Dell EMC OEM – A Pragmatic Strategy for IoT

Vendors explore market opportunities in widely diverse ways, ranging from the “bet early and seriously” approach Amazon took in crafting, subsidizing and launching its Web Services platform to the “start late, run fast and typically fall on your face” efforts of HPE and others whose attempts to catch up to AWS in public cloud failed miserably. But a strategy often overlooked by vendors as preeningly self-obsessed as Birds of Paradise is to 1) avoid public displays of braggadocio, 2) pragmatically choose opportunities according to their potential commercial returns, and 3) organically develop and expand efforts as those markets evolve. Dell EMC isn’t the only vendor offering a variety of original equipment manufacturing (OEM) services and solutions. However, the steady gains that the company’s OEM group has enjoyed, particularly in the past half-decade, are worthy of respect. So, too, is how those efforts resulted both in Dell EMC profiting today and being well positioned to new evolving markets, like Internet of Things (IoT) solutions. A recent analyst briefing led by SVP Joyce Mullen, who leads Dell EMC’s OEM/IoT group, along with its Channel organization, provided insights into the company’s strategy, customers and solutions, including its new PowerEdge XR2 rugged servers. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

Read More
Dell 3.0: “Been There, Done That!”
Nov05

Dell 3.0: “Been There, Done That!”

AUSTIN: Dell World 2014 kicked off yesterday and today made a number of product announcements under what it calls the four customer imperatives: connect, inform, transform and protect. They involved a variety of opportunities, highlighting the private company’s versatility and big-time ambitions. In addition to a new converged infrastructure solution, the Dell PowerEdge FX architecture, the company announcements included: Web-scale, hyper-converged appliances; an entry-level all-flash storage array starting at $25,000; and a Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) initiative with Brocade and Intel. In a press briefing on Tuesday Michael also outlined his company’s recent successes: -was the No. 1 storage solutions provider in the first half of 2014; -maintained its No. 2 share position in the global x86 server market; -the software division registered double-digit revenue growth year-over-year; -PC shipments grew by nearly 10% year over year in Q3 -Gartner ranked it No. 1 in Worldwide IT Services for Healthcare Providers; and, -it delivered year-over-year growth across every region globally. It’s been just over a year – October 29, 2013 – since Mr. Dell succeeded in buying his $57-billion (2013) company for $25 billion (75% of it; the rest going to private equity firm Silver Lake) and launched its third iteration: founded in 1984; went public in 1988; and now privately held. In a recent interview he said he went public “because we needed the capital, and we needed to be known.” However he didn’t care for a life under the eyes of Wall Street. “Been there, done that.” Following the Dell annual analyst conference at the end of May Technology Business Research concluded that the company had ‘successfully transitioned to operating as a private firm, that its strategy remains largely unchanged from a year ago and that the corporate culture is optimistic and energized about building the new, solutions-oriented Dell.’ It identified five challenges to the success of the strategy, all largely tied to the go-to-market execution: -market awareness of the breadth of Dell’s portfolio; -customer permission to play in Dell’s noncore markets such as software and services; -portfolio integration and evolution to fully address opportunity and create new markets; -direct sales maturity and capacity, and transactional swim-lane management of the nearly 18,000 generalists to sell the portfolio; and -continuing channel, alliance and OEM partner expansion and maturity as Dell accelerates revenue growth and expands addressable markets. In August TBR analyst Krista Macomber noted that Dell’s corporate revenue were estimated to have risen 5.9% year-to-year to $15.4 billion during 2Q14 and operating margin improved 180 basis points to 3.7%, and that its recovering hardware business will help corporate revenue grow 10.2% to $15 billion and operating margin rise 180...

