Dell's name rings from the desktop to the data center. The world's #3 supplier of PCs (behind #1 Lenovo and #2 Hewlett-Packard) Dell provides a broad range of technology products for the consumer, education, enterprise, and government sectors. In addition to its line of desktop and notebook PCs, Dell offers network servers, data storage systems, printers, Ethernet switches, and peripherals, such as displays and projectors. It also markets third-party software and hardware. The company's services unit provides asset recovery, financing, infrastructure consulting, support, systems integration, and training, as well as hosted IT services. Dell was taken private in 2013 in a deal valued at nearly $25 billion. Two years later, Dell agreed to acquire EMC, which makes computer storage systems, for $67 billion, the biggest pure technology deal.
Change in Company Type
In the largest leveraged buyout since the recession, the struggling PC maker was acquired in October 2013 by company founder and CEO Michael Dell and private equity firm Silver Lake Partners. Away from the scrutiny of Wall Street, analysts say Dell might stand a better chance of turning itself around -- something the company has had trouble doing amid heightened competition from the likes of HP, Lenovo, Apple, Google, Acer, and IBM.
Dell has traditionally been a desktop PC company, and desktop PCs have generated a quarter of the company's total revenue. While there has been shrinking demand for PCs, Dell has posted eight straight quarters of growth in that business.
The company is moving to bolster and expand its capabilities for cloud computing and big data and information management.
Its mobility segment, which makes notebooks, generates a larger share of sales, has accounted for nearly 30% of revenue. This segment also sells high-end gaming and multimedia PC products, including its XPS and Alienware lines. Other key products come from Dell's software and peripherals segment, which consists of Dell-branded displays and printers, as well as third-party peripherals, software, digital cameras, printers, and televisions.
Dell offers enterprise products, including servers and networking equipment, as well as storage devices such as the PowerVault product family. On the services side, Dell offers a broad range of IT and business services, including infrastructure technology, consulting and applications, and product-related support services.
Dell generates about half of its revenue outside of the US. Because it does a significant portion of its business in international markets, the company is looking to bolster its presence in developing markets, such as the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) countries. It also continues to look overseas to cut operational costs. Based in Singapore, Dell's Asia/Pacific segment includes manufacturing and distribution units in China, India, and Malaysia, as well as a business center in India.
As privately held company, Dell is not required to make information about its finances public.
Dell is working, away from the glare of stock analysts and investors, to become an end-to-end hardware, software, and services provider. As part of the transformation, the company continues to shift its portfolio of products and services to provide higher-value and recurring revenue streams over time.
In early 2014 it extended a reseller and implementation partnership with California-based NetSuite, which offers cloud-based business process management software to midsized companies and divisions of larger enterprises. The deal falls in line with Dell's focus on enterprise business. Also that year Dell partnered with Red Hat on network function virtualization technology.
Mergers and Acquisitions
The acquisition of EMC for $67 billion, announced in October 2015, makes Dell more of a full-service IT company, selling everything from PCs and services to storage systems for cloud-based operations. Dell expects that customers will be attracted to its one-stop shop as competitors such as Hewlett-Packard have split in two. The EMC deal is expected to close in mid-2016.
Since the beginning of fiscal 2012, Dell has acquired more than a dozen businesses. These acquisitions have extended Dell's core capabilities in a variety of enterprise offerings, including storage, networking, virtualized server, data center, desktop solutions, and software-as-a-service application integration, as well as enabled expansion of its customer financing activities.
Dell completed nine such acquisitions in fiscal 2013, including its acquisitions of SonicWALL, Wyse Technology, and the $2.4 billion purchase of Quest Software, a provider of IT management products for handling areas such as systems, security, and workspace.
In 2014 Dell added to its data mining and predictive analytics portfolio with the purchase of StatSoft, a provider of advanced analytics software.