SOON TO BE PRIVATE Dell's CEO Michael Dell has revealed that Dell will launch a line of tablets in the next few weeks, and said that it could take up to 20 years for the firm to realise success as an enterprise IT solutions provider.
The Dell founder wasted no time before referring to the firm's buyout, which finally got shareholder approval earlier this month after 14 months of wrangling, when he took to the stage at the Oracle Openworld show in San Francisco.
"Dell's been in the news a bit lately. Maybe you saw a story or two. The rumours are true. There was a shareholder vote and we're taking the company private,” said Dell, who is speaking at his tenth Openworld. He is clearly a favourite at the event, as the news was marked by a round of applause from the Oracle delegates.
Dell continued that the reason behind the buyout is down to one factor – the customer. "Why are we doing this? The short answer is the same motivation that really drives everything we do at Dell, and that's our customers,” he explained.
However, Dell asked for patience to allow the firm to enact its strategy.
"Five years ago, we set out to build Dell into a leading end-to-end enterprise solutions organisation. We've invested more than $30bn to realise this vision, and just in the last year about $5bn," he told the audience. "Now this is going to take a long-term vision and strategy couple with even more aggressive investment. Success won't be measured just by the short-term results we deliver, but also importantly by the longer term results, five and 10 and 20 years into the future."
Dell has four areas it plans to focus on to best serve its customer needs: transform, connect, protect and inform.
The most interesting aspect of these four came from the connect part, which saw Dell reveal new tablet plans. Dell said that while the firm is still committed to PCs, it will be moving aggressively into tablets for commercial and consumer markets. "This is about mobility. In a few weeks we're going to be making some significant announcements around tablets," he said. This is likely to be a product based on the upcoming Windows 8.1 operating system, and follows an unsuccessful first entry into the Android tablet space with the Dell Streak, which was pulled in December 2011.
The transform aspect is based on IT modernisation, Dell said. "This is really all about modernising the technology environment; moving from one way of doing things to a new way, it could be modernising the applications, moving off the mainframe, helping a customer embrace the cloud," he explained. "We're unique in this transformation of legacy environment as we're unencumbered by an old legacy. We're totally focused on helping customers transition to more agile, more affordable, powerful systems."
Inform will see Dell support customers using data in real time for better outcomes, while protect is all about security. "We know what's out there; we know what's coming; we know what to do about it," he said, adding that the Dell security unit sees more than 50 billion security events a day.
Dell also announced it would be working on closer integration between its own products and Oracle's. "We're entering into an engineering-level partnership," he said. This will see Oracle Enterprise Manager integrated with Dell OpenManage, to help Oracle admins gain visibility to potential issues from a single tool.µ
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