Dell Computer

The direct sales model has definitely worked for Dell, as it currently reigns as the top PC vendor in the world.

When Michael Dell first started his company in 1984, while still a student at the University of Texas, he decided that a direct sales model was the best way to make computing accessible to customers around the globe. This strategy proved successful, because for the past 20 years, Dell has firmly established itself as one of the leading PC brands in the world.

According to IDC, Dell is the world's number one PC vendor with 19.3 percent market share. The research firm's data also shows Dell to be the third best-selling PC vendor in Asia for the second quarter of 2005, with 9 percent market share.

Although PCs continue to be the bread and butter for Dell, the company is fast expanding its reach into other areas. It now produces hardware such as storage systems, servers, printers and personal technology gadgets such as PDAs and portable music devices. CEO Kevin Rollins has said that he expects 80 percent of the company's future growth to be from products other than PCs.

So far, this move has worked for Dell in the storage arena. IDC placed the company in the top fourth position in the global standalone storage systems segment for the second quarter of 2005 with 8.3 percent market share. Dell ranked third in the global server market for the first quarter of 2005, with 10.8 percent market share, according to Gartner.