Yesterday Dell held its 2011 Analyst Meeting in Austin, Texas. Over 150 analysts and investors attended the event and were able to hear from the executive leadership team about Dell’s strategy, our solutions capabilities and Dell’s differentiated go-to-market approach.
On Tuesday night, Dell executives led a solutions expo featuring Dell’s enterprise solutions and services offerings. Executives walked participants through our current offerings, customer value proposition, and Dell’s differentiation. The event was a great success.
Wednesday’s presentations started off focused on the company strategy and financial model. Michael Dell kicked off the event discussing how the company is executing on a growth strategy built on enterprise solutions that drive efficiency and flexibility for the virtual era. Dell’s mid-market design focus provides open systems that are highly capable, affordable and flexible enough to scale to meet the needs of large enterprises, public institutions and mid-size businesses. That focus is differentiated and creates value for customers. Michael also discussed the significant progress we have made against the commitments from last year by acquiring key IP and sales capabilities, delivering value-added solutions, capturing a growing share of the IT profit pool, and growing operating income and cash flow. In addition, Michael Dell held a founders panel with executives from Dell Boomi, Dell KACE, Dell Compellent, and Dell SecureWorks.
CFO, Brian Gladden, explained Dell is executing on our long-term strategy. The strength in client is driven by selling value, sales execution, procurement cost reductions, and component cost declines. Brian also explained that Dell has used a disciplined resource allocation model, accelerated enterprise growth, and has made a great deal of progress towards the long-term value creation framework which we shared two years ago. Dave Johnson, SVP of Corporate Strategy, described how Dell’s efficient IT strategy is delivering simplicity and innovation in our three solutions domains: Next Generation Computing Solutions & Intelligent Data Management, End-User Computing, and Services, Security & Cloud. Dell is competing in these domains through organic and inorganic investments with a thoughtful and disciplined approach.
The second part of the day was focused on solution domains. Jeff Clarke, Vice Chairman Global Ops & End-User Computing, talked about the attractive market opportunity in the End-User Computing market. He stressed that the death of the PC has been over-hyped, and that there are key opportunities for growth. In this space, Dell will focus on reducing complexity, continuing to improve the cost position of the supply chain, and continuing to migrate towards focusing on selling higher value products and solutions. Brad Anderson, SVP Enterprise Solutions Group, explained that Dell’s enterprise strategy has not changed and that our approach is differentiated. He discussed how Dell is focused on using our expertise and differentiated end-to-end solutions to address two key market catalysts; virtualization and the explosion of data. Steve Schuckenbrock, President of Dell Services, discussed how the company is providing efficient and flexible solutions with a mid-market design focus supported by a world class portfolio of service offerings including support, infrastructure, applications, BPO and security.
The last part of the day focused on Dell’s role as a trusted advisor and solutions provider for their mission critical Information Technology. Dell CMO Karen Quintos moderated a panel with several Dell customers to discuss why they view Dell as an innovating and differentiated solutions partner. Paul Bell, President of Public and Large Enterprise explained how Dell’s strategy is resonating with customers. The success comes from our focus on relationships and solving key IT problems, allowing customers to direct their IT investment to where it matters most, and helping them to achieve their business objectives. Steve Felice, President of Consumer and Small and Medium Business, talked about the differentiated strategies of both the Consumer and Small and Medium business spaces. He focused on proof points of success indicating both businesses are executing very successfully against their respective strategies and improving customer loyalty in the process.
The event was a great success. We continue to execute on a growth strategy that has been in place for almost two years and we continue to focus on operating income growth and maximizing profit share. If you missed the event, you can listen to the webcast replay here. We welcome and look forward to your comments.
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Those of you who read news about Dell have seen some of the reactions to our Analyst Meeting that happened last week. Dell hosted over 150 analysts and investors to discuss many aspects of Dell’s business. We also hosted a webcast where you can check out the Wednesday sessions in their entirety. If you’re looking for a shorter summary, here’s Rob Williams summary of it.
The overall reaction what Dell executives discussed was pretty positive. Stories like those from the Austin American-Statesman offer a good overall view, and CNBC featured an exclusive video interview with Michael Dell where he covered lots of ground. Rob Enderle got it right when he said Dell is not trying to be Apple . And we’re not trying to be HP or IBM for that matter either.
So what does that leave Dell? We’re putting a lot of focus on Dell’s transition from a hardware provider to a solutions one, a topic I blogged about not long ago. In my view, there were some pretty obvious themes: Dell’s continued transition from a hardware provider to a solutions one and that we will continue to focus on mid-market opportunities for those solutions and services.
Timothy Prickett Morgan’s story is a good overview of the mid-market discussion, and all three stories highlighted in the image below discuss what the mid-market discussion is all about. Dell has been focused on building solutions that are useful to a wide range of companies . Michael and other executives explained that we can start with medium size businesses in many markets and scale many of our capabilities into larger customers through a mix of hardware, software and services. Click on the image below to see the latest stories about Dell's focus on mid-markets:
Dell has acquired 11 companies over the last three years. And like I mentioned in my previous post , many of these acquisitions have been integral to building solutions to solve unique business problems. These solutions are many time a mix between hardware, software and services. Right now, storage is the most obvious place to see this in action: acquisitions like EqualLogic and Compellent augment Dell’s existing storage business to give us capability to serve a wide range of customers with Dell-owned IP. Other acquisitions allow us to build on existing investments and capabilities into other strategic areas like cloud and data management, virtualization, security, systems management and beyond.
Beyond sessions with Dell executives, Dell CMO Karen Quintos hosted a customer panel featuring Claus Moldt, CIO/SVP of Services Delivery for Salesforce.com , Brad Thompson, IT Infrastructure Engineering Director for Target , Aaron Beasecker, IT VP for Lopez Foods , and Becky Sykes, CIO/SVP for Catholic Health Partners . These customers shared perspective about how Dell helps solve business problems in a way that other companies can’t. One interesting note is that all four customers called out security as a very important issue. You can view the customer panel at about the 3 hour 32 minute mark in the video webcast.
I got to assist the PR team in some social media efforts during the Analyst Meeting. They were pretty active on @DellShares and also posted each of our Executive presentations. I'm having some trouble embedding SlideShare presentations in the post, so if you want to check them out, you can either go to the Dell Slideshare account , or you can click on the icon below to download the entire set of slides as a PDF from Dell.com/investor .
All in all, I’m glad to be part of a company that is moving in the right direction. No question we’re still in the midst of making the transition to a solutions provider—or changing the discussion with customers from hardware to a solutions service story as Michael says it. But in my view, (and judging from the reactions from analysts and reporters who attended the Analyst Meeting), we are making the right investments to move things forward.
by Cathy Arledge, Vice President, Process Center of Excellence and Client Reinvention Since my last communication