The First 6 Months with Dell OEM Solutions…And a Glimpse into the Days Ahead

Now that 6 months have passed since I took the reins of the Dell OEM Solutions business I wanted to share of some my impressions of the overall business and our greatest opportunities ahead.

What was considered to be “the best kept secret within Dell”, Dell OEM Solutions has gone from a small, entrepreneurial group to a global, tier-1 provider of OEM solutions on a billion+ dollar run rate in 12 years. We’ve had great momentum over the past few years in that we’ve increased our customer base to more than 2,000, brought EMEA and APJ teams online and increased the employee base 3x. The secret is now out – we are the only tier-one manufacturer that offers a single source for comprehensive, end-to-end hardware integration, an XL program with extended life products and solid change management, and services and support worldwide.

We help our customers such as Exasol, BlueSoc, Pivot3 and GGO reduce or eliminate the complexity and overhead costs of bringing a product to market and focus more resources and time on what they do best. We power solutions across a wide array of industries that you, and even I, might be surprised by including video rental machines, vending machines, kiosk payment systems, ultrasound systems, arcade games, ATMs and many other technologies that everyone uses on a daily basis; in fact I like to say Dell OEM is everywhere.

2011 Priorities

We’ve built a solid backbone for our business in the medical, industrial automation and appliance space and there’s still huge potential with an addressable market in the double digit billions in our estimation. Two verticals where we see great potential are the telecommunications and military/aerospace markets as both of these are moving to open and modified COTS (commercial-off-the-shelf) platforms. We’ll continue to build on our already-strong server and industrial PC business and increase our focus on services and storage-product selling.

And, we’ll continue to develop our OEM XL program, which we announced last week, to help our customers better manage the lifecycles of their products through stability of core components and longer platform transition periods, which enables them to reduce time and resources required for developing and qualifying configurations.

Industry Analyst Feedback

Recently I had the chance to meet with almost 100 industry analysts and speak on a panel titled “A Side of Dell You May Not Know” at Dell’s Annual Industry Analyst Conference.  The audience was initially surprised that Dell is integral in helping such a wide variety of companies build their re-branded solutions. Roger Kay of Endpoint Analysis wrote a follow up article on the event and noted that Dell’s OEM business is “quiet, under-sung, yet growing” and is “running like a tent pole through the middle of the whole operation.” Other analysts were tweeting throughout my panel and Matt Eastwood of IDC tweeted “Dell’s OEM biz is a personal favorite of @MichaelDell. Great to see them shed some light on this business at #SSVE” and @MichaelDell responded on Twitter, “True!”

Customer Feedback

I’ve heard really positive feedback from customers since I assumed this role. They’ve noted the strength of our sales teams and our responsiveness across the width and depth of our organization. Most importantly, they recognize that Dell has the strongest value proposition in the areas of customization, services and global supply chain management. One thing that I am certain about after meeting with many current and prospective customers is that Dell does business differently and we are making a difference to our customers. We help run the security at airports, reduce the cost of genome sequencing, help save lives with CT scanners and power many more critical technologies.

Progress and Future of Dell OEM

Dell’s current progress as a solutions-oriented company underscores the company’s commitment to becoming an important partner to our customers above and beyond the products we sell. This is especially true in Dell OEM Solutions, where we develop solutions for our customers’ complex business problems. We strive to make all of our solutions open, capable and affordable. I’m looking forward to a great second half of 2011 and continuing to help our customers grow and transform their business.

About the Author: Sameer Garde