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Dell celebrates first year of 'freedom' with growth

Michael Dell has boasted about the positive results the company has seen since becoming a private company last year, and how the company plans to continue the momentum.

As computing giant Dell celebrates its first year as a privatised business , founder and chief executive Michael Dell has boasted that the company delivered nothing but positive outcomes over the last year.

Some of these results included seeing year-on-year growth across all regions globally, growing its worldwide PC shipments by nearly 10 percent year on year in Q3, which led to growing its market share in the North American market by 19 percent. It gained triple the share of HP, five times as much as Apple, and 10 times as much as Lenovo.

The company said it maintained its number one share position in servers in North America, and reclaimed the top position in APJ, as well as saw double-digit growth in revenue year on year in its software business. Dell also said the company claimed the number one position in storage during the first half of 2014, where it grew 14.3 percent compared to declines of roughly 7 percent or more by EMC, HP, and IBM.

"I couldn't be more pleased with our positioning," Dell said, noting that the company's "freedom" has helped give it more focus.

In an aim to continue this momentum, Dell told press at Dell World 2014 that the company's future strategy has been aligned to four customer imperatives — transform, connect, inform, and protect — which come off the back of the major technology trends of cloud, mobile, big data, and security.

Dell said he envisions a "future-ready" datacentre that will be open, scalable, agile, and affordable, which will be built around converged infrastructure, as well software-defined networking, storage, and compute capabilities. The "connect" plan will be about managing mobility, the datacentre, and the cloud, while "inform" will be around turning big data into outcomes and helping customers use it as a form of competitive advantage. Meanwhile, "protect" will be focused on its newly built context-aware system that will allow customers to share information faster across their entire environment.

The company also plans to grow by leveraging its OEM partnerships, with over 3,000 companies worldwide that use its converged infrastructure as the basis for their products. It is especially "very closely aligned" with Microsoft, VMware, and Red Hat OpenStack, which are top players in the private cloud space.

"We think the [private cloud and converged infrastructure] trend is absolutely in our favour. We're aggressively building our own software capability as well, but we think it's about giving customers choice," Dell said.

"We don't think Microsoft, VMware, or Red Hat are going to easily give up in that space, but as a leading provider of converged infrastructure, you're going to see our hardware run on a wide variety of solutions that we provide and OEM partners provide."

Last month, Microsoft teamed up with Dell to launch its Azure cloud in a box , and VMware embraced its relationship with Dell through the announcement of its family of hyper-converged products, VMware EVO .

As for where the company's PC business will fit into the future, according to Dell, it's not going anywhere.

"We have a great PC business, and we're excited about the unparalleled value and performance that we're able to bring to customers, and the reliability and support that backs up the products. We're growing and gaining share. A lot of discussion about is the PC is dead. We still believe PC is where the real business gets done," he said.

Dell also emphasised that while the company sees mobility as a market being driven by smartphones, it's one space the company has no plans on entering, because "it's competitive", and will instead focus on tablets, two in ones, and its servicing business.

Despite boasting successes so far, the company laid off an estimated 15,000 employees worldwide , including from Australia , as part of what Dell called a "voluntary separation program" earlier this year.

"We thought that was a more humane way of changing some of the nature of the workforce. We need more people in certain areas, and it's also true there are cases we need less people in certain areas, which is why we did the voluntary separation program," Dell explained.

"But if you go to any of the major job sites out there, Dell's hiring; we're hiring salespeople, we're hiring research and development people, we're hiring engineers, we're hiring software developers to grow our business.

"I think the actions we took were normal things for any company to undertake. As our business grows, we'll hire more people around the world."

Aimee Chanthadavong travelled as a guest of Dell to Dell World 2014.