Tag: Dellworld

The Cultural Fit Between Dell and EMC

Reporter with Silicon Hills News

Steve Price, senior vice president of human resources at Dell, courtesy photo.

Steve Price, senior vice president of human resources at Dell, courtesy photo.

During the last seven years, Dell spent $14 billion to acquire more than 30 companies to reinvent itself into an “end to end solutions company.”

“We have developed this real muscle around taking in companies, integrating companies and incubating companies,” said Steve Price, Dell’s senior vice president of human resources. “We have learned a lot from all of that activity. It has reinforced this entrepreneurial culture inside the company.”

And that experience is why, in part, Dell knows its merger with EMC will succeed, Price said during an interview at DellWorld 2015 on Wednesday.

Maybe seven years ago, Dell might not have been prepared to take on an acquisition like data storage giant EMC Corp., but now it’s ready, Price said.

In one of the largest tech deals ever, Dell announced recently plans to merge with EMC in a $67 billion deal that would add another 70,000 employees and $24 billion in revenue. Dell has $58 billion a year in revenues and 100,000 employees including 12,000 at its headquarters in Round Rock.

“I say you probably give these things a 50/50 hit rate under normal conditions,” Price said. “But we go into this one with a spirit of optimism and excitement for a couple of reasons.”

In the last year, Dell did a culture study inside the company with 50,000 employees voluntarily participating. The study spelled out the top three things that matter most to Dell’s culture. Dell’s relationship with customers ranked number one, a competitive spirit and passion for winning ranked second followed by a drive for results, Price said.

When Dell looked at what was important in EMC’s culture it was the same top three things, Price said.

Price, who has been with Dell for 19 years, has seen the company go through a lot of changes and he has seen it intentionally foster a cultural of innovation and entrepreneurialism.

But it wasn’t always easy, Price said.

During the dot com crash, Dell had its first company layoffs. It was the first setback for a company on rocket-ship growth, Price said. Dell created a lot of wealth, its stock was splitting all the time and it was a darling of Wall Street, but then the slowdown served as a time for reflection, Price said.

In 2001, Dell started to focus on cultivating its culture and the quality of its leadership and the development of its team, Price said.

Dell had this amazing period of growth again, Price said. It lowered pricing, took a bunch of market share worldwide and grew from a $30 billion to a $55 billion company in a five-year period, he said.

In 2008, the financial crisis hit. Dell went through another realignment and began to embark on its journey to become an end-to-end solutions company, Price said.

“Then when Michael took the company private a few years ago this entrepreneurial DNA inside the company was unleashed again,” Price said. “Culturally that’s really powerful.”

As Dell has gone through its acquisitions, it has gained an appreciation for the different cultures of the companies it buys, Price said. It likes their simplicity, direct communications and focus on innovation, he said.

“I think what we learned is it’s not about homogenizing all of these companies and cultures and making them one thing,” Price said. “It’s about identifying and understanding what is unique, specific and special about these various cultures.”

When putting Dell and EMC together, there’s not a tremendous amount of overlap in customers and products, Price said. EMC is strong in the enterprise space and Dell is strong in the medium to small business space. Already, both companies are trying to get commercial agreements in place to begin sales because the opportunity is so great, Price said.

The companies are already familiar with each other, Price said. In 2005, Dell entered into a partnership with EMC. It grew into a $2 billion business over a decade, he said.

“When you think about integration and what gives you a higher probability of success it is the fact that we know them already and they know us,” Price said.

The Dell and EMC merger is expected to close late next summer or early fall, Price said.

Michael Dell’s entrepreneurial instincts and his boldness and risk taking nature are key to the deal, Price said.

“It’s more heavily weighted that we can do this and do it well, than not,” Price said.

At the heart of its culture, Dell has a history of doing things that people said couldn’t be done, Price said.

“They said Michael would never be anything more than a mail order catalog company,” Price said. “He’ll never be in the corporate PC space. Dell is number one in the corporate PC space.”

“Never move into workstations, just not that kind of company,” Price said. “Dell became number one in workstations.”

“Never move into the server space. Just not an enterprise sort of company – became number one in servers,” Price said.

