Dell (DELL) is trying hard to push beyond its legacy hardware provider status to become an end-to-end solution provider, tapping the myriad acquisitions it has made and realigning its business to address for major areas of growth, said Joanne Moretti, Dell Software VP and global head of Software Marketing.
“Dell overall is undergoing a big transformation,” she said. “We want to become a customer end-to-end solution provider, but we were ill-equipped to do that three or four years ago. Now we’re better equipped through acquisitions of about $10 billion in software services and organizations.”
Those acquisitions include—but certainly aren’t limited to—thin-client vendor Wyse Technology, application modernization software and services company Make Technologies, management behemoth Quest Software, security vendor SonicWALL, high-performance data center networking vendor Force10 Networks and cloud management provider Enstratius. Together, the acquisitions fill the gaps that until now prevented Dell from being that “be-all, end-all” technology company, Moretti said.
With such a full roster, however, Dell risked having a spaghetti bowl of offerings that didn’t integrate or align with other pieces of the business. So the company embarked on a mission to bring all the moving parts together to create one giant machine that is Dell.
“Rather than go at customers with a laundry list of offerings, we’ve tried to organize our strategy around what are customers thinking about,” she noted.
The company came up with four areas that address customer needs and also include all of Dell’s technologies. The areas are broad, for sure, but with a portfolio as broad as Dell’s has become, Dell had to go big or go home, it seems.
In no particular order, Dell’s four area of focus are:
- Helping customers transform—could be a networking transformation, a switch to the cloud, a switch from hardware to virtualized environments … in short, a lot things, Moretti said;
- Helping customers protect themselves—this could include protection of applications, data centers, data, networks … you name it;
- Helping inform customers end to end—obviously, Big Data and analytics fit into this category, as Moretti pointed out that according to some stats, 90 percent of all digitized data been created in the last two years; and
- Helping customers connect—mobile apps and anytime, anywhere access, mixed in with a healthy dose of BYOD and mobility, are driving many new customer deals.
“All our business units are lined up to focus on those core things so we aren’t randomly building products and services,” Moretti said.
Each one of those areas, she noted, has partners who excel in those areas. “Now we can cross-enable them and create more revenue and margin for our partners. If a partner has been selling hardware it can sell software and services to fill out end-to-end solution.”
It sounds like a sound plan, and at first glance, it most likely will help its partners drive additional revenue. Heck, it may even spur more collaboration among partners. The great unknown, of course, is what impact (if any) the July 18 shareholder vote to take Dell private will have on the business as a whole.
Still, kudos to Dell for not letting its acquisitions flounder, as so many other companies have done in the past, and working to align them with the company as a whole to create real value for its channel partners and its customers.