dell have to provide a computing platform with the server and the software as a service,” he said. “That’s what all these acquisitions and vertical integration are about.”

Dell Outlines Big Software Ambitions [InformationWeek, July 20, 2012]

Its target buyer is the often overlooked small to medium-sized company with 215-2,000 employees, said Swainson. These companies have small IT staffs with large responsibilities. “The sweet spot for Dell is the mid-market…We want to produce a set of solutions designed for that market,” Swainson declared. … Dell will also get into business applications but it has no intention of going head to head with Oracle or SAP, two of the largest application suppliers. Both tend to address customers above the mid-market and both are key Dell business partners, he noted. … Dell faces a formidable task in training its large direct salesforce and many channel partners to add software products to the long list of Dell hardware they are already trying to sell, said Swainson. IBM spent 20 years converting itself from primarily a hardware company into a server company that also sold services and software. … To get to $5 billion, “it won’t take us 20 years, but it will take us longer than a year and half,” he noted.

Dell Power Solutions Magazine 2012 Issue 4, Dec 7, 2012

Special section: Dell Software

    • Unfolding strategic new dimensions [Jan 27, 2013] excerpts giving a brief overview of the article describing the current software portfolio:

      – The Quest™ Identity and Access Management family adds to the solid set of Dell SonicWALL™ and Dell SecureWorks assets.
      – Dell AppAssure. From data centers to the cloud, Dell AppAssure™ software is a backup solution well suited for virtual, physical, and cloud environments.
      – Dell Boomi. Organizations can deploy Dell Boomi AtomSphere™ software to connect any combination of cloud, software-as-a-service (SaaS), or applications on-premises without requiring appliances, additional software, or coding.
      – Dell Clerity Solutions provides application modernization, legacy system rehosting, and capabilities that enable Dell Services to help organizations reduce the cost of transitioning business-critical applications and data from legacy computing systems to innovative architectures—including cloud computing.
      – Dell KACE. Servers, desktops, and laptops can be managed cost-effectively with Dell KACE™ systems management appliances, which provide time-savings benefits for systems management professionals and their organizations. The Dell KACE appliance-based architecture provides easy-to-use, comprehensive, and end-to-end systems management.
      – Dell Make Technologies. Application reengineering is a key capability in the growing field of application modernization and an important area of investment for Dell Services. Dell Make Technologies offers application modernization software and services that help reduce the cost, risk, and time required to reengineer applications.
      – Dell SecureWorks provides automated malware detection and analysis with real-time protection, 24/7 monitoring and response by security experts as needed, and security consulting and intelligence to identify gaps or respond to incidents.
      – Dell SonicWALL dynamic network security and data protection enable Dell to provide comprehensive Dell next-generation firewall and unified threat management solutions as well as secure remote access, e-mail security, backup and recovery, and management and reporting. Its Global Management System (GMS) enables network administrators to centrally manage and provision thousands of security appliances across a widely distributed network.
      – Dell Wyse desktop and mobile thin clients provide low-energy, highly secure, cost-effective access to data. Dell Wyse PocketCloud™ software—a remote desktop client—provides enterprise-grade access to cloud services along with desktop and enterprise applications, and it helps extend the benefits and security of virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) environments to mobile phones and tablets. In addition, organizational and end user–owned devices can be managed from profiles that are set up using a single, cloud-based console in Dell Wyse Cloud Client Manager.
      – Dell OpenManage Essentials. Centralized monitoring of Dell servers, networking, storage, and client systems is available in Dell OpenManage™ Essentials (OME) version 1.1 software—a complimentary download from the Dell Support site. This one-to many hardware management console helps reduce the complexity of common management tasks.
    • Defending against advanced persistent threats
    • Gaining holistic insight into enterprise networks
    • Boosting virtual desktop performance with compact cloud clients
    • Business analytics: Gaining a competitive edge from the data deluge
    • Migrating to Windows 8 for heightened productivity
    • Accelerating the benefits of Windows Server 2012

BYOD Reality Check: Focusing on users keeps companies ahead of the game by Tom Kendra Vice President and General Manager, Dell Software Group [Direct2Dell blog, Jan 28, 2013]

If you are involved in the Systems Management business or follow it, you can’t help thinking about the incredible rate of change going on! Advances in Virtualization, Converged Infrastructures, Cloud Computing and an explosion in end-user devices are driving the need for a new generation of management and operations solutions. At Dell, we intend to lead in defining and delivering on that next generation of solutions.

