Dell is Going Big but It’s Still Committed to its PC Business

By LAURA LOREK
Reporter with Silicon Hills News

Michael Dell at the Dell World press conference

Michael Dell at the Dell World press conference

At the Dell World press conference on Tuesday, the music gave a clue to what’s on Michael Dell’s mind these days.

American Authors’ song “Go Big or Go Home” blared over the speakers as a few hundred people waited for Dell to take the stage.

One of the lines is “I’m thinking life’s too short, it’s passing by, so if I’m going to go at all: Go Big or Go Home.”

Dell’s Go Big or Go Home deal is of course its proposed $67 billion merger with Boston-based EMC, the largest tech merger in history, which the company announced last week.

“I’m tremendously excited about this combination,” Dell said.

“It gives us a world leading company in the four significant areas of IT today: in servers, storage, virtualization and PCs” Dell said. “And it gives us an incredible position in the IT of tomorrow: digital transformation, converged infrastructure, the software defined data center, hybrid cloud, security and mobile.”

The combination company also give Dell “an incredibly strong go to market engine with access to the world’s largest companies as well as an incredible reach into small and medium businesses and emerging markets around the world,” Dell said.

The combined company would have more than $80 billion in revenue and be a leader in several IT industries.

In his Dell World keynote on Wednesday morning, Dell said he would spell out the company’s strategy and announce a number of new solutions. He said he was glad they announced the EMC deal last week.

Dell World is the sixth annual conference in which the company meets with several thousand customers, analysts, press and others in downtown Austin at the Austin Convention Center for a few days. It features an Expo with products and services from Dell and its customers as well as meetings and keynote talks.

“This week I get to explain what I call version 1.0 of the unifying theory of the universe,” Dell said.

Michael Dell and his senior management on stage at the Dell World press conference.

Michael Dell and his senior management on stage at the Dell World press conference.

During the question and answer session with reporters, his senior managers joined Dell on stage.

One reporter asked how Dell could digest such a big company like EMC when one of its competitors HP is dividing itself in two.

“We’ve got a different viewpoint as to how our company should evolve than HP does,” Dell said. “First off all, we think that scale is important. I think that when you look at this industry companies that have succeeded in the volume data center space have been attached to large PC businesses, client businesses and the volumes really matter.”

At this very moment, there’s an explosion in devices, not just PCs and smartphones but all the devices connected to the Internet of Things, Dell said.

“We also find that customers actually don’t want more suppliers; they want fewer suppliers,” Dell said.

One of the resounding things Dell said he has heard in the executive summit during the last few days at Dell World is Chief Information Officers at companies are telling Dell the merger makes their job a lot easier.

There’s been a lot of speculation, but Dell is fully committed to the hardware space, said Jeff Clarke, Dell’s vice president of operations and president of client solutions.

“We are absolutely committed to the PC space. It’s a scale business and we will participate in every piece of that,” Clarke said.

Phones haven’t replaced PCs, Clarke said. People still depend on PCs to do their jobs, he said.

“The world of a display, a keyboard and a microprocessor to do work is here, it isn’t going to go anywhere, and we’re committed to it,” Clarke said.

One reporter asked about the lack of innovation and creativity in the PC industry today.

Clarke said he didn’t think that was true. There’s been a tremendous amount of innovation in the PC space and it will only continue, he said. The industry has 1.8 billion installed base with 600 million PCs that are five years or older with a desire to upgrade, he said. Dell has the world’s smallest 13 inch and 15 inch notebooks with the highest definition zero infinity display and 18 hours of battery life, Clarke said.

Michael Dell also said China is the company’s second largest market behind North America. Dell has opened 12,000 company-owned stores throughout China, he said. Sales of PCs in China grew 10 percent last quarter, compared to a year ago, he said.

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