Dell stuns India with increased R&D spend

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Dell tends to spend most of its time paring back research and development efforts at every opportunity. Fierce enterprise growth, however, has forced the no nonsense vendor to expand server and storage R&D work in India, according to a Dell official.

A new Bangalore team will go at improving Dell's hardware portfolio, complementing work done today in Round Rock, Texas. The Indian group will work on motherboard and enclosure designs along with tweaking the systems' BIOS and thermal traits. Word of Dell's ramped up Indian efforts came from an IDG News Service report.

"We are not moving the work out of Austin," Vivek Mansingh, the head of Dell's India R&D center, told the news wire. "We are growing so fast as a company that we need more products, and we are expanding our engineering capabilities worldwide."

To Mansingh's point, Dell continues to grow at a solid pace, although the company's Intel-only stance appears to have hurt server sales in recent quarters. In its fourth quarter, for example, Dell's server sales rose 10 per cent year-over-year. The company has a solid history of increasing server shipments at a much more impressive clip.

Beyond that, Dell does not do a heck of lot of original server design. Many of its products arrive from Asian design houses. In addition, Dell will turn to Tier 1 partners for help at times, as you can see with its blade servers designed by Fujitsu and storage gear from EMC.

One gets the sense that Dell wants to spin this engineering push as proof that its hefty Indian operations aren't all about call centers and assembly lines. The company wants to make "real" use of local talent or at least have it look that way.

Dell failed to tell the news service exactly how many hardware helpers it will hire, saying only that "some" of the 300 to 600 engineers it plans to add within 18 months will do the server and storage designs.

Dell claims to do much of its own notebook design in Taiwan, desktop design in China and printer and imaging product design in Singapore. ®

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