Acquisitions drive Dell evolution

CEO, Michael Dell, wants company to be IT solutions provider

Michael Dell speaks at the Kace customer conference.

Michael Dell speaks at the Kace customer conference.

Virtualisation, Cloud computing and tablets are the next target markets for PC maker Dell as it repositions itself as IT solutions provider — and it has been on the acquisition trail to make it happen.

Speaking at the Take Your Own Path global media summit in Round Rock, Texas, chairman and CEO, Michael Dell, said five years ago notebooks, desktops and servers were its main products. But that is changing.

“Where Dell is evolving is to provide complete solutions to business institutions of all sizes," he said. "To do that, we need to have more intellectual properties so we have been buying eight companies a year.”

One of those companies is systems management provider Kace, which the company acquired in February 2010.

“When you think about the Cloud, integration is a huge challenge and that is why we bought Kace," Dell said. "We’re investing heavily in it and it will be a foundation technology that will allow Dell to provide a role as a cloud service provider."

The CEO considers the Cloud an area that is going to “grow tremendously”.

“We’re making investments that are going to help our customers embrace those types of technologies. They will have a seamless way of evolving from on premise (services) to Cloud.”

He said Dell will focus on certain verticals and build private clouds for vertical customers. It also plans to build more data centres around the world.

Turning to virtualisation, he said there is still a long way to go in terms of utilising the power of virtualisation across business and enterprise.

“We see a role for us in terms of helping companies take advantage of virtualisation services.”

Mobility is also a target for the company; about five billion people in the world have mobile phones but only 200 million of those phones are smartphones.

“We see enormous growth in that area in the next five years and with it the need to create capabilities to support the transition," Dell said. "That enables new ways of thinking and how work gets done.”

The company recently launched the Streak tablet and had identified tablets as a big growth opportunity.

“You will see a number of new products from us next year and we’re in discussions with application providers," said Dell. "We’re excited about Android and mobile devices. We also believe there will be a role for Windows in this space."

One area Dell will not be branching into, however, is branded stores.

“We have partners who have stores and many of those stores are addressing the small business,” he said.

Hamish Barwick travelled to Texas as a guest of Dell.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAu

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