It is impossible to discuss all of these trends and what they mean in a single article. Over the next couple of months, we will provide points of view on each. Today, let’s start with the trend that many of us actually participate in—bringing our own laptops, phones and smart devices into our work environments.  This is commonly referred to as Bring Your Own Device, or BYOD. Many companies are actively working on their BYOD strategies and we recently conducted a study to get some insight on their approaches.
The results of our recent global BYOD survey confirm what we have long suspected: organizations that build their BYOD strategies around the users realize a higher sustainable business benefit than those that focus their strategies solely on devices, or are slow to adopt BYOD at all. Survey responses indicate that three-quarters of organizations deploying a mature, user-centric approach to BYOD have seen improvements in employee productivity, customer response times and work processes, giving them a secure competitive advantage over those that don’t.
We weren’t surprised by this. We know that early on, our customers’ first reaction to employee requests to use their own devices for work produced a scramble to figure out how to manage all those devices. Security was, and still is, of paramount importance. Over time, though, as their BYOD strategies matured, some IT organizations began to realize that by focusing on the users, they could respond quicker to the changing demands of the organization. They didn’t have to address those changes on every smartphone, tablet, laptop and any other device their employees bring to work, and, by focusing their BYOD strategy on managing user identities, they could resolve their concerns about security and other issues like access rights and data leakage, and still give employees everything they need to do their jobs.
Our survey polled almost 1,500 IT decision-makers across the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Australia, Singapore, India and the Beijing region. The results showed that more than 70 percent of those companies have realized benefits to their corporate bottom lines. Even more significantly, 59 percent say that without BYOD, they would be at a competitive disadvantage. Two-thirds of the companies surveyed said the only way BYOD can deliver significant benefits is if each user’s specific rights and needs are understood. Among respondents that both encourage BYOD and deploy a mature, user-centric strategy, this number jumped to three-quarters. They also reported that BYOD provides their employees the benefits of more flexible working hours, and increases morale and provides better opportunities for teamwork and collaboration. Overall, survey respondents with a user-centric BYOD strategy reported significant, positive improvements in data management and security, in addition to increased employee productivity and customer satisfaction.
The survey results have confirmed for us ─ without a doubt ─ that organizations still trying to address BYOD by managing devices, or that have been slow to adopt BOYD at all, risk competitive disadvantage. The highest competitive edge, in terms of the increased business value gained from greater efficiency, productivity and customer satisfaction, goes to those embracing user-centric BYOD.
We invite you to explore the key findings of Dell’s survey in our whitepaper, and if you want to “see” how this data reinforces our perspective on the importance of a user-centric management strategy for BYOD, take a look at our new infographic (Note: click on the image below to see a larger version of it, or you can download a copy of the PDF here).


Dell Names John Swainson President of New Software Group [Dell press release, Feb 2, 2012]

  • Software Group created to enhance solutions capabilities
  • Expanded software focus will extend Dell ability to improve customers’ productivity
Dell today announced the appointment of John Swainson to serve as President, Software Group, effective March 5, 2012. Mr. Swainson will report to Michael Dell, chairman and CEO of Dell.

The Software Group will build on Dell’s software capabilities and provide greater innovation and organizational support to create a more competitive position in delivering end-to-end IT solutions to customers. The organization will add to Dell’s enterprise solutions capability, accelerate profitable growth and further differentiate the company from competitors by increasing its solutions portfolio with Dell-owned intellectual property.

“John is an outstanding leader with an unparalleled record of achievement,” said Mr. Dell. “He brings to Dell extensive experience in leading and growing software businesses, unique expertise in managing complex software organizations, and a passion for listening to and serving customers. I look forward to working with John as he expands our enterprise solutions and builds on our software capabilities.”
“This is an exciting time to join Dell,” said Mr. Swainson. “As a leading IT solutions provider, Dell brings key assets and advantages to the software sector, including a strong global brand, a diverse global customer base and customer loyalty that creates opportunities to expand relationships with software.”

The Software Group will bolster Dell’s ability to execute in several strategic areas critical to its customers. The combination of strong internal development capabilities in hardware, software and services gives Dell the ability to serve the largest possible group of customers within the $3 trillion technology industry.

“The addition of software, both within the Software Group and across all of Dell, will help catalyze our transformation,” Mr. Dell said. “As software will be a part of all of our products and services, the group’s success will be largely be measured by the success of Dell overall.”

