PC business continues to grow, No 1 in storage, No 2 in x86 servers
Confident enough to take a subtle swipe at HPs impending split
ONE year after Dell Inc took itself out of the Nasdaq exchange to go private, the Round Rock, Texas-based company appears to be growing from strength to strength.
In an interview with Digital News Asia (DNA), Dell South Asia vice president and managing director Ng Tian Beng declared that according to research firm IDC, the company has enjoyed six consecutive quarters of growth in its PC business.
“We are growing very well and you can see the results, with IDC data being a good gauge of our performance. It is important to highlight that during this period, post-privatisation, we’ve grown our global customer base by 18,000 as well,” Ng (pic) said.
The report card citing IDC figures certainly paints a robust picture of Dell’s growth. The company is now the No 1 storage supplier globally, and the No 1 storage vendor in terms of terabytes sold.
It also retains the No 2 position in the global x86 server market and lays claim to the fastest year-on-year growth among its peers.
Given Ng’s remit, it was a source of pride for him to point out that Dell has also regained its No 1 position in the Asia Pacific region for its enterprise server business.
“This is significant for us – we were No 1 before, but we slipped to No 2 and in the second quarter of this year we regained our No 1 position,” he said.
Dell’s software unit, while still not a significant part of the company’s total revenue, is also reporting double-digit growth and is expected to maintain its rapid growth rate, he added.
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Staying the course
With such a positive report card for Dell, what’s left for the company in its on-going bid to be the preferred end-to-end solutions provider for enterprises?
Ng believes that there are still “a lot more opportunities” for Dell, and despite the “impressive growth” currently being enjoyed, it’s still early days yet.
“This is not a ‘flash in a pan’ kind of thing and we remain focused on the strategy we’ve laid out. Our message is still the same: We want to be a leader in end-to-end solutions, and you can’t be a leader if you split up.
“In fact, given recent announcements, we actually see more potential for us now,” he added.
The “recent announcements” Ng was alluding to is of course the news that Hewlett-Packard (HP) will be split into two listed companies, separating its computer and printer businesses from its corporate hardware and services operations, and eliminating another 5,000 jobs as part of a turnaround plan.
A long-time competitor, Dell had issued a statement calling the move “complex, distracting and appears to benefit HP and its shareholders more than its customers.”
HP had pulled a similar move just over a year ago when Dell announced its plans for privatisation, saying that Dell had “a very tough road ahead.”
In response to queries by DNA, Handoko Andi (pic), research manager at IDC Asia/Pacific, said that it would be hard to speculate on the HP news since the impact would only be visible in the next 12 months.
“It comes down to how HP can execute the split. For example, making sure the recent news is not affecting partners’ confidence in HP would be the immediate priority,” he said.
Andi further noted that Dell’s immediate challenge is to follow up on the strong momentum that IDC is observing this year, as there won’t be any “external factors such as PC refreshes due to the migration from Windows XP which would continue to next year.”
“Dell would also still need to tackle the challenge that is still happening within the consumer PC space and compete with the other devices like tablets or phablets to grab customer’s attention and wallet share.
“We believe this is the area that Dell could do better to grow further in the coming years. If one segment erodes faster than the other segment’s growth, it will not be good for Dell’s overall performance,” he said.
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