Happy birthday Dell: The beginning of an evolution/revolution
The fascinating thing about this transformation is that Dell is going in a direction that is quite atypical of a hardware company; one that technology buyers should like but one that isn’t without risk.
To facilitate this change, Dell has moved from executing just a few acquisitions to cranking out 8 in about 12 months - becoming one of the most aggressively changing companies in the technology segment.
In its morning session Dell was primarily focused on their most recent acquisitions but I’ll try to point out some of the major themes.
The initial "ah-hah moment" in today’s presentation was from the Kace unit and the need to flip this to finding things folks want to buy and then building that.
This tends to create an enviable problem of not being able to fulfill demand and after being aquiried by Dell Kace sales have increased 400% as Dell’s channel was able to step up and solve the channel limitations that a small company like Kace could not.
Boomi addresses this need and the interesting thing is that folks that can free up resources because they have achieved increased efficiency through integration are actually more likely to buy new hardware.
SecureWorks, another recent acquisition, is focused on counter cyber insurgency. Kind of the Dell version of an FBI, this is more than a "technology only" approach, as when attacked, this unit mobilizes to eliminate the threat.
Data management remains a very high concern and with the massive number of acquisitions and mergers the complexity of the resulting data infrastructure which exists in many companies has become nearly unmanageable. Compellent is driving a cross company initiative to provide solutions to this problem.
What is also subtly part of this initiative is that many of these solutions were identified and first deployed to solve Dell’s own problems with regard to the acquisitions they have made, and to better integration problems which Dell acquired along with these companies.
It is surprising how many technology companies don’t deploy their own offerings and don’t understand why their customers, when they learn of this, don’t trust them.
What Dell is doing goes beyond just eating your own dog food; it is more buying food you’d prefer to eat yourself and then sharing the food with your clients. Personally I like this latter approach better.
Rob Enderle is one of the last Inquiry Analysts. Inquiry Analysts are paid to stay up to date on current events and identify trends and either explain the trends or make suggestions, tactical and strategic, on how to best take advantage of them. Currently, he provides his services to most of the major technology and media companies. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the writer.