Most recently, Mr. Swainson was senior advisor to Silver Lake, a global private equity firm. Prior to Silver Lake, he was CEO and director of CA, Inc. from early 2005 through 2009. Under his leadership at CA, the company significantly increased customer satisfaction, its operating margins, and revenue.

Prior to CA, John worked for IBM Corp for more than 26 years, holding various management positions in the U.S. and Canada, including seven years as general manager of the Application Integration Middleware Division, a business he founded in 1997. During that period, he and his team developed the WebSphere family of middleware products and the Eclipse open source tools project. He also led the IBM worldwide software sales organization, and held numerous senior leadership roles in engineering, marketing and sales management.
Mr. Swainson holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the University of British Columbia, Canada.

John Swainson [Forbes profile, Aug 10, 2010]

… Mr. Swainson is also a Senior Advisor to Silver Lake Partners, a global private equity firm, which he joined in June, 2010. Mr. Swainson advises Silver Lake’s portfolio companies on value creation activities. …

The Indian case as a proofpoint of readiness 

‘Software’s becoming key to our biz, and so is Bangalore’ [The Times of India, Jan 9, 2013]

Marius Haas President, enterprise solutions, Dell
As Dell works to transform itself into an enterprise solutions and services company, Marius Haas has a pivotal role. He heads the $63-billion company’s enterprise solutions business. He joined Dell last year from investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. Prior to that, he was senior VP in Hewlett-Packard. Haas was recently in India, where Dell has a quarter of its 1.1 lakh employees, and spoke exclusively to TOI.
How important is the India enterprise market for Dell?
The top ten markets in the world represent 70% of the total spend in the enterprise space for the things that we do. Out of the top ten markets, three markets represent 60% of the incremental spend over the next three years. And those three are India, China, and the US. So the India market is very, very important to us. You can imagine that we are gonna be focused quite a bit on what we can do for this market.
What segments of industry do you see demand coming from?
In India I think 80% of the growth comes in customers that are 500 employees or less. So clearly we need a small business led market strategy, and for the solutions we create. You will see us with solutions that bring together server, storage, networking in a very scalable way, so that you buy what you need, at the scale that you need, at the price points that you need. They are pre-integrated, pre-configured, and designed to run specific workloads. For small businesses, it will save a lot bother in trying to put together systems from different components.
Several IT vendors today talk of pre-integrated stacks. Do you see customers opting for such stacks?
The estimate is that 30% of the enterprise purchases in 2016 will be with a systems view (pre-integrated, pre-configured stacks). There will be cannibalization of the traditional silo selling mode – of buying servers, storage, networking separately. All of a sudden a big part of how people are thinking is, I want to buy the cloud solution that enables me to run application X, Y and Z. So we recently announced our Active Systems infrastructure family that brings together server, storage, networking all in one chassis with one common management capability. It requires 75% fewer steps from the time you receive it to the time you are actually running workloads. We have optimized all components to work together for specific workloads in such a way that it generates 45% better performance per watt than what’s out there from the competition. Saves money for our customers.
Is your India R&D contributing to these systems?
Clearly if you are going to go towards a more systems view, there will be a lot more focus on software. Software provides the value add to servers, storage and networking coming together. Our Bangalore team has capabilities in servers and specifically around software. A big part of the management capabilities built into the system is done by a team here in India. The skill sets and capabilities in India are part of the core competency that we need today. Indeed, one of every four of our servers sold worldwide is sold with work done in Bangalore. And that’s what gives us the confidence to do more here.

SME Channels : Ajay Kaul, Head, GCC Dell India talking about the company’s growth strategy [smechannels YouTube channel, Feb 6, 2013]

Watch Ajay Kaul, Head, GCC Dell India talking about the company’s growth strategy … interview taken by Sanjay Mohapatra, Editor, SME Channels

+ [8:39] I believe Dell is moving to the services business …
+ [10:38] How would you help partners create their own brands?
+ [12:20] How fast are you in integrating all the products and go to market?
+ [13:58] How do you engage your finance arm to enable the partners?
+ [16:30] What is your strategy around cloud computing for the partners?
+ [17:36] What is your investment roadmap in terms of technology for this year?

