New Dell ANZ chief to drive enterprise strategy

Angela Fox has now taken up her role as the new Dell ANZ managing director, and plans to drive the company's enterprise, software, and service divisions going forward, but will not be neglecting its end-user computing business either.
Written by Aimee Chanthadavong, Contributor

Dell has slowly been shifting itself from its PC-only roots to becoming a key player in the enterprise IT market, and it's not expecting to slow down.

Speaking with ZDNet, newly-appointed Dell Australia and New Zealand managing director Angela Fox said under her leadership — which only came into effect four weeks ago in replacement of Joe Kremer who stepped down from the position to focus on his family — the company will be steered towards continuing to build on the company's end-to-end portfolio that is made up of four key business units.

One of these divisions is the company's heritage end-user computing business that includes desktops, mobiles, tablets, and virtual desktop infrastructure, which Fox says continues to be a "very important part of the business".

While there have been reports that Dell's growth in the PC market has been shaky, and the company has been particularly struggling to be a key competitor in the mobile market, Fox claims otherwise.

"Absolutely not," she said. "For the fifth consecutive quarter we have been the only vendor to have grown our market share in the PC market. We continue to drive considerable growth in terms of units, and mobility is a driving a lot of that to a large extent ... the PC is not dead."

IDC's most recent Worldwide Quarterly PC Monitor Tracker showed Dell still dominates in the worldwide market share of the PC monitor shipment. It stayed in number one position in 4Q13 with worldwide market share of 14.2 percent on shipments of 5 million units. 

By region, US shipments declined -4.5 percent from the previous year, while Western Europe, and Asia-Pacific, excluding Japan, delivered the biggest gains for Dell with 11.4 percent and 2.9 percent quarter-on-quarter growth, respectively.

Fox justifies the company's decision to operate its business across its three other business units — enterprise, software, and service — as a way of "broadening" the company's offering to its customers.

"End-user computing is still a critical part of our business, and it's our differentiation for us in the market. If you step back at the competitive landscape out there, we are one of the very few providers that provide the end to end capability right from consumer to full data centre outsourcing or cloud implementation," she said.

"We have fantastic customers in the non-Dell PC space, and we have customers where we have no hardware relationship, rather it's a service or software led engagement."

Dell's software, enterprise, and services has mainly been lifted through acquisitions, such as the US$960 million deal with Compellent and the US$1.4 billion deal for EqualLogic. It has also recently partnered with Cummulus Networks to deliver Linux-based, bare-metal open-source networking.

"Research and development continue to be made across the entire portfolio but if you look at the last five years, where we had considerable investment in both organic and inorganic growth through acquisitions and through quite conscious hiring of special resources, there is a lot going on around software, enterprise, and services," Fox said.

Given that Dell is now a privately owned company, Fox said decisions are able to happen a lot faster, and there's more focus on the business' long-term goals.

"Michael can now make longer term decisions so they can longer term impact and take more than a quarter or six months to make the change," she said, noting previously they had more responsibilities to shareholders on a shorter time frame.

Fox also reassured that the company's decision in February to layoff 15,000 people from its offices worldwide is only part of usual business operations, and reiterates that over the last seven years the company's Australian employee population has tripled, and of that nearly 50 percent are "services professionals" to reflect the work the company is doing in the service space.

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