Sweet On Dell Technologies: Innovation in the Data Era

This is the fifth installment of an ongoing series “Sweet on Dell Technologies.”

Co-authored with Jeff Clarke, Vice Chairman, Products and Operations, Dell Technologies.

A few weeks ago, I was in New York for our Dell Technologies 2019 Business Update. It’s a given that we reviewed our company strategy and financials, but what we also wanted attendees to take away is the depth of our innovation. Innovation is nothing new for our business – it’s what our customers expect from us. And, the speed and scale at which we’re innovating and integrating across the Dell Technologies family to create the technology infrastructure of the future is what’s truly impressive.

As we head into 2020, I look across our expansive Dell Technologies’ portfolio – one that has evolved alongside the needs of our customers with a company-wide vision to drive human progress. This vision has inspired us to develop solutions for customers that allow them to evolve their entire IT strategy to meet the demands of the Data Era. And true to the core of our beginnings, we build solutions to remove the complexity our customers face every day in a world where IT touches almost all aspects of business, from PCs, apps, services, clouds, the edge, security, AI and Machine Learning.

So, with this in mind, for today’s episode of the ‘Sweet On’ blog, I’ve invited Dell Technologies’ Vice Chairman Jeff Clarke to provide his insights into how we approach innovation to deliver holistic solutions for our customers across Dell Technologies. Jeff has been immersed in Dell’s innovation evolution for more than 30 years – his perspective is one that I always enjoy, having had both a front-row seat to all the action – while also being right in the middle of it all.

Dell Technologies recently held its annual Business Update for financial analysts and media in New York, where Michael Dell, Dennis Hoffman (our Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy), Tom and I provided an overview of just how large our opportunity is in the market given the depth and breadth or our portfolio and capabilities.

One thing I hope we made crystal clear to our guests at the event and those listening over the web – this is not the Dell of years’ past. This is a new, powerhouse Dell Technologies delivering innovation at the scale and speed of the Data Era.

We are uniquely positioned in a world where data is driving insights and action, and as a result – customers are making big investments in their IT infrastructure in order to stay competitive. Our customers are investing in physical and virtual hardware, digital workspace solutions, applications, AI-enabled systems and services. These investments are borne out of the need to mobilize, analyze and utilize data as their greatest asset – and inspire and enable their workforce to deliver game-changing outcomes with the most potent tools, applications and resources.

While I could spend more time on growth and revenue numbers behind that portfolio – I want to hover on how we’re investing in innovation in ways that are truly unique to Dell Technologies.

In just the last five years, we invested more than $20 billion in R&D, with more than 25,000 patents and applications. And while hardware is our roots – we’re innovating across our portfolio to deliver infrastructure solutions and PCs that are fueled by intelligent software. Dell Technologies is home to more than 20,000 engineers, data scientists and PhDs – and 85 percent of them are writing software.

The focus of all that innovation driven by ingenuity? Our customers. That’s never changed in my 32 years with the organization. We’ve long partnered with our customers to deliver solutions that don’t just stun and excite in a lab – they make a difference when applied to the real world. We take advantage of Open Innovation and Experience Innovation to deliver powerful systems and customer experiences that tackle the most poignant challenges our customers face today and what they expect to face in the next three to five years.

However, what always changes are the needs of our customers – and man are they evolving at a pace they, and we, are working hard to keep up with. The rate of data growth is not slowing – and currently many organizations are managing upwards of five disparate IT systems to mobilize, analyze, protect and secure their data – creating complexity and a lack of data visibility. That’s all compounded when you consider the amount of data that will come from the edge in the next five years – and the need to drive your data management strategy across both the edge and the cloud.

It’s that complexity that has our CTO and engineering teams fired up to deliver holistic solutions that simplify it all. And what’s even more exciting is that given the breadth of the Dell Technologies estate – we’re able to do just that. We have the unique ability to bring together the brightest minds and leading innovation across IT infrastructure, PCs, services, security, application development. We have the solutions to enable a hybrid-cloud strategy while at the same time extending compute for AI and Machine Learning workloads out to the edge. We have the partnerships throughout the broader ecosystem to extend innovation into vertical markets and continue to make investments into the next amazing breakthroughs in IT through our venture arm, Dell Technologies Capital.

Take all of this and support it with the world’s leading technology supply chain and global finance arm, and our customers get unparalleled solutions and services to power their business. That’s Dell Technologies today – leading from the front in the Data Era.

Editor’s note: To go deeper, check out Tom’s and Jeff’s recent presentations and transcript from the Business Update in New York at: https://investors.delltechnologies.com/events/event-details/dell-technologies-2019-business-update

About the Author: Tom Sweet

Tom Sweet was previously Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Dell Technologies.