“Never be able to take the company private, got issues with the board, blah, blah, blah, took the company private,” he said. “Never would become an end-to-end solutions company well pretty much overnight we became the world’s number one end-to-end solutions company. Never be able to integrate Dell-EMC, I’m not betting against it.”

Editor’s note: Dell has provided sponsorship of Silicon Hills News

Austin-based PenPal Schools Wins the Dell World 2014 Pitch Slam Competition

PenPalSchools_blue_square_RGBSeven startups pitched before Michael Dell and a panel of judges at Dell World and Austin-based PenPal Schools won the Pitch Days 2014 competition.

“We were incredibly impressed,” with all of the startups, Dell said. “Ultimately we liked PenPal Schools as the winner.”

PenPal Schools, a Capital Factory incubator company which moved to Austin three months ago, connects more than 50,000 students from more than 40 countries worldwide, said Joe Troyen, its founder. PenPal Schools participated in the New York-based ed tech accelerator Socratic Labs.

PenPal Schools allows students to practice their language skills through one on one PenPal interactions and by learning through news and current events, he said. It also lets them learn about new cultures and countries, he said.

PenPal Schools is growing quickly through word of mouth marketing among the teachers and schools, Troyen said.

PenPal schools also offers PenPal Lingo curriculum which connects students to native speakers to learn about life in their PenPal’s country.

Dell judged the competition with Heidi Messer, co-founder of Collective[i] and Chris Valentine, producer of the annual SXSW Accelerator competition.

Dell for Entrepreneurs presented the Pitch Slam event at Dell World. During 2014, Dell held more than 10 pitch slam competitions nationwide with the top companies in Healthcare, Education and the Internet of Things winning a spot in the competition at Dell World. Each company gave a five minute pitch followed by questions and answers.

Dell Performs Well as a Private Company

Reporter with Silicon Hills News

A year ago, Dell went private, the largest company ever to do so.

And Michael Dell, its founder and CEO, couldn’t be happier.

“I believe one of the advantages of being private is that we can direct 100 percent of our energy toward the success of our customers and partners and focus on a future that is well beyond the next quarter or the next year or the next shareholder activist,” Dell said. He kicked off the fourth annual Dell World, an event that attracts thousands of Dell customers and partners to Austin, during a press conference Tuesday afternoon.

Dell didn’t mention Hewlett-Packard by name, but alluded to HP’s recent announcement about plans to split itself into two separate companies. And other upheaval in the industry like IBM’s move to sell its server business to Lenovo. He said the moves created chaos and uncertainty for customers and partners.

Being private gives Dell the “the freedom and the focus that we love to have and that is translating into results,” Dell said.

B1oVPtlCYAEPXlTDell is the fastest growing large integrated IT company in the world, Dell said.

“Delivering year over year growth across every region in the world,” he said.

The company grew its PC shipments worldwide by 10 percent in the third quarter, Dell said. In the U.S., Dell grew its share by 19.7 percent. Overall, in the U.S., PC shipments grew by 4.3 percent, he said. Excluding Dell from total data, the rest of the industry grew just 0.2 percent, he said.

“We still believe the PC is how real business gets done,” Dell said.

Dell is number one in servers in North America and is number one in storage and it has had double-digit growth year over year in its software business and its number one in healthcare IT services, Dell said.

Dell also just announced a new customer service center in Chicago. It now has 15 customer service centers in 11 countries, Dell said.

Dell has aligned its business around four major customer imperatives: transform, inform, connect and protect, he said.

Concern about security is the number one prohibiter to the adoption of cloud technologies, big data, and mobility for companies, Dell said. That’s why security is one of Dell’s main priorities to address for its customers, he said.

During the question and answer session with reporters and analysts, someone asked Dell if the company is doing so well, why did it lay off employees. Dell confirmed to CNBC that it was laying off a few thousand employees this year. The company has 109,000 employees worldwide. In response, Dell said that it offered voluntary severance packages to employees to realign its business to meet areas of growth and expansion. He said as Dell grows, some positions are no longer necessary, but the company is hiring employees in sales, research and development and other areas, he said.

