NEW YORK Ever since 2007, when it plunked down more than $1 billion to buy storage provider EqualLogic, Dell has tried to move away from being a one-dimensional PC maker to become a full-fledged IT service provider in the mold of IBM and the companys main rival, Hewlett-Packard.
That 180-degree change in business philosophy was on full display in New York City this week, when Dell unveiled its 11th so-called solution center. The 5,200-square-foot space is located at One Penn Plaza directly across from Penn Station and gives the Austin, Texas-based company a foothold in a city that is the capital of the worlds financial markets, as well as home to a number of important businesses.
Later, Dell also plans to open a similar office in Silicon Valley.
These Dell Solution Centers offer what the company hopes to be a working laboratory for its customers, as well as potential customers, to test and refine different IT technologies for their businesses. The idea is for Dell engineers to offer advice and best practices for how to implement a new piece of technology, such as virtual desktop infrastructure, or help IT managers determine how they can get the best return on investment with certain products.
The New York City center, which Dell officially opened May 10, offers its own data center to allow IT administrators and developers to test and refine new applications, as well as hardware. The data center also highlights the best ways to create a more efficient space, with the latest in power-saving and cooling technologies.
In keeping with current trends, the Dell New York center is focused on areas such as cloud computing, big data analytics, data security and storage, networking and the data center, and issues related to end-user devices and bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies.
For Dell and its customers, its about how all these different technologies work and what happens as it moves from the data center, through the applications to the employee who needs it.
As technology and all these solutions get more and more complex, its all about integration, said Lee Morgan, an executive with Dells Global Solution Centers division. So a customer doesnt necessarily have a storage problem or a server problem or an end-user computer problem. They have a problem of pulling all this stuff together and understanding how it supports a particular business function.