Dell Aims at Mid-Tier Hyperscale Enterprises with New Division
Dell is targeting a large group of enterprises whose compute needs far outstrip the needs of x86 processors but do not yet meet the requirements of the most powerful supercomputers on the market.
The company's newly announced Datacenter Scalable Solutions (DSS) is a line of business within Dell's Enterprise Solutions organization that targets the needs of telecommunications service providers, hosting companies, oil and gas, and research organizations that typically have high-volume technology needs plus supply chain requirements in order to deliver business innovation.
Dell plans to release DSS-branded products this fall, said Ashley Gorakhpurwalla, vice president and general manager, Dell Server Solutions, during a web-based press conference on Friday. The operation – codenamed Strike Force – has been in effect for a year and in that time DSS has gone global and won customers using existing Dell solutions and services, he said.
"We've already grown our revenue greater than 400 percent in that year and we've already engaged with 200 customers and will double that before the end of the year," Gorakhpurwalla said.
Dell DSS enabled one unnamed global web-tech company to garner quicker access to inventory and improve design efficiency, while reducing total cost of ownership and overall acquisition price, according to Dell. Similarly, an international SaaS provider received a custom infrastructure using Dell's PowerEdge portfolio, including SED SSDs and HDDs. As a result, the providers' customers get faster access to cloud and optimal configurations, Dell reported.
Initially, customization will be key to DSS services and solutions, Jyeh Gan, director of product marketing and strategy, told EnterpriseTech. In fact, Dell touts the consultative sale as one of its benefits, since the company works closely with clients to understand the customer's business and how DSS' high performance solutions can resolve a challenge or attain an opportunity, he said.
"It's about understanding a customer's problems and the things they're trying to work through. What are you trying to get out of it? We think this is actually not the best way to do it. Can we suggest this way?" said Gan. "It's not just doing the customization, configuration work, it's the optimization of their environment and really solving their business need. It's providing our insight from our large supply chain. It's making our informed recommendation. It's up to them to accept it."
Dell wants to remove some of that customization when it unveils the first DSS-branded products this fall. The company holds about 18 percent of the server market, according to IDC. Dell's projected growth rate is almost 13 percent, the analyst firm predicts.
Of course, Dell is not alone in targeting the rich market of companies that fall between hyperscale and traditional enterprise systems. HP partnered with Intel earlier this year to pursue enterprise customers. And President Barack Obama's National Strategic Computing Initiative (NSCI) is widely expected to encourage innovation and participation from a slew of new and existing advanced scale computing players.
"That sort of function will boost all kinds of enterprises because it calculates demand as well as so many other effects of any given input," Ari Zoldan, CEO of Quantum Media Group, told EnterpriseTech.
In time, Dell DSS could encompass organizations beyond the initial target groups, Gan said.
"I think we will. We also talked about telcos and service providers. HPC is definitely a big focus area for us," he said. "Everybody has a need for something that is a little different and enables their competitive differentiation. Every day they don’t have a solution they're losing money. We're moving toward a software-defined world and everything becomes a bit more compute centric. As that happens there is definitely a need for an organization or a capability within Dell to service the needs of all these customers. As we grow our Internet of Things offerings they've already started talking about the need for something like DSS in our world and how we can enable that."