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Dell Inc. is an American based technology company. It develops, sells, repairs, and supports computers and related products and services. Dell is owned by its parent company, Dell Technologies.
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Dell sells personal computers (PCs), servers, data storage devices, network switches, software, computer peripherals, HDTVs, cameras, printers, and electronics built by other manufacturers. The company is known for how it manages its supply chain and electronic commerce. This includes Dell selling directly to customers and delivering PCs that the customer wants. Dell was a pure hardware vendor until 2009 when it acquired Perot Systems. Dell then entered the market for IT services. The company has expanded storage and networking systems. It is now expanding from offering computers only to delivering a range of technology for enterprise customers.
Dell is a publicly-traded company (Nasdaq: DELL), as well as a component of the NASDAQ-100 and S&P 500. It is the 3rd largest personal computer vendor as of January 2021. Dell is ranked 31st on the Fortune 500 list in 2022, up from 76th in 2021. It is also the sixth-largest company in Texas by total revenue, according to Fortune magazine. It is the second-largest non-oil company in Texas.
Michael Dell founded Dell Computer Corporation, doing business as PC's Limited, in 1984 while a student at the University of Texas at Austin. Operating from Michael Dell's off-campus dormitory room at Dobie Center, the start-up aimed to sell IBM PC-compatible computers built from stock components. Michael Dell started trading in the belief that by selling personal computer systems directly to customers, PC's Limited could better understand customers' needs and provide the most effective computing solutions to meet those needs. Michael Dell dropped out of college upon completion of his freshman year at the University of Texas at Austin in order to focus full-time on his fledgling business, after getting about $1,000 in expansion-capital from his family. As of April 2021, Michael Dell's net worth was estimated to be over $50 billion.
In 1990, Dell Computer tried selling its products indirectly through warehouse clubs and computer superstores, but met with little success, and the company re-focused on its more successful direct-to-consumer sales model. In 1992, Fortune included Dell Computer Corporation in its list of the world's 500 largest companies, making Michael Dell the youngest CEO of a Fortune 500 company at that time.
Originally, Dell did not emphasize the consumer market, due to the higher costs and low profit margins in selling to individuals and households; this changed when the company's Internet site took off in 1996 and 1997. While the industry's average selling price to individuals was going down, Dell's was going up, as second- and third-time computer buyers who wanted powerful computers with multiple features and did not need much technical support were choosing Dell. Dell found an opportunity among PC-savvy individuals who liked the convenience of buying direct, customizing their PC to their means, and having it delivered in days. In early 1997, Dell created an internal sales and marketing group dedicated to serving the home market and introduced a product line designed especially for individual users.
Under Rollins, Dell purchased the computer hardware manufacturer Alienware in 2006. Dell Inc.'s plan anticipated Alienware continuing to operate independently under its existing management. Alienware expected to benefit from Dell's efficient manufacturing system.
The slowing sales growth has been attributed to the maturing PC market, which constituted 66% of Dell's sales, and analysts suggested that Dell needed to make inroads into non-PC business segments such as storage, services, and servers. Dell's price advantage was tied to its ultra-lean manufacturing for desktop PCs, but this became less important as savings became harder to find inside the company's supply chain, and as competitors such as Hewlett-Packard and Acer made their PC manufacturing operations more efficient to match Dell, weakening Dell's traditional price differentiation. Throughout the entire PC industry, declines in prices along with commensurate increases in performance meant that Dell had fewer opportunities to upsell to their customers (a lucrative strategy of encouraging buyers to upgrade the processor or memory). As a result, the company was selling a greater proportion of inexpensive PCs than before, which eroded profit margins. The laptop segment had become the fastest-growing of the PC market, but Dell produced low-cost notebooks in China like other PC manufacturers which eliminated Dell's manufacturing cost advantages, plus Dell's reliance on Internet sales meant that it missed out on growing notebook sales in big box stores. CNET has suggested that Dell was getting trapped in the increasing commoditization of high volume low margin computers, which prevented it from offering more exciting devices that consumers demanded.
