It’s been a year since Dell became a private company. At his opening press conference at Dell World 2014 Michael Dell sounded like a CEO who likes coming to work every day, no longer subjected to Wall Street’s fixation over short-term results. (He did mention to me afterwards that it took a while for that fact sink in.) Now that they don’t have what he called a “90-day shot clock” the company is free to make the kinds of longer-term decisions that successful companies need to make. And by most metrics, they’re doing a great job of it.
Dell claimed several times that his company is the fastest growing integrated IT company in the world, with a host of sales and revenue statistics to back that up. For example, Dell’s share of the US PC market has grown 3x, 5x and 10x better than HP, Apple and Lenovo, respectively. As my colleague George Crump covered in a recent blog, in storage, Dell is #1 in total TB sold for the first half of 2014, #1 in external DAS and #1 in iSCSI attached revenue. And the future looks bright as well as Dell seeks to leverage their comprehensive set of products and technologies, which in the storage space includes everything from traditional disk arrays to hybrid and all-flash arrays to software-defined storage and converged appliances.
Dell talked about a survey they commissioned where mid-sized companies told them security is the #1 inhibitor to adoption of the cloud, but they still plan to use a cloud services. Big Data and advanced analytics are valuable, and over 60% say they have captured some of the data they need to run these kinds of analysis. But only half that number admit they really knew how to use that data to drive outcomes.
These are some of the opportunities that Michael Dell sees ahead for his company and other agile companies (maybe those that don’t have to worry about what Wall Street thinks.) A recurring theme in this presentation was the breadth of technology and solutions that Dell can bring to bear on a market opportunity. The way Michael Dell put it “in order to be in the end-to-end solutions business, you have to have both ends – or it’s the end”. I’d say this is clearly the beginning for this privately-held company.