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Meanwhile, Dell's mobile strategy fits into the company's larger solutions-oriented picture of building and developing active infrastructures for customers.
"I think the active infrastructure is top of mind. VARs cater to a much wider sales force than a [Hewlett-Packard] or Cisco [Systems] sales force," Dell's Felice said. "The solutions we're bringing to bear are meeting the needs below the Fortune 500. A good example is Cisco pushing a UCS offering through the channel. There's a certain point where that's not a cost-effective solution for their customer base. We come out with an active infrastructure that emphasizes scalability, flexibility, a lower footprint, lower power consumption. It's a great alternative to some of the more proprietary complex solutions out there.
"Marius [Haas, Dell's president of Enterprise Solutions,] is working hard to take our servers, storage, and put a software layer on top of it that makes the manageability simpler. It creates what we call 'active.' It's one thing to be converged. It's another to be more dynamic. Cisco's got this thick solution. They can't do much to it. HP is at the other end of the spectrum; everything is customized. Then you've got us. We use industry-standard technology. You can use different blades, different storage. We're not telling you to throw out everything you have and start over. I think the channel should really like those kinds of offerings that really don't want the complexity to make a one-time [solution]."
In that vein, Felice said Dell will continue to reward partners for selling a wider variety of Dell technology as part of its "Better Together" campaign, but it won't punish VARs for selling competing vendors as part of a solution.
"We can't dictate what a partner does. We can heavily sell the benefits of our offers and influence partners into doing what we think is the best solution, but ultimately it's their decision," Felice said.
Felice also said Dell's strategy is clearer than that of HP, its biggest rival in many areas. But, Dell hasn't made a bigger push to win over HP customers or partners after HP announced an $8.8 billion charge related to its Autonomy purchase.
"Our strategy within our company is extraordinarily clear and well aligned. There are no internal debates on what we're doing. We know where we're headed. The more we can meet with customers, whether that's channel partners or end users, and get across a sense of unity and clarity of purpose, that's probably the best offensive move we can make. HP can't do that," Felice said. "[An HP] partner does have to worry about decisions, about rumors that they can't even stay together as one company.
"What is HP going to have to sell to me a year from now, six months from now? We can go in and consistently talk about where we're headed as a strategy. That brings a sense of clarity, a sense of comfort. It's making sure they know where we are and where we are headed."