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Sunday 17 December 2017

Michael Dell says the future still lies in traditional PCs

Dell founder and chief executive Michael Dell talking to journalists at Dell EMC World today. Photo: Adrian Weckler
Dell founder and chief executive Michael Dell talking to journalists at Dell EMC World today. Photo: Adrian Weckler
Adrian Weckler

Adrian Weckler

Traditional PCs will remain “core” to Dell’s future, the company’s founder and chief executive has said.

“While the future lies in the internet of things and distributed computing, PCs are core,” he told journalists at ‘Dell EMC World’, the company’s annual technology conference attended by over 13,000 people.

"They're core for areas such as virtual reality, augmented reality and others. We’ve had 17 quarters of gaining share in the PC market and I can tell you that this will extend to 18 quarters,” he said. “Yes, the market is consolidating, but it’s still a $170bn market. We’re number one in revenue and number one in profits. We’re not number one in units sold but the ones we sell are more valuable than the ones the other guys sell. Our average selling price per PC is going up.”

Mr Dell was speaking as the company launched a raft of new products and services across both Dell and EMC, the storage company it merged with two years ago.

He told journalists that because Dell is a private company and not a publicly-traded one, the firm was in a “financially advantageous” position and could think about longer term outcomes for its product lines rather than focus on crowd-pleasing statements aimed at quarterly public earnings announcements.

Asked what he would advise startups and young companies, Dell said that people need to take more risks.

“My observation is that there are too many people who are afraid to fail and as a result they don’t reach their potential,” he said. “I’ve taken risks in my life and I needed to. So take risks.”

Mr Dell said that his role as an entrepreneur was against the wishes of his family.

“I was supposed to be a doctor,” he said. “My mother and father were doctors. So I’m kind of the black sheep of the family.”

Cumulatively, Dell and EMC employ more than 5,000 people in Ireland across Dublin, Cork and Limerick.

The company is launching new pay-as-you-go services aimed at businesses that find technology services too expensive.

Mr Dell announced today that the company is to launch new cloud services that allow firms to simplify their cloud storage plans.

He said that IT infrastructure was proving to be too expensive for many companies and that customers had been asking for a pay-as-you-use system.

The move will pit Dell more aggressively in its cloud services against Amazon, Microsoft and Google, all of which are active in the sector.

Cloud services are among the IT industry’s most profitable segments, with Amazon’s most recent set of accounts showing its AWS division to be the standout performer.

Microsoft has also repositioned itself in the last year as a cloud services provider.

Michael Dell also announced that Dell aims to introduce a ‘PC-as-a-service’ system that would cover hardware, software and other facets of owning and running corporate PCs.

The tech giant also made a number of product announcements at the event, including the launch of a new PowerEdge server, its 14th generation.

The new 14th generation servers are designed to be embedded in storage and data center appliances, hyper-converged appliances and racks, ready nodes, bundles and other Dell EMC systems.

They have 19 times’ more non-volatile memory express low latency storage than previous generations, according to Dell.

“The next transition in enterprise architecture will increasingly be built on flexible hyper-converged infrastructures,” said Michelle Bailey, chief research officer with analyst firm 451 Research.

“They’ll be built on those that simplify procurement and ongoing operations with a single supplier, lowering risks of implementation while helping speed time to delivery.  Dell EMC’s new generation servers is geared toward addressing many of these issues with intelligent management and automation capabilities.”

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