Wednesday 26 July 2017

Adrian Weckler: Five things I learned from Dell EMC World in Las Vegas

The famous Las Vegas sign on Las Vegas Boulevard. Photo: Adrian Weckler
The famous Las Vegas sign on Las Vegas Boulevard. Photo: Adrian Weckler
Dell EMC chief executive Michael Dell falls prey to a card trick by magician David Blaine at Dell EMC World 2017. Photo: Adrian Weckler
Dell EMC chief executive Michael Dell talking to journalists at Dell EMC World 2017. Photo: Adrian Weckler
Jaguar-Landrover chief information officer Simon Bolton at Dell EMC World 2017
Mei-Ken Tsui and Sarah Luden of Dell EMC. Photo: Adrian Weckler
INM Technology Editor Adrian Weckler and Dell EMC chief executive Michael Dell at Dell EMC World 2017. Photo: Adrian Weckler
Revellers and local shoppers go about their business on Fremont Street, Las Vegas. Photo: Adrian Weckler
Adrian Weckler

Adrian Weckler

With over 13,000 people and several big Irish companies attending, Dell EMC World is one of the biggest company tech conferences of the year.

Here are five things Adrian Weckler has learned so far from Michael Dell and other senior executives.

1. Ireland is still very well regarded by Michael Dell and other top executives

“I love Ireland,” Michael Dell told Independent.ie last night over an after-conference drink. He’s not the only one.

Howard Elias, the company’s president of services and IT, told Independent.ie that the company would be sustaining its investment in Ireland for the foreseeable future, with a possibility of increasing it. Elias was especially complimentary about Ireland’s most senior executives.

Aongus Hegarty, president of Dell EMC Emea came in for special praise. This is significant. The klout of regional executives among the top brass is important for the overall health and sustainability of those regional operations.

(For more from Michael Dell and Howard Elias, see the business section of Independent.ie on Thursday.)

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Dell EMC chief executive Michael Dell talking to journalists at Dell EMC World 2017. Photo: Adrian Weckler

2. Company briefings are more revealing than publicly-traded rivals

Ever since Michael Dell took Dell private three years ago, the company has flourished.

With no more hedge-fund managers tutting at them every three months, company planners are free to trade a longer view. At Dell EMC World, some of them gave pretty deep insights on basic strategies. For example, Dell chief financial officer Tom Sweet candidly shared the company’s motivations as to growth criteria. Dell won’t, he said, pursue profit less growth as companies such as Amazon do. That might worry traders, but Dell executives clearly feel they have a better inside track on how the market will develop.

3. Dell EMC is willing to eat its own lunch to stay ahead

One of the bigger announcements of this Dell EMC World is the deepening of pay-as-you-go IT options for Dell’s customers. On the face of it, this seems risky as it gives companies more leeway to change away from Dell.

It could also lighten revenue in the short term. But Dell believes that taking the risk is a sign of its strength. Its executives say that businesses are looking for these pay-as-you-go options and it can afford to diversify its business model.

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The famous Las Vegas sign on Las Vegas Boulevard. Photo: Adrian Weckler

4. There are less men in suits, but it’s still the rule

Of all the big tech company conferences, Dell and Microsoft are the two where middle-aged blokes in suits prevail most. This year, there is a little more diversity noticeable.

But it’s pretty clear that enterprise technology is still a man’s world.

5. Brits are starting to run some of the upper echelons of Dell EMC

At least half the senior executives on stage in Las Vegas are UK executives.

This includes Dell EMC president David Goulding, chief marketing officer Jeremy Burton and Stella Low, senior vice president for global communications.

There were more British accents at senior sessions than American ones.

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INM Technology Editor Adrian Weckler and Dell EMC chief executive Michael Dell at Dell EMC World 2017. Photo: Adrian Weckler

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