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Dell Slams Rivals, Pushes New Converged Infrastructure Plays
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Michael Endler
Michael Endler,
User Rank: Author
11/7/2014 | 12:57:07 PM
Re: Dell World mood
Great question, Laurie. Generally, I think the mood was positive. I think a lot of customers appreciate that Dell wants to make the cloud more accessible and user-friendly but doesn't have a dog in the infrastructure and ecosystem fights in the same sense that some rival companies do. As Matthew elaborated in his post in this thread, many of Michael Dell's jabs at IBM and HP referenced this theme-- that Dell is interested in helping customers manage whatever services they happen to purchase from Microsoft, Amazon, Joyent, etc, whereas some others are interested in pushing people to one service or another. That said, I got the sense from some people at larger companies that many of the sessions that seemed interesting ended up being more SMB-focused than they'd like. But I think that's probably a case-by-case observations. I also got the sense that the smaller companies didn't see some of the big data ideas discussed as immediately applicable (i.e. next 1-2 years) to their businesses, for example. Most attendees seemed to like that Michael Dell seemed so confident, even smug at points. I talked to a few people who didn't have any negative comments, per se, but who felt the conference was only "okay"-- e.g. full of evolutionary advances, but not necessarily anything that blew their minds.


User Rank: Apprentice
11/7/2014 | 10:48:18 AM
Re: Shifting into reverse while moving forward - Is that accurate?
Charlie, I work for Dell.

Your commentary is absolutely fair, but the context is missing on the leading and trainling edge of it. The chaos and disorganization is with realtion to how our competition is focusing on itself, or on customers. Where it is investing R&D to advance their own agendas in the public sphere or those of customers. I encourage you to read the keynote to get the complete story - Text of the speech as prepared for delivery is available in the Dell World 2014 Press Kit

On the trailing end, the plans that were made with respect to the approach to delivering clouds with datacenters across the world were the same that the competition was doing, but it also ran the risk of alienating our partners and limiting the reach that we would have to service the needs of clients: Yes we do that, or no we don't - very binary. By deciding to provide partners with the technology in their own datacenters and enabling clients to have choice and access that through a portal that allows them to choose what is best for specific use cases makes more sense and better services their needs. I would say that was accomplished in a ""highly organized, non-chaotic way."

The result is that clients can access service providers like Microsoft, Amazon, Joyent, Centurylink, R-Systems and others, while normalizing access to those resources through Boomi, Dell Cloud Manager, or the tools they are already using.

So was this a shift into reverse? Perhaps a better car analogy has little to do with forward and reverse, but more to do with understanding that there are 5 gears plus reverse, and that there is an accelerator and brake that allow us to change speed and direction as the conditions change. That's the fleixibility that Dell has now that we are a privately held company that can focus on our clients, not on what the market dictates. A roadmap tells you where you are and where you want to be, but it doesn't tell you what detours and weather conditions will be along the way. The reaction and response to those situations as well as looking ahead to see what roadblocks may be there is what has gotten Dell where we are today.
User Rank: Black Belt
11/7/2014 | 6:58:44 AM
Re: Shifting into reverse while moving forward
Very valid point. If what a company does is sell boxes (one more compute and storage, than other) than any other meaningful IP or software, it will be tough to grow. However, DELL may not severely undercut it prices (no Wall Street pressure) to gain some market share. Moreover, IBM (if not HP) is moving away from these businesses and focusing more on software and services. DELL brought high paid executives to give life to the dying services business. Pretty much nothing has come out of it. It can sell as many laptops but that is not where money is. Dell has no play in mobility (device or software) and is not perceived as a technology company. Their hope to survive is to reduce price and start customizing their server farms and assets to cloud providers.
User Rank: Ninja
11/7/2014 | 12:48:54 AM
Re: Dell World mood
Innovating and providing more intuitive solutions over rivals like HP is going to really help Dell outpace everyone else.

I remember when Dell first got into the server market by offering really great deals to organizations. I expect to see a continuation of that type of strategy now that Dell is private and can focus on long-term prospects. 
D. Henschen
D. Henschen,
User Rank: Author
11/6/2014 | 7:23:51 PM
Re: Shifting into reverse while moving forward
Ouch, Charlie, you have a good memory! Perhaps Dell plans to do more partnering with Micrsoft in the cloud? Dell also wants to get serious on software, but there's only so much you can do when you're not Microsoft, Oracle or IBM. Thus far Dell has been smart enough to partner with database and Hadoop vendors rather than try to be a data-platform player. Maybe they've reached the same conclusion on the need for yet another cloud?

Do you think HP's Helion has a unique and viable long-term play up against the likes of Amazon, Microsoft, IBM and a bunch of focused best-of-breed cloud providers?
Charlie Babcock
Charlie Babcock,
User Rank: Author
11/6/2014 | 5:42:38 PM
Shifting into reverse while moving forward
HP and IBM have grown too chaotic and disorganized to serve customers needs? If I were a Dell executive, I would hope HP and IBM don't point out Steve Shuckenbrock's announcement of Dell's entry into public cloud computing on April 7, 2011, It planned 12 hyperscale data centers around the world, later announcing one was ready in the U.S. and one in the U.K. After the first 2, it then backed out of the cloud. Perhaps it did so in a highly organized, non-chaotic way.
User Rank: Author
11/6/2014 | 4:11:49 PM
Dell World mood
Michael, can you give us a sense of the mood of attendees this year? Were they excited about the move back to a private model for Dell? Where does the company have convincing to do?

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