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It’s Only The Beginning...
For Michael S. Dell, chairman and CEO of Dell Technologies, a successful Dell EMC merger is only the beginning of a long road ahead
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“Go big or go home, baby,” Michael S. Dell, the chairman and chief executive officer of the newly formed Dell Technologies, said this a year ago, when Dell and EMC announced one of the biggest technology mergers of all time. It turns out that since then, nobody went home, and the $67-billion Dell-EMC merger is now complete. The new entity, Dell Technologies, houses Dell’s PC business, Dell EMC, VMware, Pivotal, Secure-Works, RSA and Virtustream, forming the largest enterprise systems company in the world. It does not matter how you look at it or how many layers you peel, this appears to be one happy marriage, so far.
Last year, Michael Dell made several comments that outlined his philosophy on achieving growth — by consolidating and preparing for the long game. “We are the market leader in the technologies of today, such as servers, PCs, storage and virtualisation, and in technologies of tomorrow — converged and hyper-converged infrastructure, cloud, security and PaaS (platform as a service),” states Dell. In the PC business, which has posed several challenges for players lately, Dell has had 15 consecutive quarters of rising share. While it is not the number one player in terms of units, it ranks first in PC revenue according to Dell officials. The company has global staff of 140,000 and operates in more than 180 countries. It has 20,000 patents, issued and pending, and is investing $4.5 billion in innovations annually. “That is more than double of our closest competitor,” adds Dell.
On the face of it, Dell Technologies has all that it could have asked for — the best of talent from the merged entities, the advantages of being privately owned and a market share that empowers it to make big moves. “The intellectual capital across all the companies and each of its organisations was an all-star team. When you put that together, it is an Olympic team. It has made my job easier,” says Dell, elaborating on what the company sees as one of its biggest strengths. Industry experts are now waiting to see the incremental growth that Dell is so confident this tech merger will bring. He attributes his confidence in the move to the right strategy, the right team, and the freedom to think in a time horizon that is measured in decades. He adds, “As a private company, we are in control of our own destiny. There are always variables outside our control, but I don’t spend my time worrying about that. With the right strategy, and ours is, you just keep moving forward.”
From Info Tech To Biz Tech
Michael Dell admits that there are times when the distance that the 32-year-old company has covered surprises him. “What we have accomplished is all due to democratising technology and the power of information,” he says. The reimagining of industries that drive growth, efficiency and opportunity, levelled the playing field for the emerging, global middle class. Technology evolved from a bookkeeping tool in the back office to an indispensable core that has changed the way people live, work, play, learn, communicate and interact with the world at the most fundamental level. “If we build the right technology, we can amplify and enhance human progress,” says Dell.
This change has created a shift from information technology to business technology leading to a digital dawn that heralds a future of smart cities, driverless cars, nanobots that can cure cancer and repair cell damage, and that can make overnight shipping look like snail mail due to instant gratification of drone delivery among other things. “This is the Internet of everything, the next industrial revolution. But it brings challenges as well, and that is where we come in,” Dell points out.
A recent Dell Technologies Digital Transformation Index that surveyed 4,000 business decision makers brings some facts to the fore — around 45 per cent businesses believe they will be obsolete in the next three to five years. Nearly 48 per cent do not know what their businesses will look like in the future, and about 78 per cent consider digital startups as a threat either now or in the future. Dell Technologies has based its end-to-end solutions play to address these concerns exactly.
Nimble With Scale
When the likes of HP and Samsung went ‘zig’ and worked on exiting some part of their overall businesses to focus on specialist areas, Dell went ‘zag’ and brought it all in. The objective was to be able to become a partner across businesses for its consumers. While all entities in the Dell Technologies family have their own chartered courses, the one underlying theme is offering innovation at scale. “Dell Technologies was formed to be the best partner to our clients in building and embracing their digital future. We are a family of businesses that combines innovation with a structure which allows us to be nimble like a startup and bring the scale of a global powerhouse,” says Dell.
Dell’s maverick move of the megamerger may have put the company straight in the number one spot for several categories, but he believes the big opportunity lies ahead. “There are eight billion connected devices now, and in 15 years, there would be 200 billion, that is about 25 times the number of people on this planet. All of them will provide access to a host of digital apps, creating massive new sources of information. Using that in real time for insights for a better world, may be the biggest opportunity ever. We need the force of innovation to meet this opportunity.” As IT becomes the hero of the story, digital transformation will seek modernisation that is efficient in the present, and ready for the future. Dell believes that in Dell Technologies, it has that solution. The journey forward may test some of the company’s resolve but for now, the company has every reason to attain the targets it has set out for itself.
“It’s An Exciting Time In India”
With the formation of Dell Technologies, is India one of the top 10 markets contributing to global revenue?
Yes. India has always been a strategic market for us, and with its terrific talent pool, healthy economy and evolving IT landscape, we see tremendous potential for growth in the country. We currently employ more than 20,000 team members and have operations in nine cities, including four R&D centres and a manufacturing facility in Sriperumbudur in Chennai. We recently celebrated 20 years of business in India, and are more committed than ever to work with our partners to accelerate technology adoption in the country and help our customers here build their digital future.
How do you see Dell Technologies impact India?
It’s an exciting time to do business in India. Government, enterprises and consumers are adopting technology at a rapid pace; the economy is stable and growing; and the startup ecosystem is thriving. We are perfectly positioned to deliver the essential technology infrastructure that modern India needs for growth and prosperity. We have the vision and the portfolio, as well as the support of a strong leadership team, skilled workforce, strong channel partner ecosystem and a market reach that spans across both developed and emerging India.
What is next for Dell Technologies?
We want to be the trusted provider of essential infrastructure for the next industrial revolution, and everything you will see us do will be in that direction.
[email protected]; @NFWarsia