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Michael Dell on Surface tablet: 'The impact will be limited'

Tom Spring | Sept. 27, 2012
Michael Dell has reached a crossroads.

PCW: What are your biggest markets these days? Consumer, SMB, or enterprise?

Dell: More than 80 percent of our business is what we call commerciala combination of SMB, Enterprise, and Public Sectorso thats a strength and a priority for us. We are particularly focused on the midmarket, which is underserved and also a segment where we are positioned to lead with our open, scalable solutions. However, with the ongoing consumerization of IT, we are also fully aware of the blurring of lines between what is consumer and what is commercial, and the products and services were delivering today and into the future are designed to bridge that gap.

PCW: What services do you see as essential for small businesses as technology evolves? (For example, cloud services and security?)

Dell: SMBs may very well be the big winners when it comes to new and emerging trends in IT. Were working to make business applications and capabilities that were formerly reserved for the largest of enterprises accessible to any company of any size through solutions that combine various elements of cloud, mobility, converged infrastructure, software. and services. So for example, a midmarket company can access big-data analytics or stand up a cloud architecture without needing a data scientist on staff or an IT department with a couple of hundred people to keep things running.

PCW: You famously started your company at age 19 with $1000 from your dorm room at the University of Texas in 1984. Do you have any brief advice for cash-strapped college kids who want to start a tech business out of their dorm room today?

Dell: It doesnt necessarily take a lot of cash to start a great company. Some of the best ideas come from young people who bring new insights and perspective to existing opportunities. That was certainly my experience, and I feel pretty good about how that turned out. So if you have a great idea and youre willing to pursue it, learn from your mistakes and adjust quickly, and keep your customer at the center of everything you do.


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