Dell Ventures Explores Partnership Opportunities with Investors and Entrepreneurs in First “Dell Innovate” Event

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Three months ago, Dell announced the launch of its investment arm, Dell Ventures, focused on identifying, funding and fueling visionary technologies that anticipate and address future IT needs. And while investment is a key priority, it’s about much more than investment—we want to start a dialog with technology venture capitalists and entrepreneurs, identify opportunities to collaborate and partner, and advance Dell’s objective of becoming the leading end-to-end enterprise solutions provider.

On Oct. 3 in Palo Alto, CA, Dell Ventures hosted the first of what we expect will be a continuing “Dell Innovate” series. The “Dell Innovate: Networking Summit” focused on the role of the network in our vision of enterprise IT infrastructure. This event gave 80 top-tier venture capitalists, executives from innovative young networking companies, and Dell leaders the opportunity to discuss opportunities to work together to accelerate the pace of network innovation.

Dave Johnson, Dell senior vice president of Corporate Strategy, kicked off the event with a discussion of our enterprise transformation. He noted that Dell enterprise revenue has nearly doubled in the last seven years, and as a percentage of Dell revenue, enterprise now accounts for more than one-third, versus 19 percent in 2005. This growth has enabled us to invest more than $12 billion dollars in acquisitions that fit into our vision of agile and efficient IT.

From there, Dave moderated a well-received panel discussion with leaders from four Dell acquisitions: Mike Cote (SecureWorks), Tarkan Maner (Wyse), Matt Medeiros (SonicWALL) and Rob Meinhardt (KACE). These entrepreneurs described why they joined forces with Dell, the integration process, the results and benefits to date, and their view of the future as part of Dell. The discussion really captured the depth of Dell’s commitment to ensuring its acquisitions are positioned for growth—a commitment echoed by Dell Ventures. With Dell you get more than money. You can get access to our brand, scale, channel, 10 million business customers, technology expertise, OEM programs and much more.

Another such investment was the acquisition of Force10 Networks in August of 2011 to add Force10’s innovative data center network solutions to our existing portfolio of PowerConnect network products for campus, branch and mobility. In the first year since the acquisition our Networking business has grown 94 percent with the addition of approximately 3,500 new customers per quarter.

Leading this growth is Dario Zamarian, vice president and general manager of Dell Networking, who discussed Dell’s Virtual Network Architecture, our vision of the networking-enabled enterprise and key areas in which we want to grow our capabilities and build partnerships—converged infrastructure, software-defined networking and level 4-7 network services.

About the Author: Jim Lussier