Michael Dell at Oracle OpenWorld 2011

There is a sense of energy and buzz in San Francisco this week at Oracle OpenWorld 2011. The main auditorium was filled with nearly 10,000 people this morning to hear Michael Dell’s keynote focused on the evolution of technology. Michael Dell opened his speech highlighting how Dell is transforming to concentrate on delivering value to customers from the desktop all the way through the datacenter and across the business. Although he emphasized that Dell is not just a PC company, he did say Dell still loves hardware and is committed to the PC for many reasons. In particular, the PC is an integral part of the entire solution and with over 1.5 billion in the market, the PC gives Dell serious buying power.

The evolution of the IT industry is changing quickly but, according to Michael Dell, the most radical changes are happening with how people interact with technology, forcing the line between business and IT to go away. Michael highlighted significant changes in technology throughout the past forty years stating that before it was just a tool to help enable companies to function whereas now, it’s embedded in every aspect of business. This paradigm shift means IT professionals are evolving to become business strategists too. Dell’s own CIO, Robin Johnson, says his job isn’t to run the data center or deliver applications but instead it’s to deliver value by improving business processes.

From its inception, Dell has been committed to helping customers realize their full potential. Michael Dell stated it is people that matter most to Dell which is at the heart of the company’s transformation. The acquisition of Perot Systems was a catalyst to providing customers more value across the enterprise as well as smaller acquisitions like InSite One with expertise in Healthcare, an industry in which Dell is considered the #1 provider for IT. Dell is continuing to grow organically as well as inorganically with eight companies acquired last year, many focused on the datacenter in areas such as storage with Compellent and networking with Force10.

The most exciting and surprising acquisitions are those that extend Dell’s reach into other areas. Boomi is a great example since it’s known for pioneering cloud integration. Taleo CEO, Mike Gregoire, joined Michael Dell on stage to highlight the power Boomi brings to his business.

SecureWorks was highlighted as another interesting acquisition for Dell. With 100K new varieties of malware identified daily, Michael Dell compared SecureWorks to Fight Club; something you just don’t talk about publicly. With SecureWorks, Dell handles 15B security events a day for 3K customers globally and protects over $14T in assets in the financial sector alone. Kent Polzin, Director of IT at RaceTrac Petroleum, joined Michael on stage to talk about how SecureWorks is helping mitigate risk for his company. With over 600 stores and over 500K credit card transactions daily, security is a serious issue for RaceTrac. Polzin commented that the benefit of SecureWorks is the flexibility of the offerings as well as the ability to virtually augment his staff when needed.

Dell IT was noted for building world-class systems that run Dell’s $60B business, managing 10K suppliers, shipping over 100K systems a day, over a billion online requests each month, and millions of orders. With Dell IT expertise and Perot’s consulting capabilities, Dell has created a force in the industry to deliver applications and solutions to customers.

JP Sarkis, VP of Packaged Applications for Dell Services, joined Michael on stage to discuss how Dell IT was interested in reducing costs so the company could focus on IT innovation. Initially, Dell was spending 70% of their IT budget to keep lights on with only 30% left for strategic initiatives. To improve that mix, Dell embarked on a standardization and modernization exercise which resulted in a reduction to only 48% to keep lights on and 52% for innovation.

The increased focus on innovation enabled Dell to focus on Global Order Management processes which includes an Oracle support solution for all 30K agents. Dell is now the largest Order Management system running on x86 servers. With the Intel processor launch early next year, Michael Dell announced that Dell will release its 12th generation servers. These PowerEdge servers will extend Dell’s leadership in the server market enabling customers to run more complex workloads on fewer servers, with increased performance, more memory and storage options, and new networking integration.

Michael Dell closed his keynote stating that Dell is at the center of the technology revolution and focused on creating value for customers to help them realize their true potential. That is what the new Dell is all about.

About the Author: Susie Grandi