How to Get Dell Ventures to Invest in Your Startup

Jim Lussier, managing director of Dell Ventures, photo courtesy of Dell

Jim Lussier, managing director of Dell Ventures, photo courtesy of Dell

Dell Ventures, the investment arm of Dell, has announced a new $300 million Strategic Innovation Venture Fund.
The goal of the venture fund is to find the next Michael Dell, said Jim Lussier, managing director of Dell Ventures.
The fund will invest in early-to-growth stage companies, particularly targeting storage, cloud computing, big data, next generation data center, security and mobility.
Dell has invested in one seed stage company. It will invest in Series A, B, C and even D rounds.
The latest fund builds on the $60 million Dell Fluid Data Storage Fund announced last year.
Silicon Hills News sat down last Friday at Dell World with Lussier to ask questions about the new venture fund.
“We’ve already made investments so today is just to announce the expansion of our focus and the capital to do it,” Lussier said.

Q. Where does the initial $60 million storage fund stand, has all the money been invested?

A. No. The plan with the initial $60 million storage fund was to invest over 18 months to 36 months and we’re well on our way to reaching the target with the number of investments. And we always reserve a significant portion of the fund for follow on investments. The startups are really early stage. It may be two, four or six years before they achieve liquidity and we want to be there for these startups all the way through. So we have some capital remaining in that allocation to support those startups. And then we have additional fresh capital for all these new areas.

Q. Have 14 companies received funding so far?

A. Yes, and there’s even more than that. We’ve closed more and we’re announcing even more.

Q. How is the $300 million fund carved up?

A. We have some guidelines. But we don’t have hard specific allocations for each area. We want to have some flexibility as opportunities unfold to invest in all these areas. There may be a new area that unfolds that we may add to this. I think the main point is we’ve got $300 million to invest in innovation that’s strategic to Dell that will help our customers and help entrepreneurs to be more successful.

Q. Does the fund invest globally?

A. Primarily in the U.S. We’re open to investments anywhere in the world. We are primarily focused in the U.S. with investment teams in Austin and Silicon Valley. We also have some venture funds that we’ve invested in emerging markets like China and Russia and other areas that gives us eyes and ears into those markets.

Q. What’s the initial range for investment deals?

A. Our average investment is $3 million to $5 million. But we’ve got a lot of flexibility in our model and we can range from anywhere from $2 million or less to $15 million or more. We’ve done less. We’ve done more. So we’re investing in early to growth stage companies. We invest in everything from pre-revenue to companies that have a $5 million, $10 million or more run rate.

Q. How does a startup approach Dell Ventures? Is there an online application?

A. It’s almost like approaching any other VC. The best way to approach us is through a warm introduction. That can be from someone in a business unit at Dell. It can be through someone in the VC community. It can be through your own personal network. We do have a website and there is a contact there. Business plans can be submitted that way. But the best way is through a personal, warm introduction, as opposed to an email over the transit.

Q. What happens once Dell invests in a company?

A. Generally, our model is to co-invest with other financial and strategic investors. We can lead rounds. We prefer to join an existing syndicate. We tend to go on the board as an observer. We become your advocate inside and outside Dell as that board observer. We involve the business units that are appropriate so that information that is helpful to the startup is communicated within the business unit. Proprietary information is held confidential.

Q. Is the Dell Venture Fund part of Dell’s acquisition strategy?

A. It’s a complement to our M&A strategy. We will invest in companies to learn, to support a commercial partnership that we’re doing. Down the road we may acquire that company but it’s not a prerequisite.

Q. Does Dell have a formal startup program for entrepreneurs?

A. The programs we have for entrepreneurs are the Dell Founders Club, which provides networking opportunities and access. We’ve got the Dell Innovators Credit Fund where Dell Venture backed companies can secure financing for products and services on good terms.

Q. Where is the pipeline of investment deals coming from? Are you getting a lot from Austin?

A. I think it’s pretty evenly represented in where the venture investment is. Some of the latest statistics I’ve seen say 40 percent of all venture investment is done in Northern California and another 10 percent in Southern California. So probably half the deals we’re seeing are in California. The East Coast probably represents another 25 percent between New York and Boston. Austin is in there. It’s a healthy and growing percentage. Healthy and growing single digit percentage. We do see a number of interesting companies coming from Austin. It seems like it’s a really vibrant entrepreneurial area for us.

