Dell's Storage Services Offerings: Strengthening the Customer Experience and Growing Customer Loyalty in a Highly Competitive Market Space

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1 VENDOR PROFILE Dell's Storage Services Offerings: Strengthening the Customer Experience and Growing Customer Loyalty in a Highly Competitive Market Space Paul Hughes IDC OPINION Global Headquarters: 5 Speen Street Framingham, MA USA P F Dell Inc. has been a leader in the compute, networking, and storage market space for almost three decades. Dell's impact on the overall IT marketplace is substantial, with corporate revenue of almost $57 billion in fiscal year Competitive pressures have created a more challenging environment to compete in (refer to Table 1 for yearover-year revenue declines), but Dell's first-quarter revenue gains in storage overall show that the company remains steadfast to differentiating itself against other market leaders and is committed to the storage business. With expected storage (services or infrastructure) market growth rates in the low-single digits for the foreseeable future, storage service offerings of Dell will without a doubt be used to strengthen customer relationships, educate existing customers on expectations and needs as data volumes continue to increase, and help customers manage the growing impact that Big Data and public/private cloud services are having on virtually every vertical industry. Services remain a core part of any enterprise business, and Dell's storagerelated service offerings provide customers with: Multiple levels of customer support that incorporate 24 X 7 support, remote monitoring, and multiple tiers of service based on customer demand Hands-on assessment, implementation and design services for organizations undergoing a storage refresh, and datacenter expansion, consolidation, or transformation Installation and data migration services of Dell and other third-party hardware Consultative services to help customers with Big Data initiatives or cloud-related business changes IN THIS VENDOR PROFILE This IDC Vendor Profile provides an overview of Dell's professional services offerings that relate to the company's storage business. It provides insight into Dell's offerings around storage system assessment, design and implementation, enterprise support, and other deployment and life-cycle services. Filing Information: September 2013, IDC #243115, Volume: 1 Storage and Data Management Services: Vendor Profile

2 SITUATION OVERVIEW Company Overview Dell is well known for delivering a broad range of enterprise and consumer-related computing hardware and has had a strong portfolio of storage assets for years. Over the past six years, Michael Dell and his management team have worked to diversify the company's core business to reach well beyond the PC business by building an expanding set of end-to-end enterprise solutions and embracing a broad range of networking, compute, and storage hardware and software technologies and services. The diversification strategy gives Dell a broader set of IT assets with which to serve enterprise accounts and put the company on par with other compute and storage providers like HP and IBM. Internal investment and acquisition of related technology is ongoing (22 technology acquisitions in the past six years alone), and Dell products and services are sold through direct sales and indirectly via traditional reseller channel partners. That being said, fiscal year 2013 has proven to be a challenging year for all segments, with revenue declining in both the PC and the storage segment (see Table 1). TABLE 1 Dell Company Snapshot Category Functional markets Details Consumer and enterprise PC, server, networking, and storage-related services Founding year 1984 Corporate headquarters Round Rock, Texas Total employees 95,000 Total revenue (FY13) $56.9 billion Revenue change (FY13 versus FY12) -8% Storage-related revenue (FY13) $1.85 billion Storage revenue change (FY13 versus FY12) -8% Source: IDC, 2013 While Dell announced last year that it planned to eliminate approximately $2 billion in costs from its business over a three-year period in the next three years, one area that remains a top priority is its storage business. At last year's Dell Storage Forum, Michael Dell announced that the company was creating a $60 million storage venture fund to provide the capital necessary for due diligence, investment, and potential acquisition of storage technology start-ups. This investment signals Dell's commitment to building a world-class storage portfolio, even in the wake of a highly commoditized and price-sensitive market. Dell's net storage revenue has declined as 2 # IDC

