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Sun 3 Jul 2005 04:00 AM

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Dell has more in store

Dell is continuing to move up the enterprise stack with plans to aggressively push products and services in the server and storage space industry.

Dell is continuing to move up the enterprise stack with plans to aggressively push products and services in the server and storage space industry. The company, which in April announced that it would be moving beyond its image as just a PC maker (see IT Weekly, 16-22 April 2005), will focus on delivering more standards-based solutions that will fit more in a scale-out computing architecture and bundle them with its professional services as well, one of its senior executives told IT Weekly in an exclusive interview.

“The whole drive to standardisation fits really nicely into Dell’s current business model. And if you look at where the market is moving in the enterprise side, it’s all about open standards,” said Andy Rhodes, regional enterprise director, Dell Europe, Middle East and Africa. “Our big enterprise play right now is to drive Wintel- based servers into the market, which was previously dominated by proprietary or Unix systems […] we’re trying to educate our customers so that they can move a lot of their applications, that traditionally sit on proprietary Unix or proprietary mainframes, to low-cost models based on open standards. Dell’s strategy is to offer scaleable solutions that will fit with the company’s own version of on-demand computing,” he added.

“Our vision is to build out solutions that are adaptive to our customers’ needs, where they can actually pay for it only when they need it. There are no upfront fees so they’re not caught with a lot of capital expenses on future projected growth,” explained Rhodes.

On the storage front, Rhodes maintained that Dell will keep its reseller agreement with EMC. The five-year agreement, which has seen the two companies co-branding EMC’s Clariion line of enterprise storage systems, has helped the partners elevate their ranks in the external storage market space and grow their market shares dramatically. IDC figures for Q1 2005 showed EMC boosting its sales of those products by 12.2% to US$808 million, while Dell, which ranked fifth overall in sales, grew by 29.2%. Most of Dell’s growth came via sales of EMC’s midrange Clariion products.

“If you look at EMC and Dell’s market share across the region and the rest of the world, I think our strategy is very, very sound. We don’t see another viable player [to partner with]. EMC seems to have the right strategy and the right alliances,” Rhodes said.

Key to its expansion in the space is to work with EMC on the latter’s information lifecycle management (ILM) solutions and further leverage on the storage vendors’ acquisitions, such as Legato and Documentum.

“We share EMC’s vision of the world when it comes to ILM. All the acquisitions that EMC has done with Legato, Documentum we can take advantage of that through our agreement with them,” Rhodes added.

Part of Dell’s enterprise move is also to bundle its professional services with its products, said Rhodes. These services revolve around Dell’s hardware products, covering planning, deployment, maintenance and support, among others. “Our key areas of expertise are around hardware solutions that make up complete solutions. There’s a huge untapped market for us in services around the box, ” he added.

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