Dell aims to move up in the IT food chain

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Dell aims to move up in the IT food chain

Dell is preparing to roll out a new series of products and services that will allow the company to sell more complete systems instead of point products.

The server and PC maker at a company event in San Francisco unveiled 'Project Hybrid', a marketing program that spans software, hardware and services. The efforts will focus on power efficiency and virtualisation.

The first products are due out in the second half of this year, when Dell plans to launch a new blade server infrastructure. The company also is developing software that will allow for the deployment of new virtual machines within minutes.

Dell furthermore will offer services that allow companies to asses if they are ready to deploy virtualisation and determine the best way to roll out a virtualisation infrastructure.

Migrations from a physical infrastructure to a virtual environment can currently take "months", Dell's director of worldwide enterprise marketing Jay Parker charged. Vendors like HP and IBM furthermore are primarily out to push their consultancy service, having consultants solve all the problems that organisations face, he flamed.

By comparison, Dell positions its services organisation as a way to help companies to solve problems on their own.

"[Project Hybrid] will redefine the way that customers look at enterprise computing. It will simplify their life, their environment," Parker promised.

But despite big promises, Dell revealed remarkably few details about the products that will make up Project Hybrid. The company instead made sure to take repeated jabs at HP and IBM for their alleged mistakes.

In addition to pushing services, the two IT vendors are re-introducing a vendor lock-in with their latest blade server designs, Dell charged. They also focus on the blade form factor too much, ignoring the large install base of rack and tower servers.

The key to Dell's approach of the enterprise IT market, said chief technology officer Kevin Kettler, is allowing customers to purchase systems that work out of the box. From Dell's point of view, the company wants to move up in the IT food chain. Instead of selling boxes that customers themselves piece together, they want to move into more tightly integrated stacks that offer higher profit margins.

"Think of it as Dell historically having been at a platform level. And less so at the aggregation level, solving a much larger solution-oriented problem," Kettler summarised.
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