Q. Has Dell invested in any Austin or Central Texas startups? Can you name them? Do you disclose them?

A. We’ve got a number of deals we’re looking at from Austin. We will disclose the deals on a case by case basis. We’ve invested in two already and there will be another on Monday. There will be selective disclosure when it’s in a company’s best interest to disclose. Sometimes they want to disclose it or sometimes they don’t. We, for our own reasons, might not want to show our hand to the whole world.

Q. Is Dell looking at consumer facing investments?

A. Yes, we are, opportunistically. We announced those six focus areas but it’s in our interest to remain open and flexible and opportunistic and we do see deal flow in and around consumer facing technologies. We’re focused elsewhere but we do see deal flow in that area.

Q. Are you seeing quality deals or are you seeing deals that reflect the 2000 era of the Dot Com bubble?

A. I’d like to think we would invest in only quality deals. I’ve been involved in venture investing since 2000 and there’s always a mix of quality teams with disruptive ideas and great business plans combined with some ideas that are less compelling. And, as you know, we’ll look at 100 companies before we’ll fund one and so we’re very selective. I don’t see a huge difference. I think it’s always been that way.

Q. What advice would you give to entrepreneurs?

A. Know your market. Understand the customer needs. Make sure you’re solving a big problem, a real problem. Work hard to get the right people around your idea.

Q. What mistakes do entrepreneurs make when they are pitching to you?

A. They need to build for the long-term. You want to build a company to eventually IPO. Not every company will get there. But if you build with that mind, you may get some opportunities along the way and you may get an offer that you can’t pass up. If you build it to sell it, you may sub-optimize opportunities. I think some entrepreneurs are overly obsessed with valuations. It’s important to create a valuation that is good for the company and the employees you are yet to hire and good for the investors and creates an opportunity to explore an up round in the future. I think another thing is to be capital efficient. Make as much progress as you can before you talk to us. Take as much risk out of the idea as possible on your own resources and through family and friends. That way you’ll maximize your chances of getting funding in the first place and on more attractive terms.

Q. What kind of stake does Dell take in a company it invests in?

A. We want to own enough of the company for it to be important to us and for it to be important to the company. It will vary depending on the situation.

Q. How is going private going to impact Dell Ventures?

A. Whether public or private, my marching orders have been to do more, invest more, go faster and this $300 million fund is evidence of our intent to actually accelerate our investment pace and to make more bets and bolder bets going forward.

Q. Anything else that you would like to add or make a point of that I have not asked you about?

A. It’s an exciting time to be at Dell. This is a team effort between the business units, our corporate office, the CTO, the Dell Ventures team as well as the VCs and all the entrepreneurs we’ve worked with. We’re really excited about what we’ve been able to build so far and we’re very optimistic about the future.

Guavas, Neverware and Fantoo Win Dell’s Pitch Slam

Founder of Silicon Hills News

BbUE_U6CQAA5dXxGuavus, Neverware and Fantoo won the votes of the judges at the first Pitch Slam event at Dell World.
Michael Dell cast his vote for Guavus, based in San Mateo, which has raised $48 million in three series of funding since 2006. The company has created analytics applications that pull data from companies and give them a competitive edge by uncovering new insights to help them make better decisions.
The United Nations Foundation’s Resident Entrepreneur Elizabeth Gore voted for Neverware, which has created software to extend the lifetime of computers in schools and to allow them to run the latest software applications.
The New York-based startup, founded in 2011, has raised $1 million in seed-stage funding. It’s software and hardware, called a Juicebox, is currently in more than 100 schools in the New York area and it plans to expand nationwide next year, said Neverware’s CEO Jonathan Hefter.
And Shark Tank star and FUBU Founder Daymond John voted for Fantoo, based in London, has created a personal intelligence engine for email and messaging. The company can tell through data analysis which emails are priorities and send them to the top of the inbox, said Jordan Fantaay, its founder. This year, the company raised $788,000 in crowdfunding.
Ingrid Vanderveldt, Dell’s Entrepreneur in Residence, moderated the event.
The seven startups had five minutes to deliver their pitch and three minutes for Q&A from the judges at the Social Media Theater at the Dell World Expo before a packed crowd. People filled every seat and several sat on the floor while others stood along the perimeter to watch the event.

