Following up the Dell Annual Analyst Conference from a few weeks back, Simon Robinson and I myself wrote up an overview report on the state of Dell. As every with Dell, things sound good, but there’s plenty of execution ahead for the company. 451 clients can read the full report, and here’s the 451 take:
We noted when the LBO first closed that this event doesn’t actually change much at the company. The strategy Dell discussed last week is fundamentally consistent with the one it has been pursuing for several years. Perhaps the biggest impact initially will be on its executive team – CEO Dell says he got back 20% of his time through not having to deal with Wall Street, while board meetings now last just 10 minutes. This is not to say that being private won’t make a difference. Although it’s not an issue for most customers, the main difference may be in how employees and partners feel about the company.
Related to this is the issue of how Dell presents itself to the outside world. Now more than ever, as a private concern, it needs a clear and strong voice, and developing this remains a work in progress (the initial post-LBO messaging around ‘the world’s largest startup’ was not in evidence at the analyst conference).
We feel part of the challenge remains to articulate a single vision that resonates with a broad target audience of consumers, SMBs and large enterprises. Another issue is for the company to create and emphasize a stronger sense of differentiation in its offerings. Nonetheless, the renewed energy and enthusiasm Dell talked about is in evidence among its senior executives. Its challenge now is to ensure this percolates down through its 100,000-strong workforce. Only then will a real sense of its long-term differentiation emerge.
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You might also like to take a look at some recent spending survey data from 451:
Buried in the detail there is the good news that 10% of enterprise customers surveyed are spending over $5m with Dell, compared with just 3% in prior surveys, a significant improvement but not sufficient in itself to reinvigorate corporate growth.
Also, Dell is quit good at uploading lots of photos from it’s event to flickr: check out the set they have from DAAC.