3 a percentage of total revenue compared with the company's networking and server business over the past two years, now representing approximately 15% of the total revenue. Yet Dell remained steadfast in its dedication, with a doubling of R&D spend in the area, and continued investment in services offerings leveraging the expertise it acquired, thanks to the Perot Systems in Perot Systems was a huge step in building out a strong services business, thanks to domain expertise across the entire IT spectrum. The Copilot services teams that came as part of the Compellent acquisition also provides maintenance, managed services, consultative services, and training. As a broader IT player, Dell can now use its services capabilities to help companies manage the complexity inherent in cloud migration, security/risk/compliance, and other transformational processes Dell can play at a high level around cloud, virtualization, and datacenter but has the ability to also drill down to the technology level (storage, networking, etc.) and provide specific assistance on how these technologies should evolve in the context of the larger IT themes. Companies are looking for vendor support in upgrading and transforming their IT operations. That's as much a services story as it is a technology story. Today, Dell's storage solutions offer enterprise-class storage that can be integrated into a client's datacenter, regardless of what generations of solution are in place and a variety of service offerings from basic support to complex consultative design and implementation engagements. Dell has invested heavily in its storage technology and services portfolio to build a set of solutions based around its Fluid Data Architecture strategy. Dell's storage-related services may take a backseat to the sale of hardware and software, but play a significant role for customers that demand high-quality support, storage transformation guidance, and implementation and design services, and offer customers a way to address both short-term tactical and long-term strategic storage planning. Last, the overall buildup of the services business has come at a critical time for Dell, as it maps well to the growing complexity and requirements driven by IDC's view around the 3rd Platform. The platform is built upon mobile devices and apps, cloud services, mobile broadband networks, Big Data analytics, and social technologies, all growing concerns for any service provider or enterprise that manages large amounts of data in its datacenter. Many will look to their vendor partners for support in embracing this new technology challenge. Company Strategy Storage Services Strategy Dell's storage services offerings are broadly based, and while the majority of traditional support offerings are built around the Compellent, EqualLogic, and PowerVault offerings, the services breadth extends around core industry needs and requirements (Big Data, business intelligence, long-term archival, and some verticalspecific service offers). All these service types can scale up and down based on the needs of customers and their data/infrastructure type, activity pattern, location, or long-term storage-related need. Dell's services are also vendor agnostic, particularly in heterogeneous datacenter environments, where Dell will collaborate with related vendors, but for most services requirements, less than 1% actually require any interaction with the third-party vendor in question IDC #

4 Hardware Support Services (Including ProSupport) Dell's storage-related support services are focused on three tiers of customers: small and medium-sized business, large business, and services dedicated for government, education, healthcare, and life sciences. Typical support services include providing datacenter professionals with both remote and onsite technical support for Dell and non-dell hardware and software needs. Remote technical support is offered with several levels of onsite support, ranging from next-business-day to two-hour response times. Remote monitoring and self-service offerings have been designed with proactive prevention in mind, and while it may come at the expense of greater revenue in the long term, it clearly creates a much better customer experience overall. A centralized Global Command Center also tracks parts and labor dispatches for any maintenance requirements. ProSupport is Dell's branded support offering that can be scaled up to support the needs of a single end user all the way up to a complex datacenter. The underlying principle for ProSupport is to provide a single point of support and accountability for client service requirements. Services and touch points scale up based on the program a customer chooses. Services include: Next Business Day On-site Service following a telephone-based troubleshooting and diagnosis, with optional parts dispatch and labor response for your PCs and datacenter hardware Accelerated response with eight-hour parts and/or labor onsite support after completion of phone-based troubleshooting for level 1 plus self-identify severity levels 2 and 3 for escalated incidents Unlimited access to 24 x 7 phone, chat, and support and two-, four-, or eight-hour onsite parts and/or labor onsite support, with self-identify severity level 1 for dispatch and phone-based troubleshooting Third-party vendor collaborative support available on select hardware and software, including Microsoft Software Support, and support for non-dell hardware Assessment Services As customers undergo a hardware refresh, datacenter consolidation, or business transformation, Dell offers a full range of consulting services to help ensure successful storage transformation. These services span the traditional datacenter services but can apply to customers in the midst of evaluating or undergoing a transformation to an outsourced storage model as well as customers leveraging software solutions like those from SAP and PeopleSoft as part of a larger data analysis function. Three types of storage assessments are offered: backup, recovery, and archiving assessment; data management and storage technology assessment; and storage assessments for customers with virtual server environments. Each assessment and its output are designed and run based on the maturity of the customer's infrastructure and provide information regarding existing usage requirements and expected growth, identify key pain points, and aim to provide insight into future infrastructure needs. 4 # IDC