Ihiji co-founder and CEO Stuart Rench pitching at Dell's Pitch Slam event at Dell World.

Ihiji co-founder and CEO Stuart Rench pitching at Dell’s Pitch Slam event at Dell World.

The only Austin-based team ihiji received a warm reception from the crowd. The company has created software combined with a palm-sized device that lets IT workers easily detect, diagnose and resolve network problems, said Stuart Rench, its co-founder and CEO.
It was seeking a partnership with Dell.
The other teams included Nebula, an integrated hardware and software appliance to provide cloud services, SimpleRelevance, an email marketing company, and Bottlenose, an enterprise trend intelligence company.

Video from Dell:

Seven Companies to Pitch to Michael Dell at DellWorld

images-3Dell’s first Pitch Slam takes place Thursday afternoon at Dell World in downtown Austin.
Dell chose six companies from regional pitch events and a final company via an online pitch contest to pitch their businesses to Michael Dell, Shark Tank’s Daymond John and the UN Foundation’s Resident Entrepreneur Elizabeth Gore.
The event is being livestreamed by Dell starting at 2 p.m. Central time.
The companies include:

Guavus, won Dell’s online contest for the final spot in the contest. It is a Silicon Valley-based big data analytics company.

Neverware based in New York, creates a box loaded with special software that connect to a school’s network to allow old computers to run the latest applications. It is in 100 schools in the New York area right now.

Nebula, based in Silicon Valley, creates cloud computing solutions that allow companies to “easily, securely and inexpensively deploy scale-out private cloud computing infrastructures from racks of industry‐standard servers.”

SimpleRelevance, based in Chicago, has created social media software for companies that can distinguish sentiment in online posts.

ihiji, based in Austin, offers a “zero maintenance cloud-based remote network management solution for IT professionals and technology integrators.”

Bottlenose, based in Los Angeles, has created social media monitoring software for companies.

Fantoo based in London, has developed “software that turns mundane, cluttered inboxes into an interactive, pleasant environment.”

