Feeds

Dell promises 'radical,' two-year metamorphosis

Angst removal for fun and profit

High performance access to file storage

While bashing IBM's services business, Jarvis also found time to expand on Dell's own services push. In case you haven't noticed, Dell and Sun Microsystems have started pulling in quite a bit of services revenue, which must make HP and IBM nervous. Of course, Dell and Sun like to pitch themselves as low-maintenance services providers, as compared to HP and IBM, which want to form long-term marriages with your data centers.

"We're not going to come in and drink your coffee and eat your doughnuts like the other guys," Jarvis said.

How exactly will Dell's services be different? We're still not sure.

Jarvis talked a lot about offering remote management of products and performing "fixed time and fixed price engagements." It sounds like Dell wants to apply its no-frills, no-nonsense model to services, which is probably a win for customers.

Courting the next Michael Dell

According to Jarvis, the legacy dinosaurs are dying off - or at least heading into retirement. This old-man phase-out again opens a chance for Dell to get radical, since it's never had to deal with mainframes or Unix boxes.

"The question is how do we provide a new approach that will be lower cost than maintaining legacy systems," Jarvis said. "There are kids going into IT that are the first generation who have spent their entire lives on the internet. They have no knowledge of the client-server model and have never seen a mainframe. There's a radical change in the whole view of the IT department. These future CIOs don't see IT the way older people see it."

Dell's freshness attack certainly differs from what HP and IBM are selling. HP, for example, has its grand BT agenda where it wants to discuss the ways in which technology adds to a company's competitive position rather than always arguing over ROI and maintenance costs. When customers ask "Does IT Matter?", HP says "Hell, yes."

Jarvis declined our invitation to confront HP's BT plan directly, relying instead on Oracle-style rival bashing.

"HP's biggest problem is that they are not very good when they have to play defense," Jarvis said. "My job is to absolutely make sure HP is forced into playing defense."

Radically the Same

Thus far, we'd say Dell has been less radical than it claims. It added a new processor supplier, simplified its overwhelming web site, added customer support reps and removed unwanted garbage from PCs. Such moves would obviously please most customers, and there's little pride in being obvious.

Dell, however, does have a real chance to impress if it comes through with some true innovation during the two-year transformation period it has set. We'd love to see the company go against the grain and counter the likes of HP, IBM and Sun with well-made, low-cost hardware that offers something unique in the way of, say, software bundling or services.

We're not 100 per cent convinced that Dell knows how to reach this goal just yet. It remains an entity in flux, searching for a new, non-direct identity.

If there's real action behind Jarvis's words, we should see the first examples of Dell's labor in the third and fourth quarters as the Project Hybrid gear begins to reach consumers. Should this gear live up to Dell's own billing, then we are in the midst of a radical change, and we'll happily pat Jarvis on the back. If not . . . . .

No pressure. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
European Court of Justice rips up Data Retention Directive
Rules 'interfering' measure to be 'invalid'
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Cisco reps flog Whiptail's Invicta arrays against EMC and Pure
Storage reseller report reveals who's selling what
Bored with trading oil and gold? Why not flog some CLOUD servers?
Chicago Mercantile Exchange plans cloud spot exchange
Just what could be inside Dropbox's new 'Home For Life'?
Biz apps, messaging, photos, email, more storage – sorry, did you think there would be cake?
IT bods: How long does it take YOU to train up on new tech?
I'll leave my arrays to do the hard work, if you don't mind
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.