Dell's reputation for poor customer service, since 2002, which was exacerbated as it moved call centers offshore and as its growth outstripped its technical support infrastructure, came under increasing scrutiny on the Web. The original Dell model was known for high customer satisfaction when PCs sold for thousands but by the 2000s, the company could not justify that level of service when computers in the same line-up sold for hundreds. Rollins responded by shifting Dick Hunter from the head of manufacturing to head of customer service. Hunter, who noted that Dell's DNA of cost-cutting "got in the way," aimed to reduce call transfer times and have call center representatives resolve inquiries in one call. By 2006, Dell had spent $100 million in just a few months to improve on this and rolled out DellConnect to answer customer inquiries more quickly. In July 2006, the company started its Direct2Dell blog, and then in February 2007, Michael Dell launched IdeaStorm.com, asking customers for advice including selling Linux computers and reducing the promotional "bloatware" on PCs. These initiatives did manage to cut the negative blog posts from 49% to 22%, as well as reduce the "Dell Hell" prominent on Internet search engines.
There was also criticism that Dell used faulty components for its PCs, particularly the 11.8 million OptiPlex desktop computers sold to businesses and governments from May 2003 to July 2005, that suffered from faulty capacitors. A battery recall in August 2006, as a result of a Dell laptop catching fire caused much negative attention for the company though later, Sony was found responsible for the manufacturing of the batteries, however spokesman for Sony Yoshikazu Ochiai said the problem concerned the combination of the battery with a charger, which is specific to Dell in this case.
The release of Apple's iPad tablet computer had a negative impact on Dell and other major PC vendors, as consumers switched away from desktop and laptop PCs. Dell's own mobility division has not managed success with developing smartphones or tablets, whether running Windows or Google Android. The Dell Streak was a failure commercially and critically due to its outdated OS, numerous bugs, and low resolution screen. InfoWorld suggested that Dell and other OEMs saw tablets as a short-term, low-investment opportunity running Google Android, an approach that neglected user interface and failed to gain long term market traction with consumers. Dell has responded by pushing higher-end PCs, such as the XPS line of notebooks, which do not compete with the Apple iPad and Kindle Fire tablets. The growing popularity of smartphones and tablet computers instead of PCs drove Dell's consumer segment to an operating loss in Q3 2012. In December 2012, Dell suffered its first decline in holiday sales in five years, despite the introduction of Windows 8.
In March 2013, the Blackstone Group and Carl Icahn expressed interest in purchasing Dell. In April 2013, Blackstone withdrew their offer, citing deteriorating business. Other private equity firms such as KKR & Co. and TPG Capital declined to submit alternative bids for Dell, citing the uncertain market for personal computers and competitive pressures, so the "wide-open bidding war" never materialized. Analysts said that the biggest challenge facing Silver Lake would be to find an "exit strategy" to profit from its investment, which would be when the company would hold an IPO to go public again, and one warned "But even if you can get a $25bn enterprise value for Dell, it will take years to get out."
On October 12, 2015, Dell Inc. announced its intent to acquire EMC Corporation in a cash-and-stock deal valued at $67 billion, which has been considered the largest-ever acquisition in the technology sector. As part of the acquisition, Dell would take over EMC's 81% stake in the cloud-computing and virtualization company VMWare. This would combine Dell's enterprise server, personal computer, and mobile businesses with EMC's enterprise storage business in a significant Vertical merger of IT giants. Dell would pay $24.05 per share of EMC, and $9.05 per share of tracking stock in VMware.
The announcement came two years after Dell Inc. returned to private ownership, claiming that it faced bleak prospects and would need several years out of the public eye to rebuild its business. It's thought that the company's value has roughly doubled since then. EMC was being pressured by Elliott Management, a hedge fund holding 2.2% of EMC's stock, to reorganize their unusual "Federation" structure, in which EMC's divisions were effectively being run as independent companies. Elliott argued this structure deeply undervalued EMC's core "EMC II" data storage business, and that increasing competition between EMC II and VMware products was confusing the market and hindering both companies. The Wall Street Journal estimated that in 2014 Dell had revenue of $27.3 billion from personal computers and $8.9bn from servers, while EMC had $16.5bn from EMC II, $1bn from RSA Security, $6bn from VMware, and $230 million from Pivotal Software. EMC owns around 80 percent of the stock of VMware. The proposed acquisition will maintain VMware as a separate company, held via a new tracking stock, while the other parts of EMC will be rolled into Dell. Once the acquisition closes Dell will again publish quarterly financial results, having ceased these on going private in 2013. 041b061a72