The New Dell is More Entrepreneurial and Innovative

Founder of Silicon Hills News

At Dell World, Michael Dell unveiled his new, private innovative and entrepreneurial technology company.
The Round Rock-based company, which employs about 14,000 people in Central Texas, no longer has to adhere to the demands of the public stock market.
As a result, Dell said the company can invest in new startups and take a long term view on innovation.
Earlier this year, Dell took the company private in a $25 billion buyout deal which left him with a 75 percent ownership stake. Silver Lake Partners controls the rest.
And the “world’s largest startup” kicked off its new outlook by announcing a $300 million Dell Ventures fund, which will invest in early to growth stage companies. Already, Dell has invested in 14 companies. It expects to invest $60 million within the next three to five years.
Dell also announced new partnerships with Dropbox, Google, Microsoft Azure, Accenture and Red Hat OpenStack to develop new products for the Cloud.
Dell is not abandoning its hardware business, Dell said, during a press conference following his keynote talk at Dell World. This is the third year Dell has hosted Dell World, but its first time as a private company. About 6,000 people are attending the three day conference, which ends Friday at the Austin Convention Center.
During his morning keynote address, Dell outlined the company’s strategy as a private company. It’s a lot like the strategy he has outlined since 2008 when the company began acquiring software and other businesses to complement its technology and expand its services and solutions business.
“We’re disrupting and democratizing software, services and solutions, the way we did PCs and servers.” Dell said. “And we’ve seen the power of technology to enfranchise and empower people. And today the forces of cloud, mobility, social, big data, security are creating a new model for technology, in fact, a new model for society.”
“They’re the foundation of the modern infrastructure, the highways, the bridges, the telephone lines, the airports of the 21st Century,” Dell said. “Connecting and networking our world. And now we’re going to do what Dell does best. We’re going to innovate and make the technology behind these forces more accessible, more affordable, easier to own, easier to capture value from and easier to operate.”
Dell will focus on helping entrepreneurial ventures launch and expand, along with small businesses, and it also will focus on improving and supporting large enterprises. The company also plans to collaborate more and focus on the global economy.
Dell has been pursuing this vision with a consistent strategy for the last five years. It has invested $13 billion to diversify its business and to offer more software, services and cloud solutions to its customers. Dell has doubled its solutions business from $10 billion to $20 billion.
As a private company, Dell can accelerate its strategy and take a longer-term view of innovation.
Dell announced two new programs focused on innovation at Dell World.
The first program is an internal or organic innovation program through the Dell research division focused on disruptive technology, Dell said. It has a long-range focus of five to ten years out, Dell said. It will also collaborate with leading research institutions to harvest the latest technology.
The second announcement is the $300 million Dell Venture Fund focused on early to growth stage companies in core technology areas. Dell plans to make investments in its four core business groups: end user computing, enterprise solutions, software and services.
“At Dell our commitment to innovation has never been greater,” Dell said.
Despite all the changes, Dell is also still committed to its hardware business of PCs, tablets and servers.
The server is becoming the center of the data center and Dell plans to be number one in market share worldwide, Dell said.
“We’re in it to win it,” he said.
Beyond that, Dell has dramatically expanded its capabilities in storage, networking and security.
“The real innovation comes when you combine these together,” Dell said.
At the heart of Dell’s new initiatives is the cloud.
“The cloud is the new model for tech,” Dell said. “At Dell, we’re making sure you’re positioned to be in a Cloud-based world.”
Dell also announced a new partnership with Red Hat to co-engineer products for Openstack, the free cloud-based architecture.

Dell Partners to offer Dropbox for Business on Dell’s Cloud

BbSuJCnCEAAaq9aWonder why Dropbox expanded to Austin and opened an office here earlier this year?
One big reason could be Dell.
Dell and Dropbox announced a partnership Thursday at Dell World to create Dropbox for Business using the Cloud. Dell, which went public earlier this year, is hosting Dell World at the Austin Convention Center through Friday. The company is moving to become more entrepreneurial.
The customers that are succeeding are taking advantage of technology, said Michael Dell, CEO of Dell.
“The combination of Dell and Dropbox provides a great solution for customers,” Dell said.
Dell’s strategic partnership with Dropbox will help its commercial customers access data anywhere at anytime. That will help customers become more productive and promote greater file sharing and collaboration among remote workers.
“Dropbox is one of the most innovative and fastest growing start-ups and the most popular solution of its kind,” said Brett Hansen, executive director, end user computing software at Dell. “Now through Dell’s global sales team, Dropbox and Dell can help organizations of all sizes embrace consumerization of IT while protecting company data.”
Dell now offers Dropbox for Business plus Dell Data Protection Cloud, part of the Dell Data Protection solutions portfolio, to let employees use their favorite cloud storage application at work.
“Dropbox has always been about giving people a simple, elegant way to access their most important digital stuff, and today Dropbox is used in over 4 million businesses because it’s easy to use, easy to deploy and offers a secure, centralized location for company data,” said Marc Leibowitz, global vice president of partnerships, Dropbox. “
More than 200 million people and 4 million businesses including BCBG, Kayak, National Geographic and Rockstar Energy use Dropbox and 1 billion files are uploaded to Dropbox every 24 hours.

Dell provides solutions to law enforcement officials

During his keynote address at Dell World Thursday, Michael Dell proclaimed that Dell is no longer just a PC company. It is a global solutions provider.
In fact, Dell employs 40,000 people worldwide in the solutions area.
And Dell displayed many of its areas of solution expertise on the expo floor Thursday with Dell employees manning stations for everything from manufacturing Formula One race cars to secure computing solutions for healthcare and government applications like cameras and computers integrated into a patrol car.
Scott Radcliffe with Dell’s global government solutions division explains how law enforcement officials are using the company’s rugged computers in this video.

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