Michael S Dell wants to more than treble the software services revenue in a “few years”, an ambition that the entrepreneur is betting on his team of leaders handpicked from Indian outsourcing giants such as InfosysBSE -1.36 % and Wipro.
Significantly, the founder, chairman and CEO of the Texas-based computer hardware and services firm believes ever since going private, Dell has been able to focus more on clients without being distracted by “activist shareholders” and invest in some of the long-term strategies, including investing in cloud, security and analytics space.
“We want to double, triple, quadruple our (services) business,” Dell said in a phone interview last week, outlining his ambitions on services play for the first time. “There are 10 companies which have 1% of the $3 trillion IT industry, we have about 2%. We would want to have 3-4% in the years to come,” he said from Brussels where he’s been meeting customers. To be sure, Dell had a services unit in addition to selling desktops before it was taken private earlier this year.
The company first handpicked WiproBSE -0.70 % veteran Suresh Vaswani in December 2012 to steer its services business, who since then has aggressively built a core team by poaching executives from Infosys, Wipro and Hewlett Packard. “(But) remember the IT industry itself will be more than $3 trillion in years to come, and with internet of things (IoT), industry will grow beyond $3 trillion and we would want to bring solutions to capture a bigger share of the growing pie,” Dell said.
INSIDE DELL STRATEGY
The centerpiece of Dell’s turnaround strategy is based on combining existing IPs within to create software platforms and build newer solutions around disruptive technologies in IoT. Dell’s chest thumping on IP hinges on its aggressive play in acquiring companies — it has bought over two dozen firms in the last five years, from StatSoft in advanced analytics to SecureWorks in security space, thereby helping it provide end-toend solutions to its customers.
Over the past one year, Vaswani has been able to convince top Indian IT executives such as Anand Sankaran, a Wipro veteran, Prasad Thrikutam, a high profile Infosys leader among others, to join Dell — “the world’s largest startup” as described by its founder.
“If you look at the industry, it needs some freshness, and I will say we are providing that freshness,” Vaswani told ET in an interview. “Indian IT services come from a particular angle and HP, EDS are monoliths so to speak. We say a different story, and we don’t have legacy. And we have lots of IP.”
Thrikutam, who was hired by Nandan Nilekani in 1995 at Infosys, joined Dell last month. “Most companies have a constraint on which path they can take because if they are a public company, they have to follow quarterly targets. Michael said I can choose the path I want, so I have control over my destiny — that was the clincher for me to join,” Thrikutam said.