In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: How Dell Can Reinvent Dell
2. Today's Top Story
- With HP Gaining Ground, Can Michael Dell Find His Mojo?
- Rollins' Departure Ends Partnership At Top Of Dell
- Michael Dell In 16 Seconds
3. Breaking News
- Verizon Launches High-Speed Wireless Data Upgrade
- Oracle Beefs Up Developer Services To Help Push New Software Offerings
- NewsGator, Spanning Partners Offer RSS System For Salesforce.com
- Microsoft Unveils SSL VPN Server Software
- IE 7 Phishing Bug For Windows XP Appears Early
- iPhone Lawsuit On Hold
- Microsoft Exec Wanted To Mask Linux Report Sponsorship, E-Mails Reveal
- Microsoft Confirms Vista Speech Attack Tactic
- IBM Head Count In India Tops 50,000
- Piracy Worked For Us, Romania President Tells Gates
- Playing iTunes On Windows Vista Requires Tricky Workaround
4. In Depth: Demo 07
- Connecting Devices And Making Pigs Fly
- Consumers Rule, And New Tech Tools Abound
- Demo 07 Conference Showcases Encrypted Messaging, Inkless Printing
- Seagate To Give More Mobile Storage
- Preview: Zoho Notebook Takes On Microsoft's OneNote
5. Voice Of Authority
- Blogger Smackdown At AlwaysOn
6. White Papers
- Stopping The Insider Threat With Network Access Control
7. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
8. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription
Quote of the day:
"If we knew what we were doing, it wouldn't be called research, would it?" -- Albert Einstein
1. Editor's Note: How Dell Can Reinvent Dell
The news that Michael Dell has stepped back into the CEO spot at the PC company that bears his name is about the best Wall Street could hope for, but what does it mean for Dell's customers, exactly? If Dell the man is going to save Dell the company, he's got to reinvent it. He had one great ideamail-order PCs at commodity prices. Can he have another one? I'll give him one for free: Linux.
Dell Inc. has obviously been the victim of its own success. It became the Sears-Roebuck of PCs, the King of Mail-order Machines, driving down its only rival, Gateway, with ruthless price-war tactics. But that success sowed the seeds of the company's current problemscommodity PCs with no distinguishable technological differentiation, nonfunctional customer support, and price-cutting that has straitjacketed the company's business model.
So what should Michael do to get Dell rolling again? Three things built Dell: technology, service, and access. The company has fallen behind the curve on all three.
Technology: Simply selling cheap PCs isn't a winning marketing strategy anymore. Dell needs to rediscover its interest in advanced technologyand that doesn't mean selling flat-screen TVs and iPod knock-offs. Corporate America, which has been Dell's bread and butter for a decade, is going to buy lots of PCs in the next few years, but it won't be buying $300 desktops. Dell needs to give businesses new ways of architecting and managing their computing and networks.
Service: The decline in Dell's once-awesome reputation for customer service has been sad to witness, and it's probably played a bigger role in Dell's losses than anything else. Maybe Dell could put some money into marketing its service operation to a wider audience by offering fee-based support for products it didn't sellother companies' PCs and peripherals. Economies of scale could work to Dell's advantage in re-establishing a service operation that will sell its hardware.
Access: For the new age, Dell needs to provide customers with the kind of access to technology that can upgrade their hardware without disrupting their routines. Today, when home networks support at least one PC per person and everybody wants media centers in the family room and the master bedroom, that's a business big enough for even Dell to deal with. And it will take a Dell-sized business, with all its warehouses, to capitalize on the market's expectations of instant gratification.
Where will the money to finance this extreme makeover of Michael Dell's company come from? Well, he could keep the money he's paying Microsoftprobably something less than $70 per PCby developing his own proprietary operating systema "Dell-Luxe Linux" and selling Windows as an option only to those customers that need it, or think they do. It would mean major changes at Dell, but who better to make them than Dell himself?
What do you think? How can Michael Dell save his ailing namesake? Leave a comment at the InformationWeek Blog and let us know.
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CIO Agenda: IT Culture
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Consumers Rule, And New Tech Tools Abound
For all the fascination with consumer content creation, some companies at Demo remained focused on the enterprise, and labor savings through automation was a common goal.
Blogger Smackdown At AlwaysOn
"Panel: Can Brands Get Away with 'Buzz Marketing' in the Blogosphere?" was the best session so far at AlwaysOn. It was chock-full of emotion, idealism, and all the kinds of ideas you hope to see at a conference.
6. White Papers
Stopping The Insider Threat With Network Access Control
This paper describes how effective network access control provides enterprises with increased security from insider threats and greater regulatory complianceand improves the overall health and security of today's complex network infrastructures.
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