5 Infrastructure Design and Implementation Services Dell design and implementation services provide an architectural road map and systems delivery strategy for a customer's datacenter, using best practices to create the appropriate path to a rightsized datacenter. Typical deliverables include a comprehensive and detailed consolidation architecture and implementation plan, discussion of regulatory impact, compliance and governance on the requirements and eventual output, and potential impact of Big Data and future business intelligence needs around data usage, access, and archival. During the implementation phase, Dell implements selected hardware and software so that you can quickly capture the value of the solution. Implementation includes pilot consolidation, data migration, deployment of Dell hardware into your production environment, software configuration, and training to ensure effective administration of storage infrastructure. Installation and Data Migration Services Dell offers a full range of installation services, either directly or through the channel. Installations services include: Implement a highly available or redundant storage farm based on customer data demands Datacenter backup and recovery solutions Cross-vendor migrations from third-party storage to Dell PowerVault, Compellent, and EqualLogic SAN installation Data migration services that can migrate data from legacy data infrastructure to next-generation Dell or heterogeneous hardware FUTURE OUTLOOK The future road map for storage and related services is no doubt intertwined with the expansion of the cloud and the ongoing development of self-automation that will in the long term help to reduce costs to the end customer. Dell remains focused on both of these initiatives and believes that for the short term, Dell storage executives highlighted several key opportunities for services growth: Service automation creates opportunity to greater services in the short term, thanks to the integration requirements to link systems together. Complexity within the datacenter actually increases with automation, and as such, so does the need for consulting around implementation and design services. Greater levels of remote monitoring will become a "sticky" service that will strengthen customer relationships. Cloud/Big Data related service offerings will grow rapidly over the next two to three years. Services expansion through the systems integration (SI) channel is fairly narrow at this point, but there is the potential to expand to drive services deeper through SI partners IDC #

6 ESSENTIAL GUIDANCE Advice for Dell While the overall market for storage may seem relatively flat, the rapid shift in storage demands is happening faster than many enterprise organizations are able to handle. IDC believes that like other vendors, Dell should leverage its assessment and design services aggressively in verticals that are about to undergo a significant storage requirement shift. Healthcare, media and entertainment, and life sciences are all under extreme pressure to handle greater amounts of data but lack buy-in from C- suite executives who may have limited visibility into or little understanding of what an inadequate storage strategy can have on their businesses, particularly as these impacts are approaching rapidly. Very few vendors have well-defined assessment offerings, and IDC believes there is opportunity to push further with customers for better customer experience. IDC believes Dell public cloud messaging should be more tightly tied in with overall storage service offerings. Customers should know up front about either migration to cloud or expansion to include cloud storage as part of their strategy. As capex budgets remained constrained, not to mention datacenter storage space, shifting to leverage Dell's cloud services becomes a viable and safe option, and this should be a key component of Dell's long-term storage strategy. Competitive hardware players like HP as well as the established cloud players like Amazon Web Services, Rackspace, and Joyent are just as hungry to offer up their own cloud storage and compute services. LEARN MORE Related Research HP and DreamWorks Animation Highlight the Importance of an Effective Storage Strategy for Media and Entertainment (IDC #lcus , August 2013) Creative Storage Conference Highlights: The Media and Entertainment Industry Shuns Cloud Services and Needs Drastic Modernization of Storage Strategies (IDC #242034, July 2013) Cloud Storage/Backup Service Offerings Continue to Proliferate, But Are They Truly Differentiated? (IDC #242037, June 2013) Storage Services Forecast for the Americas: Datacenter Transformation Continues to Drive Storage Services Demands (IDC #241243, May 2013) 6 # IDC

7 Copyright Notice This IDC research document was published as part of an IDC continuous intelligence service, providing written research, analyst interactions, telebriefings, and conferences. Visit to learn more about IDC subscription and consulting services. To view a list of IDC offices worldwide, visit Please contact the IDC Hotline at , ext (or ) or for information on applying the price of this document toward the purchase of an IDC service or for information on additional copies or Web rights. Copyright 2013 IDC. Reproduction is forbidden unless authorized. All rights reserved IDC #

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