Dell’s 7 strategies to stay top of mind for channel partners By Ajay Kaul [The DQ Week, Feb 5, 2013]

What are the strategies that the companies can adopt to ensure that they keep their channel partner programs alive and thriving?
Putting together an effective channel partnership program to take the company’s products and services can be just as challenging as rewarding. A good channel partner program does not end with identifying and enrolling like-minded and trustworthy resellers. It goes on to nurture and nourish these relationships through a host of incentives, training initiatives and many long-term measures.
Those who recognize the economies of scale that such programs bring are also aware of how vital it is to stay top of mind at all times. In order to leverage the considerable boost that these can bring to revenues and sales, companies need to ensure that their resellers acknowledge them as a priority over the competition. This is easier said than done. Channel partners sell what they know best and in today’s competitive landscape, where resellers have the choice of dozens of brands, it becomes imperative to stay top of mind at all times.
What strategies can companies adopt to ensure that they keep their channel partner programs alive and thriving? While most dealers and distributors will always be more attracted to methods that help them boost margins; they are also enthusiastic about measures that will help them address their challenges of training and retention of sales staff, competition, product and service expertise or growing consumer loyalty.

Here are seven strategies from Dell that can help ensure a win-win environment for both reseller and your company:

Invest in your channel partner’s success: Channel partners need to know that they are an important part of your company strategy and they need to feel the benefits of their association with you, through better margins, training and other initiatives that create success opportunities for them.
Focus on their profitability and they will focus on yours: The conditions you create for your partners needs to be win-win for both sides. Last year, Dell announced a new GCC (Global Commercial Channel) structure, which is a single point of contact for partners, with an aim to increase productivity and improve time cycles and enable more customized programs for partners support. The new structure protects partner profitability by bringing consistent pricing across different Dell commercial businesses and offers the partners growth opportunities with solution centric offerings and a broader end customer base.
Provide Product Support: The more your partners know of your products and services the easier they will find it to sell. Partners who have access to information and the means to understand your company offerings are more likely to push your products with their customers. Structured programs to boost product knowledge and bring to the forefront product and service USPs will equip partners with the right knowledge to sell your products.
Continuous education programs for channel partners: Channel partners need to be constantly reminded about your product or service. What better way than through education programs? Dell offers over 100,000 training sessions a year to all partners globally and Dell’s Engineers Club further invests in the development of individual engineers and partners by bringing together technical experts and pre-sales and post-sales engineers across the IT industry to network, exchange ideas, and share industry trends and best practices with the channel partners.
Listen to your partners: They can keep you in-tune with the pulse of the market. Structured listening programs will give partners a platform to voice recommendations and act as an additional source of market information.
Incentivise your partners: Create exciting incentives for sales, profits, rewards & recognition. Dell’s PartnerDirect program features a structure which rewards certification and training, including new rebates for premier partners, expanded deal registration terms, financial incentives, and marketing and technical assistance. Dell has 115,000 partners globally, in its highly successful PartnerDirect model. Dell has also doubled its channel sales force and has added more enterprise specialists enabling and supporting the partners to address customer needs and optimally provide solutions within limited IT budgets.
Make sure your program is high visibility and high impact: Don’t forget that your competition may be wooing your partners away from you. Your partner program needs to be more visible, more impactful and needs to give your partners what they need to sell for you.
A satisfied channel partner will push your brand with their customers, protect your margins and will also be more accommodating to your needs. Needless to say, a poor channel relations strategy will have just the opposite impact on your company margins and sales.

Dell GCC Engineers’ Club Now in India [SME Channels, Jan 11, 2013]

To build on existing GCC initiatives to strengthen and showcase its commitment to its partner community
Dell’s Global Commercial Channel (GCC) has launched the Dell Engineers Club in India, as part of their long-term commitment to channel partners in the country. The platform will enable technical experts across the IT industry to network, exchange ideas, and share industry trends and best practices.
This club will also help train channel partners and their engineers to be knowledgeable in Dell’s advanced server, storage, security, networking and cloud solutions, announced the company’s press release.
The company further announced that Dell’s long term aim is to qualify its partners to become not just the solutions provider but to be considered IT consultants for their end-customers. Dell believes in empowering their customers with the ‘Power to do more’, and therefore aims to create and offer real solutions with the intention of making technology smarter, more effective, and in service of its end-customers.
Ajay Kaul, Director & GM (Global Commercial Channel), Dell India, said, “Dell’s GCC business is very committed to the Indian market and the Engineers Club aims to strengthen the enterprise knowledge of our partner community, helping them become consultants for their end-customers.”
Dell offers over 100,000 training sessions a year to all partners globally and the Dell’s Engineers Club will further build on this initiative to invest in the development of individual engineers and partners.
Dell’s Global Commercial Channel (GCC) division retains around 1700 commercial relationships in India. The division takes care of programs and policies relevant to channels, which cover all types of business entities such as public companies and large-/medium-sized companies.

