Laurie McCabe reports on Dell’s shift from a focus on PC’s to a vendor providing an overall range of technology services to growing businesses.
Twenty-seven years ago, Michael Dell launched Dell with $1,000 and a streamlined sales and manufacturing model that revolutionized the PC industry. Sticking with this playbook, Dell achieved similar success in the server market, once again disrupting the status quo.
However, times changed, and Dell started to look like a one-trick pony. As Michael Dell himself acknowledged at last week’s Dell’s 2011 Virtual Era Analyst Event, which I’m paraphrasing here, “Dell had a winning formula that worked for a long time…but then it didn’t work so well anymore. Technology changed, as did customers’ expectation of technology, and Dell had to reinvent itself.” After re-taking the helm in 2007, Michael Dell began charting a new course for Dell–one designed to help it capitalize on market demand for better, more cost-effective and easier to use IT solutions.
At last week’s event, Dell provided us with an update on its strategy to help companies in the anytime, anywhere virtual era by providing customers with “open, capable, affordable solutions.” For Dell, this means building solutions on open, industry standards; providing customers with choice; virtually (instead of vertically) integrated solutions; and ensuring that solutions can scale as required.
By leveraging cloud computing and remote services, and delivering the right blend of hardware, service and software offerings as more complete solutions–instead of as commodity piece parts–Dell’s aim is to solve customers’ IT problems instead of creating new ones.