IT Life: The Road To Dell

Tim_Griffin Dell

Entrepreneurs and video conferencing get Tim Griffin excited

Tim Griffin came back from heading Dell in Singapore, and is now the UK vice president and managing director.

As well as running Dell in Singapore, he was vice president of global displays and peripherals – and before that he headed commercial operations in the BBC’s services and technology division.

How does he feel about Dell founder Michael Dell’s bid to take the company private? We think his answer to our question “who is your tech here?” tells us….

Dell-illustration-Nickolay-Lamm-myvouchercodesWhat has been your favourite project so far?
It’s always the one I am working on at the moment. Right now I am focusing on developing Dell’s business in the UK and investing in our UK team; creating a great place to work and a destination of choice for top talent in the industry, developing our reputation for delivering the best service in IT and driving profitable growth.

Looking after ATMs

What tech were you involved with ten years ago?
Ten years ago I worked for NCR across Asia and was based in Sydney. In this role, I looked after Services & Networking with companies such as Cisco and Nortel; as well as ATMs and retail POS devices, including self-check-out technology.

What tech do you expect to be using in ten years’ time?
With the wealth of technology available, it can be difficult to predict how innovations in the coming year will affect our lives for decades to come. I’ve been reading a lot about wearable technology recently and that interests me. Whether we choose to hold or wear our technology, there is huge scope for imbedded sensors to analyse the world around us and alert us to danger.

Michael DellWho’s your tech hero?
Michael Dell, of course! He completely revolutionised the PC market and managed to grow a one man business, funded by $1000, into a multi-billion international organisation. John H Patterson, founder of NCR in 1884, is another one of my heroes as he was an extraordinary innovator.

John-H.-Patterson-240x300Who’s your tech villain?
Top of my list is anyone trying to close down customer choice with proprietary systems.

What’s your favourite technology ever made? Which do you use most?
I work with many remote teams and it’s not always possible to travel, so I couldn’t do without video conferencing – it’s a dream on my XPS13! It helps me connect with people and among other benefits, during meetings I can be sure that everyone is staying alert and focus on what is being discussed.

What is your budget outlook going forward? Flat? Growing?
Always growing!!!

Admiring entrepreneurs

shanghai tang sneakersApart from your own, which company do you admire most and why?
I really like start-ups of all shapes. I admire entrepreneurs who spot the juxtaposition of two or more insights that create an opportunity and who are able to build a business around their epiphany moment. On a larger scale, I am a big fan of Shanghai Tang. I spent the last 12 years in Asia and I love the products created by this retailer and the way they have built their international business.

What’s the greatest challenge for an IT company/department today?
The greatest challenge IT companies face today is remaining competitive in a constantly changing market. IT is not an area that you can stand still in, you need to be constantly innovating, updating your offerings and evolving your business model while finding a way to do more with less.

To Cloud or not to Cloud?
Dell is itself an early adopter of cloud technology so we’ve already been through the process and seen the end results. We saved $200 million by moving to the cloud, virtualised 10,000 servers and reduced applications from 7,000 to less than 2,500 – so we really believe it makes smart business sense. That said there is always going to be a case for “not to Cloud” and I think hybrid models will be the dominant flavour in the future.

What did you want to be when you were a child?
My Dad … and a professional athlete! I still have a huge passion for rugby which I coach in my spare time and if I wasn’t doing what I do now, I’d love to be competing on the rugby field – if only the body were willing!!

Not had enough Dell yet? Try our Dell quiz!