On-demand Cloud compute won't kill on-premise server market: Dell

Tablet PCs won't canabalise PC and laptop sales either Dell A/NZ boss Joe Kremer says

Despite a maturing Cloud sector making the procurement of virtual servers an increasingly attractive alternate to physical ones, Dell has no fears that sales of its mid-range hardware will decline any time soon.

According to Dell’s A/NZ managing director, Joe Kremer, Dell’s share in the server market had accelerated in recent months despite competitive Cloud offerings.

“In the last 12 months, the rate at which we are gaining share has accelerated — similarly with storage,” he claimed. “I think people are going to naturally migrate to value.”

Kremer also claimed Dell’s strategy was paying dividends against Sun despite its acquisition by Oracle.

“If you have a strategy which… tells customers, ‘first, throw everything you have in the garbage, then buy everything new but only from me, then buy all this software, and consulting and managed services people and embed them in your organisation, and you can never change, and it is potentially very expensive’ then there are only a subset of people who are going to go down that path,” he said.

“We have a software stack and toolset which, we think, is best in industry and will quite happily run other people’s hardware and manage those environments. If you implement Dell and two years later decide you don’t like us anymore, you can change.”

Recent data from Gartner would appear to back up Kremer’s argument, with the analyst firm finding that in the Asia Pacific, Q3 2010 server sales grew some 25.7 per cent over Q3 2009.

Dell’s sales over the same period increased 21 per cent, while share increased against declines in HP and IBM’s share. However, Oracle did manage to increase share over the same period by 0.6 per cent and increase sales by 18.8 per cent.

Globally, however, Oracle declined 2.6 per cent in sales and slipped 1.2 per cent in share over the same period. Dell share increased 0.8 per cent and sales increased 25.6 per cent.

Tablet PCs won’t cannibalise desktops and laptops

Commenting on the potential of tablet PCs equipped with add-on keyboards to be an attractive alternative to desktop PCs and laptops, Kremer said the company

“I always worry, but I worry about lots of other things that might or could happen,” he said. “If someone needs to do a lot of data input, more often than not, it is just a little easier with a laptop or a desktop and a substantial screen. I carry a Streak [tablet], but when I have to do a lot of email or open attachments it is just easier to use [a laptop or PC].

“I don’t think everyone will rush of [and standardise on tablet PCs]. I think there are some security questions that people have, and as you see more devices from Dell which fit into our eco-system, which have broad tech support or pro support offerings I think we will continue to be successful.”

Despite this, Kremer said it was possible that refresh cycles in three years’ time could see organisations standardising on iPads or Android-based tablet PCs in the place of laptops or desktops.

“I think it’s a possibility, but thin client is a possibility and other virtualised implementations of a thin client are a possibility… that said, we are continuing to gain share in the desktop and laptop client space.”

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