Other
Commentary
2/5/2007
01:31 PM
Commentary
Commentary
Commentary
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Can Michael Dell Find His Mojo?

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 idea—mail-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 problems—commodity 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 technology—and 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 sell—other 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 Microsoft—probably something less than $70 per PC—by developing his own proprietary operating system—a "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.

    David DeJean
    ddejean@dejean.com
    www.informationweek.com


    2. Today's Top Story

    With HP Gaining Ground, Can Michael Dell Find His Mojo?
    Dell has been stumbling as Hewlett-Packard surges ahead. Can Michael Dell right this listing ship?

    Related Stories:

    Rollins' Departure Ends Partnership At Top Of Dell
    The return of Michael Dell as chief executive of the company he founded ends a decade-long partnership and unusual shared leadership structure between Dell and the man he replaced, Kevin Rollins.

    Michael Dell In 16 Seconds
    Michael Dell is excited to be a CEO again, but will he be excited enough to start a channel strategy?


    3. Breaking News

    Verizon Launches High-Speed Wireless Data Upgrade
    The improved EV-DO network rollout in five metro areas is expected to compete with similar broadband offerings from Sprint and AT&T.

    Oracle Beefs Up Developer Services To Help Push New Software Offerings
    Oracle needs such programs to entice more developers to write software that runs on its Fusion middleware.

    NewsGator, Spanning Partners Offer RSS System For Salesforce.com
    By providing access to information through an RSS reader, workers won't need to log into Salesforce.com several times a day for updates.

    Microsoft Unveils SSL VPN Server Software
    The company's Intelligent Application Gateway is based on technology it acquired from Whale Communications in 2006.

    IE 7 Phishing Bug For Windows XP Appears Early
    Microsoft urges users to download and install the fix if they notice the browser mysteriously slowing down while surfing.

    iPhone Lawsuit On Hold
    Apple and Cisco Systems are back at the bargaining table to try to settle differences over the use of the name iPhone.

    Microsoft Exec Wanted To Mask Linux Report Sponsorship, E-Mails Reveal
    Kevin Johnson worried adding Microsoft's moniker to IDC analysis for its "Get the Facts" publicity campaign would only fuel the fire from Linux supporters.

    Microsoft Confirms Vista Speech Attack Tactic
    The company downplays the scenario since the targeted system would need to have the speech-recognition feature previously activated and configured.

    IBM Head Count In India Tops 50,000
    If the current growth rate continues, IBM will have more than 70,000 workers in India this year.

    Piracy Worked For Us, Romania President Tells Gates
    Pirated Microsoft software helped Romania build a vibrant technology industry, Romanian President Traian Basescu told Bill Gates on Thursday.

    Playing iTunes On Windows Vista Requires Tricky Workaround
    Until Apple comes out with its update, users have to right click on the iTunes.exe program, select Properties, click on the Compatibility tab, and then on 'Run This Program As An Administrator.'

    All Our Latest News


    ----- The latest research, polls, and tools -----

    SMBs: Register Today For The Small Biz Resource Newsletter
    Every Tuesday and Thursday we give you the lowdown on the small-business climate—tools, tips, dollars, and sense—and the latest on the products and services you need to run your small business or home office more efficiently. Dig in to business tips, technology tricks, and money-saving pointers from small-office and home-office experts. And stay current with developments that could affect the way you do business, with news from around CMP and across the Web—peppered, on occasion, with our personal observations.

    CIO Agenda: IT Culture
    How does your company evaluate technology investments and adopt new technology? Are your IT professionals encouraged to experiment with new technology? Learn what more than 150 CIOs and VPs said about their companies' IT culture in this recent InformationWeek Research report, CIO Agenda: IT Culture. Use this report to evaluate your IT organization's culture and examine how you might become more aggressive in your quest for innovation.

    -----------------------------------------


    4. In Depth: Demo 07

    Connecting Devices And Making Pigs Fly
    DartDevices lets devices with different operating systems and CPUs—say, the HP iPaq Phone and a Mac—communicate, interoperate, and synchronize.

    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.

    Demo 07 Conference Showcases Encrypted Messaging, Inkless Printing
    A wide range of products shown at Demo 07—new encryption technology, inkless printing, a Web-based shipping system for small businesses, and even some enterprise applications—highlight a new trend in technology.

    Seagate To Give More Mobile Storage
    Hard drive maker Seagate Technology at Demo showed off what it has dubbed DAVE (digital audio/video experience), a wireless storage platform.

    Preview: Zoho Notebook Takes On Microsoft's OneNote
    The latest Zoho online application, introduced at Demo 07, will provide a free place for assembling and sharing info.


    5. Voice Of Authority

    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 compliance—and improves the overall health and security of today's complex network infrastructures.


    7. Get More Out Of InformationWeek

    Try InformationWeek's RSS Feed

    Discover all InformationWeek's sites and newsletters

    Recommend This Newsletter To A Friend
    Do you have friends or colleagues who might enjoy this newsletter? Please forward it to them and point out the subscription page.


    8. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

    To unsubscribe from, subscribe to, or change your E-mail address for this newsletter, please visit the InformationWeek Subscription Center.

    Note: To change your E-mail address, please subscribe your new address and unsubscribe your old one.

    Keep Getting This Newsletter
    Don't let future editions of InformationWeek Daily go missing. Take a moment to add the newsletter's address to your anti-spam white list:
    InfoWeek@update.informationweek.com

    If you're not sure how to do that, ask your administrator or ISP. Or check your anti-spam utility's documentation. Thanks.

    We take your privacy very seriously. Please review our Privacy Policy.

    InformationWeek Daily Newsletter
    A free service of InformationWeek and the TechWeb Network.
    Copyright (c) 2007 CMP Media LLC
    600 Community Drive
    Manhasset, N.Y. 11030

    Comment  | 
    Print  | 
    More Insights
  • The Business of Going Digital
    The Business of Going Digital
    Digital business isn't about changing code; it's about changing what legacy sales, distribution, customer service, and product groups do in the new digital age. It's about bringing big data analytics, mobile, social, marketing automation, cloud computing, and the app economy together to launch new products and services. We're seeing new titles in this digital revolution, new responsibilities, new business models, and major shifts in technology spending.
    Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
    White Papers
    Current Issue
    InformationWeek Tech Digest - August 27, 2014
    Who wins in cloud price wars? Short answer: not IT. Enterprises don't want bare-bones IaaS. Providers must focus on support, not undercutting rivals.
    Flash Poll
    Video
    Slideshows
    Twitter Feed
    InformationWeek Radio
    Archived InformationWeek Radio
    Howard Marks talks about steps to take in choosing the right cloud storage solutions for your IT problems
    Sponsored Live Streaming Video
    Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
    Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.