See also:
Dell Global Commercial Channel Launches Dell Engineers Club in India [Dell India press release on BusinessWire India, Jan 10, 2013]
After China, Dell introduces Engineers Club in India [The DQ Week, Jan 10, 2013] from which the following excerpt adds to the above important information:

Ajay Kaul, director and GM, global commercial channel, Dell India, informed, “This program has been extended by Dell to the Indian market to cater to the market potential in India and we feel it is important for us to bring the Indian channel partners at par with their global counterparts. As a start, the Dell’s Engineers Club is by invitation only. Partners with a certain level of certification already attained from us through the Partner Direct program will be sent an invitation to join this club. In that invitation, we will include details on where and how to sign up. Once their registration is approved, they will have access to all the programs and activities under this initiative. At the start of the program, we will be looking a limited number from the top 8 and will expand the program to more partners from the top 11 cities by the end of the month.”
With the recent acquisitions of companies like Quest Software, SonicWALL and Wyse, Dell has been able to add extensively to its solutions portfolio with leading management, security, virtualization and cloud capabilities. Hence, the focus on these enterprise solutions and services creates tremendous opportunity for its channel partners and therefore the necessity to ensure that partners receive the required training to help them understand the extended portfolio of solutions and services and provide customers with the right solutions and advice. The Dell Engineers Club is designed to provide maximum training about datacenter solutions so that the partners are better informed and can rise up to becoming IT consultants to the end-customers rather than just being a solutions provider.
“Our channel partners play a significant role in our business, 25 to 50 percent of our commercial business, depending on country to country. In some countries, it’s 100 percent and we see it growing further. India is a very important market as far as our partner community is concerned. We engage with our partners in this region at the highest level ensuring that the programs and policies designed are favorable to their benefits which leads to their overall growth,” said Kaul.

See also:
DELL Partners with HCL Infosystems for Distribution of Enterprise Products [HCL Infosystems Ltd. press release on BusinessWire India, Jan 10, 2013]

    • DELL enters into a strategic partnership with Digilife Distribution and Marketing Services (DDMS), distribution arm of HCL Infosystems
    • DELL takes the next leap in enhancing its commercial and enterprise solutions offering through this new distribution partnership and which is a further expansion of Dell’s PartnerDirect program which has developed a significant amount of the commercial channel partners in India
    • Partnership to target Mid-Market customers

Dell’s Global Commercial Channel (GCC) division retains around 19,000 commercial partners in the Asia Pacific region. The division takes care of programs and policies relevant to channels, which cover all types of business entities such as public companies and large-/medium-sized companies. In India, Dell currently engages with 1700 commercial channel partners, and this agreement will further strengthen the reach of its enterprise solutions to key markets.

The partnership will enable DDMS to supply the complete range of Dell Enterprise Products and Services. HCL‘s DDMS will help boost the growth of Dell, through the distribution providers in the market. HCL Infosystems widespread network of distributors will further ensure a robust funnel to Dell products and services.
In the past two years, Dell has made 15 strategic acquisitions to enhance its capabilities as an end to end solutions provider and has carefully aligned its channel program with the acquisitions it makes. To enhance Dell’s security capabilities, the company recently acquired SonicWALL, Inc. Having an immense focus on the distribution of its products and its channel partners, Dell has offered SonicWALL’s existing channel partners, an opportunity to join the company’s current PartnerDirect program, which will enable them to preserve the investments made with SonicWALL. Also, in order to offer best to the channel partner community the company will take the best of SonicWALL channel programs and model and combine it with Dell’s PartnerDirect program. This move has not only provided the best for the channel partners but also Dell has expanded its own channel team’s customer relationships by further enabling its existing partners to sell SonicWALL solutions.

Ajay Kaul to head Dell’s Global Commercial Channel biz in India [exchange4media News Service, Nov 8, 2012]

