The equation according to Dell bosses, Tim Griffin and Jay Turner, is simple: keep acquiring and keep changing the big picture of what Dell is. The once hardware provider now wants to be seen as a solutions company.
In the past two years, Dell has made 11 acquisitions and intends to add more companies to its portfolio of storage and services business.
It announced its intention to acquire Force 10 in the networking space, but declined to further comment on the buy. Some of its other acquisitions include: Boomi, Kace, SecureWorks, Compellent and EqualLogic.
The acquisitions reiterate Dell’s transformation strategy – from being known as a hardware provider to a solutions company that addresses the end-to-end services of its customers.
As such, the acquisitions made have been specifically around IT intellectual property that enables its transition into solutions.
Dell global vice-president of services and solutions for consumer, small and medium business, Tim Griffin, said, “If you take Boomi as an example, our customers articulated that they wanted software packages that they have either on-premise or in the cloud to talk to each other.
Boomi allowed us to integrate those software packages in a matter of weeks, showing that we have moved completely away from hardware.”
According to Griffin, the acquisitions bring on intellectual property that the company did not have in the past around non-hardware capacities.
That has enabled Dell to transition its conversations with its medium-marketplace customers upstream from queries such as the number of desktops or servers required to IT strategies or concerns of customers around security or data management.
Griffin said one of the advantages to the strategy is that the medium solutions can scale up to large corporates as the problem with large corporates is its inability to scale down to medium corporates well.
As a result of the acquisitions, Dell intends to use the intellectual properties of the companies to not only provide customers with solutions, but also make it available to its channel partners and resellers.
The companies will not trade under the same entity but, rather, integrate under Dell’s offerings and add on to the customer base.
It is also seeking professionals with enterprise, security and storage capabilities – specifically with services, delivery, architecting, project management and sales backgrounds.
“In Australia, we added 23 per cent to our headcount last year and this year, we are already up by 14 per cent. If you look at that in the context of the broader economic environment, it leverages us locally and globally,” Griffin said.
Dell director of channel A/NZ, Jay Turner, added that the company intended to stick with its channel strategy of having a relatively narrow set of highly trained and certified partners.
It intends to bring new technologies to them, bringing in new revenue streams, new customer streams and new ways of differentiating themselves from their peers.
Dell aims to stand out from its competitors by not setting up its partners in competition with each other and enabling them with the relevant skills including Web sessions, a detailed certification program and face-to-face events.
“We are growing very rapidly, intend to hire the best in the industry and reaching out to the best channel partners for our business,” Griffin said.