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EMC Merger Won’t Distract Dell From PC Innovation And VR Future

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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DELL EMC WORLD 2016: Dell says its PC business won’t be neglected in the drive to digital transformation and hardware has a vital role to play

Dell has vowed not to let the integration of EMC distract it from the PC business which made it a household name, claiming there is plenty more innovation to come and it sees potential despite a slowing market.

The other areas of Dell Technologies business have received more attention following the blockbuster merger, and much of the focus at Dell EMC World was on the combined security, hyperconverged infrastructure and storage products

But CEO Michael Dell told attendees in Austin that the PC was an important part of Dell’s Digital Transformation vision as it allows it to become a supplier from the data centre to the network edge.

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PC business

dell-emc-keynote-day-1“The PC business remains core to our strategy,” he said. “We have reached a historic 15 quarters in a row of increasing our PC share. In the last quarter we outgrew our competition. All our competitors have declined and we’re the only one’s growing”

“PC’s in all their various forms are deeply ingrained into our world. There’s incredible transformation happening at the edge.”

Dell’s views were echoed by Jeff Clarke, president of Dell’s client solutions group, who said that despite the tablet’s best efforts, it was never going to replace the PC as the system of choice for the workplace.

“The [idea] of the tablet being a PC replacement [is] hogwash,” he declared. “They’re great companion devices but the leading machine is the PC and will continue to be the PC.”

Of course Dell’s tablets have failed to set the world alight, so it might be no surprise it is singing the PC’s praises. But it is also true that few, if any, of its rivals that promise digital transformation can deliver the same breadth of hardware as well.

Future of the PC

It touted future developments in the space, arguing that as workspaces become smaller and work becomes increasingly mobile there is scope to innovate in the device space and reimagine what hardware can be.

“That we are growing in the PC industry while our competitors [aren’t] clearly demonstrates we are not distracted [by the EMC merger],” continued Clarke. “We are capable of having ambitious agendas and capable of executing that.

“It’s about getting all the components of Dell Technologies into one solution and building on top of there. And we’re going to build that into more bundles and products.

“For those of us who think the PC isn’t being innovated on: wake up. There is so much innovation in terms of the edge computing experiences we can bring.

“[None of our main competitors] have the breadth of portfolio [that Dell does]. Nine of them have a rugged [device] line, thin clients or [wide range of] peripherals. One of the things that gets overlooked is the fact every new product gives us a chance to sell services, peripherals like monitors around it.”

VR, AR and the future

P4317Q-dell-monitorClarke was joined on stage by the Alienware, which Dell bought back in 2006. While this gave it credibility in the high end gaming PC market, the company is now at the forefront of the next major advance: virtual reality (VR). But Dell is confident VR will arrive in the business world too.

“Without question, this workforce transformation is driving this immersive computing experience,” added Clarke. “We think of VR as initially content and gaming. What we tried to explain is that this is going to make its way into business fast.

“These connected devices have all these sensors and we can take AR into manufacturing retail, medical, transportation. It’s going to be a game changer, just don’t ask me when it’s going to happen.

“This is an undeniable new way to compute and interact.”

There is one area Dell hasn’t been too successful and that’s smartphones. A few ill-judged forays into the market, including with Windows Phone, meant it withdrew entirely. But is it reconsidering?

“No,” Michael Dell replied emphatically when asked that particular question. “I don’t think the world needs another smartphone company.”

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