Read More

Dell Targets Entry-Level Flash, Convergence, NFV Markets

AUSTIN: The opening product salvos at Dell World 2014 addressed some of the hottest – if still with the new-car-smell on them – technology trends, including flash storage, converged infrastructure and software-defined networking/Network Functions Virtualization (SDN/NFV). They were part of the product and services blitz bundled under what Michael Dell called the four customer imperatives: connect, inform, transform and protect. Among the announcements were: the Dell PowerEdge FX architecture, a new converged infrastructure solution; Web-scale, hyper-converged appliances; an entry-level all-flash storage array starting at $25,000; and an NFV initiative with Brocade and Intel. FX is Dell’s umbrella term for delivering a future-ready platform, able to bridge the way people are going to do software-defined architectures in the future, and today’s existing environment, said Brian Payne, Executive Director/Server Platform Planning, Dell. He said the company found while working with hyperconverged datacenter customers that they needed to bridge between current and emerging technologies, and were having to choose between different architectures. “We said that’s not an efficient way.” Dell recognized that they needed a better way, something more than the currently accepted conversed system  approach, he said. “We believe it’s this workload-defined infrastructure that’s converged.” The fundamental tenet is we have to build a bridge to these future software-defined technologies, said Payne. While commenting on the slightly more mundane storage side of the announcements, Dell’s Travis Vigil, Executive Director of Storage, was no-less excited, especially about the SC4020 Entry-Level All-Flash array. “We believe that to be the lowest entry price for any midrange array from any big vendor.” We are seeing customers really trying to get that performance boost from flash but in an economical way, he said. The XC Series of Web-scale Converged Appliances series is part of Dell’s overall approach to software-defined storage, said Vigil, and represents the initial product shipment stemming from the Nutanix OEM relationship announced in June. Sized for different workloads, i.e. VDI, private cloud, enterprise branch offices and fast recovery. Customers have been telling us even before shipping that they like that we’re doing these end-to-end reference architectures, as well as the single point of accountability for service and support that Dell will be providing. “There is tons of very early customer demand”. For the short term, the Storage SC Series all-flash array may deliver the biggest bang for Dell, said Charles King, Principal Analyst, Pund-IT, Inc. “I say that because flash seems to be driving IT purchasing discussions/decisions of every sort, and the quarter over quarter growth in flash sales are pretty phenomenal, especially when contrasted with traditional storage sales. Though many may consider flash to be a solution of primary interest to enterprises,...

Read More

News: Nutanix Climbs into Bed with Dell

On June 24, 2014, Nutanix released a statement that Dell has entered into an agreement to OEM Nutanix’s product and sell it globally. This is a big deal for Nutanix, as it has expanded its reach exponentially and now potentially could be front and center on Dell deals. I can understand Nutanix’s marketing team’s going into overdrive on this; however, it is telling that Dell lacks a corresponding statement on the deal. A look at Dell’s newsroom reveals statements about the purchases of Silver Lake and StatSoft, but no mention of the OEM (original equipment manufacturer) deal. Delving further, the last link in the “Dell in the News” section is dated June 20, 2014, and relates to the launch of the Dell Inspiron 11 machines. What about under “Press Releases”? Again, nothing about the new OEM deal. There is a reason for this: Dell OEMs many things. Just ask Nexenta; Dell entered into an OEM agreement with it to sell its storage product. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in The Virtualization Practice...

Read More
XPocalypse Now! Microsoft Pulls The Plug On XP Life Support
Apr11

XPocalypse Now! Microsoft Pulls The Plug On XP Life Support

‘After 12 years, support for Windows XP ended April 8, 2014.’ With that Microsoft statement, the popular operating system that refused to die when its successor Vista stumbled onto the scene and left an unmitigated disaster, is now “pining for the fjords”. There will be no more security updates or technical support.   ‘E’s not pinin’! ‘E’s passed on! This parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! ‘E’s expired and gone to meet ‘is maker! ‘E’s a stiff! Bereft of life, ‘e rests in peace! If you hadn’t nailed ‘im to the perch ‘e’d be pushing up the daisies! ‘Is metabolic processes are now ‘istory! ‘E’s off the twig! ‘E’s kicked the bucket, ‘e’s shuffled off ‘is mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin’ choir invisible!! THIS IS AN EX-PARROT!! [What’s an obituary without a gratuitous reference to Monty Python’s perfidous parrot.]   Gartner credits the end of XP support for helping the beleaguered PC market in the most recent quarter, where shipments only dropped 1.7%, the lowest quarterly drop over the last seven quarters. “The end of XP support by Microsoft on April 8 has played a role in the easing decline of PC shipments,” said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner. “All regions indicated a positive effect since the end of XP support stimulated the PC refresh of XP systems. Professional desktops, in particular, showed strength in the quarter. … We expect the impact of XP migration worldwide to continue throughout 2014.” However, that still leaves a lot of XP users, especially large organizations not known for throwing out technology. According to a recent analysis from Softchoice, 39% of over 314,000 devices scanned from 136 businesses are still on XP, down from 58% six months ago in October. However, 18% of businesses still have over 50% XP in their environment, and 7% still have over 80% XP. Better known for his expertise in semiconductors and flash storage, Jim Handy, Objective Analysis, wrote last week that he can’t wrap his head around Microsoft’s plans to phase out Windows XP. On the surface it makes a lot of sense for a program that is over twelve years old, and has undergone so many patches that it has most likely become very unwieldy to the programmers who maintain it. “But this ignores the fact that XP is still the second most popular PC operating system (30% of PCs still use it), trailing Windows 7 by only 18%. That 18% is more than the combined market share of the next four contenders, each of which has less than 7% share, including Mac OS X.” Handy likens...

Read More