Employment contract for Dell A/NZ MD set to expire in 2008

Dell increases local headcount by 130 in 2007

With his employment contract set to expire in February 2008, Dell Australia managing director, Joe Kremer, has been forced to review his career prospects.

Kremer has led Dell's local operations at a time when the company has undergone significant transformation and growth.

He was appointed in March 2005 under a three year contract and has been charged with leading the company as it made significant inroads into the enterprise market with new storage and networking offerings.

Kremer told Computerworld he has extended his contract for at least another 12 months and is happy to remain in Australia for the next couple of years before returning to his hometown of Texas in the United States.

He said 2007 has been the best year in the history of the company with Dell Australia employing an additional 130 staff.

"The increase in headcount is due to strong growth; we have even created new positions to meet demand," Kremer said.

He said the growth is also the result of recent acquisitions, particularly SAN (storage area network) vendor EqualLogic for US$1.4 billion.

EqualLogic sells iSCSI (Internet Small Computer System Interface) SAN products optimized for virtualization and the acquisition will strengthen Dell's efforts to simplify and virtualize IT for its customers.

Internet SCSI allows for SCSI commands and storage traffic to occur over existing IP (Internet Protocol) networks, which can lead to lower costs, easier maintenance and simpler management.

EqualLogic has more than 3,200 customers in 30 countries. It shipped its first product in June 2003.

Kremer said the pace of consolidation is likely to increase. In the last two years Dell has acquired five companies.

He said Dell will continue to push the company's "simplify IT" program.

It aims to cut corporate IT management costs, thus freeing up spending for use on new computers and servers.

Kremer said 70 percent of IT spending is used maintaining old systems leaving only 30 percent for new purchases or innovation.

"We need to flip that 70/30," he said.

In the enterprise, Kremer attributed the strong growth to the number of organizations making the shift from a Unix environment to Dell servers.

"We are liberating the customer," he added.

Dell managed to record revenue growth for the third quarter which was boosted by an increase in global notebook sales.

The company reported net income of US$766 million with third-quarter revenue of $15.65 billion for the quarter ending November 2, a nine per cent year-over-year increase.

Revenue from mobility products, including notebooks, increased 19 per cent globally.

When Kremer was first appointed managing director in Australia he replaced David Miller, who moved to China.

Kremer joined Dell as vice president of sales in the United States, and prior to this held a number of management positions at IBM.

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