Dell India has announced that Ajay Kaul, Director & General Manager, will lead the Global Commercial Channel (GCC) business for Dell in India. Kaul’s focus as business leader will be to oversee the expansion of Dell’s partner community and its growth in the upcountry markets. As the GCC Business Head, Kaul will also focus on strengthening the company’s relations with its partner community.
During his seven-year tenure at Dell India, Kaul was Director – Sales for the Public, Education and Healthcare business from February 2009 to August 2012 in the South & West Region across Central / State Government, PSU, defense and covering all products of Dell for revenue, margin and market share growth. As the Regional Enterprise Manager from 2007 to 2009, he headed the pre-sales team and managed the servers and storage business in North and East region across large enterprises and government segment. Kaul had joined Dell in May 2005 and managed key global accounts to grow revenue and profitability covering all products.
Dell’s Global Commercial Channel (GCC) division was created in early 2011 with an aim to be a single contact point for its commercial channel partners, thereby leading to higher productivity and improved time cycles and enabling more customised programmes to support the partners in the market. The GCC team is responsible for designing and implementing profitable schemes and policies for Dell’s channel partners and collecting and using channel feedback to execute best structures for its channel partners.
Dell currently engages with 1,700 commercial channel partners in India, which cover all types of business entities such as public companies and large-/medium-sized companies.

Dell’s position on the Indian market two years ago, and the approach taken by the company to achieve that is well described in How Dell conquered India [CNNMoney, Feb 10, 2011] in the end of which the summary of the position is given as:

For Dell, India has emerged as a local and global service delivery hub. It is the only market outside the U.S. with all business functions—customer care, financial services, manufacturing, R&D, and analytical services—operational at the local level and giving global support. “We evaluated market trends and growth potential, enabling us to invest ahead of the curve in India, resulting in our phenomenal growth,” says Midha. It is a growth story that resonates around the world.

Dell India has made not only big progress relative to that position but in the enterprise business as well. See CIO CHOICE 2013 Awards Recognizes Dell for its Outstanding Performance in Server, Storage and Data Center [Dell India press release on BusinessWire India, Feb 4, 2013]

Dell’s commitment to addressing CIO needs with their best in class technology and customer commitment wins them accolades

Bangalore, Karnataka, India, Monday, February 04, 2013 (Business Wire India)
Dell India has been awarded the CIO CHOICE 2013 award for their solutions in Server, Storage – Hardware, Data Centre Consultant and Data Centre Transformation Services categories. The CIO Choice Awards is a B2B platform positioned to recognize and honour products, services and solutions on the back of stated preferences of CIOs and ICT decision makers. These awards demonstrate Dell’s “best-in-class” ability and commitment to meeting CIOs evolving needs in today’s dynamic business environment.
The process for the “CIO CHOICE award” is conducted via an independent advisory panel of eminent CIOs and an independent survey voting from across the country with CIOs and ICT decision makers.
Sameer Garde, President and MD, India Commercial Business, said “Dell has been investing in its enterprise capabilities and building solutions that address the business goals of customers. Being honoured by the CIO Choice award so early in our transformation into an end-to-end solution provider is truly a cherished achievement and a testimony to the efforts of the Dell India team. It shows that our open, scalable and affordable solutions have resonated well with customers and that we are well on our way to becoming the preferred choice for enterprise solutions.”
Commenting on Dell’s success in the enterprise space Venu Reddy, Research Director IDC India said, “The infrastructure market has been showing some positive sights in the current marketplace. This is due to some segment specific traction and focus by key vendors like Dell. In the server market the stabilization and growth is driven by key industries like Finance & Insurance, Distribution, and Manufacturing which have driven a 12% growth Year-on-Year for the 1st 3 quarters of 2012. While in the storage market the additional momentum has come from mid-size organizations which have started investing in key infrastructure that is helping them drive faster growth and better ROI.”
With the strongest ever enterprise product line up, Dell today is innovating and expanding its enterprise offerings to customers. Moving out of their legacy systems is one of the biggest challenges most Indian CIO’s are faced with. Dell works closely with customers to help them move out of their existing applications to newer platforms without hurting their IT budgets.
“Dell has been our partner in data centre management and has helped us focus our resources on our business and customers instead worrying about our IT infrastructure. Dell’s solutions in storage, servers and data centre bring more flexibility, resilience and optimize security and costs while lowering downtime. We would like to congratulate Dell on winning the CIO award, which is a demonstration of Dell’s ability to understand and deliver on CIO needs in these changing markets.”Rinosh Jacob Kurian, Enterprise Architect, UST Global
“In today’s always-on marketplace and turbulent business environment, a partner like Dell is truly an asset. Dell helps us manage our datacenter and server and storage requirements to deliver better business results and market success. Over the past years of our association with Dell, they have demonstrated a strategic insight into the emerging global business scenario and have been instrumental in helping our IT department gear up to meet these challenges. Dell is truly deserving of the CIO Choice award, and we extend our congratulations and best wishes to the team at Dell.”Subodh Dubey, Group CIO, Usha International.

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