Furrier, Vellante, and Wang Dissect Dell World 2012

Ray Wang at Dell World 2012

Ray Wang at Dell World 2012With any commercial vendor’s convention, you will hear a lot of self promotion and hear a lot of promises about the upcoming year. To truly figure out what is going on, you need people with insight who can dissect what they hear at these events and give you an unbiased analysis. That is exactly what SiliconAngle’s John Furrier, Wikibon’s Dave Vellante, and Constellation Group’s Ray Wang did in their final critique of Dell World 2012.

Wang described how Dell is undergoing a major transition from selling technology services with software products to focusing on the outcome. Customers no longer want to pay for products. They want to buy verticalized solutions. Dell is still selling the machine, he explained , but the value-added consumer outcomes are what will make the money for them.

According to Vellante, all is not rosy for Dell in the storage arena. Although the company claims to have taken chunks out of NetApp’s and EMC’s market shares, they are actually losing in that market. Darren Thomas, who was originally instrumental in engineering the EMC deal has left, and it is up to newcomer Marius Haas to figure out a way to regain some ground in storage.

In Wang’s view, it is difficult to determine any specific competitors for Dell. All of its competitors are going after the same areas of IT, and there is still a great deal of room to grow. In Vellante’s opinion, Dell still has a long way to go. This major transition may take four years to fully mature. The company has procured much of its R&D through acquisitions, and it may take time to integrate all of those differing technologies into something workable. Wang then said that IBM was able to make the transition by going through several iterations before the execs finally realized they wanted to be in the high-value, high-end market.

Finally, Furrier asked what they expect to see from Dell next year. Wang replied that customers will want to see case studies, best practices, and real world customers who can testify that Dell has actually done what they were talking about doing this year. Vellante said Dell’s PC business is in decline, and they will need to address that from a financial standpoint. They must solve it and find a way to get the company’s value back up. That will involve stabilizing its PC business, while also shifting its margin model to the enterprise. Furrier added that Dell must make Windows 8 work since it has invested so much of its PC business in it. Microsoft Must come through for Dell.

At the end of the discussion, each analyst gave his overall impression of Dell World 2012. You can see that and the full discussion right here.