Dell Looks to Highlight Role as IT Innovator
As Dell World opens, officials will continue to talk about the work being done to develop enterprise data center solutions.Dell's introduction in August of its Scalable Solutions business that builds customized systems for scale-out organizations is the latest illustration of the company's evolution from a PC box maker to an enterprise IT solutions provider. Dell a decade ago was better known as a company that could build a PC from industry-standard parts and leverage its supply chain expertise to get those systems quickly and cheaply to the end users. It was a fast follower, a company that jumped onto trends rather than set them. That narrative began to change when Michael Dell returned as CEO in 2007 and began to transform his company, spending more than $15 billion dollars to buy more than 30 companies with capabilities in everything from networking and storage to software, security and the cloud (and hopes to add to that with its proposed $67 billion acquisition of EMC). At the same time, Dell began investing more money in R&D and launching businesses aimed at making the company a preferred IT provider to everyone from small businesses to the largest cloud-based organizations. Eight years ago, Dell opened the doors to its Data Center Solutions (DCS) business, a unit that delivers customized and optimized solutions to the handful of organizations that make up the hyperscale computing market, including Google, Facebook, and a few Chinese companies, such as Baidu and Alibaba. More recently, Dell has been among the leaders in the trend toward open networking, offering branded switches that can run not only its own network operating system but software from such third-party vendors as Cumulus Networks, Pica8 and Pluribus Networks.
The Dell Scalable Solutions (DSS) group is targeting those large companies that are smaller than the top-tier hyperscale cloud providers—think telecommunications service providers and oil and gas firms—that have the same needs as their larger brethren but fewer financial and engineering resources. They also buy a lot of servers and are looking for systems optimized to run their workloads.