UPDATED 18:00 EDT / MAY 10 2019


Q&A: Dell’s multicloud approach to PCs automates at the edge

During its 35 years, Dell Technologies Inc. has adapted to the changing waves of the personal computer market, where edge devices face constant pressure to be smaller, faster and smarter. With consumer trends driving work devices, the edge of the network is where life-work balance happens. From automation to battery boosts, Dell is seeing a resurgence of enterprise investment in employee devices where the edge has become a competitive advantage.

“If you went back in time 10 years ago, the systems were big and thick,” said Sam Burd, president of the Client Solutions Group at Dell. “We never imagined they would be this slim, this powerful. I think there’s a lot of opportunity going forward.” 

Burd spoke with Dave Vellante (@dvellante) and John Furrier (@furrier), co-hosts of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s mobile livestreaming studio, during the Dell Technologies World event in Las Vegas. They discussed PC advancements, how Dell is designing systems for efficiency, and how Dell will push forward in the future (see the full interview with transcript here). (* Disclosure below.)

[Editor’s note: The following answers have been condensed for clarity.]

Furrier: The PC revolution continues evolving. What’s the state of the art? What’s the current state of the business? Can you give us an update?

Burd: The business is doing really well. I’m excited because this year we’ll have our 35th birthday for Dell. The PC business, the business I lead at Dell, is where it all started 35 years ago in a dorm room at University of Texas. Now it’s a $43-billion business.

It’s just a part of Dell, so we’ve become a lot more. We’ve seen a resurgence in the edge [of the network]. One of the things I’m seeing as I talk to companies, they’re almost seeing the edge as the secret weapon as we talk about all of this transformation, because getting great employees is the challenge if you want your business to lead in an industry.

As we go talk to companies and we talk to Gen-X folks, we talk to Millennials, and we talk to Gen Z, getting them armed with a great piece of technology where they can be productive in a job and help make a difference in a company or career, that’s what they want to go and do. When companies are able to do that with our PC products at the edge, they get great people in who help their company be more successful. So we’re seeing really good growth, and we’re dedicated to doing some exciting products for people.

Furrier: I want to unpack the dynamics between these two worlds. One is making the machines go faster, smaller, less expensive, and then the integration to get that seamless work-life balance. How do you balance that? Are there different teams or different approaches? What’s the focus?

Burd: Internally, we have really focused on not just the hardware design that we’re putting together, and the speeds and feeds, and we can do that great. We’re focused on the experience we bring alive for people.

I’m working with services teams, working with Microsoft, working with VMware around how we bring alive the things people want to do. In the workspace, people want to be productive immediately. They want a tool that lets them do that, and we said, “How do we put technology and software and capability together to allow them to have the kind of experience they want?”

Vellante: What are some things you announced today, and what are the exciting parts of them?  

Burd: We announced our new Latitude lineup — from top to bottom some really amazing-looking PCs. We built in different kind of capabilities that allow really fast login to the system. It recognizes when you walk up to that system, and it will log you in automatically so you don’t have to touch the screen. It’ll sense when you’re there and when you’re not there; it will log you out of the system.

We also have something we call express charge on this system. You can get 80% charge in an hour. You can get 35% charge in 20 minutes, which allows you to get up and going really quickly. We’re designing some pretty awesome systems. We did cool stuff with Alienware. We’ve done that with our XPS product. We said we need to bring that into the commercial space so people can have really cool tools to use.

Vellante: People tend to keep their laptops longer. Where’s the growth coming from? Is it new applications? Is it share gains? And how will it continue?

Burd: The premium space is growing a lot where people have said, “Hey, I want to trade up.” Whether that’s the gamer or a user on XPS who wants a really mobile system that they can throw in their backpack or throw in their purse and take with them.

It’s interesting — in the commercial space, we actually see some of the highest-end systems that we sell, and our workstation business has the fastest turnover and change rate, because when you can add more cores, more horsepower to that, the company can now be more productive.

People say, “I want to spend the $3,000 because in comparison to the salary and the time I’m saving, I’ll get the best talent.” They’re happier because it gets things done faster. That’s actually when they’re switching the systems over, and it’s up to us to make that easier.

Watch the complete video interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of the Dell Technologies World 2019 event(* Disclosure: TheCUBE is a paid media partner for Dell Technologies World. Neither the sponsors of select segments of theCUBE’s event coverage, nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

Photo: SiliconANGLE

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