Dell has announced that it is bucking the trend and seeing strong growth in its enterprise IT business, as the firm starts to refresh selected products in its server, storage and networking portfolios over the next few weeks.
The IT company is one of the few vendors capable of offering a one-stop service for most of its enterprise customers' IT requirements, and said that the growing trend for converged infrastructure in the datacentre is helping to fuel its success.
Clare Vyvyan, vice president of Dell's Enterprise Solutions Group in EMEA, said at an event attended by V3 that the firm saw double-digit growth worldwide last year, and that the EMEA business is set to report double-digit growth for the first quarter of this year.
"We're currently number two in the server business, but we're growing at twice the rate of the rest of the industry in EMEA. We've been taking market share from the others for six quarters on the trot," she said.
Vyvyan reiterated Dell's customer-centric focus, saying that everything the firm does is driven by dialogue with customers, and that there is even greater pressure on IT departments to show a return on investment from what they are doing.
"IT is more than ever critical to business results, and it has to deliver business outcomes. If it does not, you'll find you're not going to be a CIO for very long," she said.
The time allowed for return on investment is also getting shorter. Companies used to be happy to wait five years or more, but now expect to see it within six months, she added.
However, the way Dell serves its customers has changed radically in recent years. More than 60 percent of Dell's enterprise business in EMEA is now conducted via reseller channel partners, according to Vyvyan.
"We just don't bother about that any more. It's an omni-channel business," she explained.
Vyvyan said that Dell is about to introduce easy to integrate products that she referred to as "blueprints". These will be split into reference architectures that offer the best solution for specific workloads such as SharePoint or SAP, or more engineered solutions such as the PowerEdge XC Series based on the Nutanix platform and EVO:RAIL based on VMware's stack.
Other new products are set to be introduced over the coming weeks in the server, networking and storage segments.
Dell announced a set of additional modules last week for its PowerEdge FX converged server platform launched last year. These comprise the FC430 and FC830 server modules, plus the FD332 storage module.
The FC430 is a quarter-width, half-height server, which means that up to eight can be slotted into an FX enclosure, making it ideal for hosting environments where many discrete servers are required.
Each module has a choice of Xeon E5 v3 processors with up to eight memory DIMMs and up to two 1.8in Sata SSDs.
The FC830 is a full-width module that offers a four-socket Xeon server configuration with up to 48 memory DIMMs for mission-critical applications, while the FD332 is a half-width, direct attached storage module capable of holding up to 16 storage devices.
Vyvyan told V3 that, despite the growth in servers being sold to cloud service providers and big cloud-based firms like Facebook, Dell is not seeing any significant fall in sales to enterprise customers.
This is because the volume of workloads is expanding, she explained, so while many organisations are making use of cloud-based resources, they are still buying hardware for on-premise deployment as legacy systems reach end of life.
Research from IDC published on Wednesday showed that cloud computing demand is rising rapidly, though over $30bn in sales expected this year, with public cloud services driving the majority of these sales.
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