Q&A: Carter George executive director of Dell storage

We speak to Carter George about Dell's plans for the storage market and get his thoughts on the cloud.

Dell is going through a mammoth transformation, as it tries to shed its image as a seller of beige boxes and provide customers with end-to-end services.

The hardware giant sees the storage market as key to its strategic shift and wants to break into the top three in the next two years.

IT Pro caught up with Carter George, who filled us in on Dell's strategy and gave us his thoughts how important the cloud will be to businesses.

Can you tell us how important the storage market is to Dell?

Dell is going through a transformation to be more of a complete end-to-end solution provider. We see lot of opportunities in [the] storage market to provide products and services.

Three years ago over 90 per cent of our storage portfolio was third-party technology. This last quarter, 92 per cent of our storage business was made up of Dell technology. That is a dramatic turnaround.

By 2014, we expect to be the number three [storage] provider behind EMC and Netapp, [and] that would make us top amongst the system vendors.

This is going to require dramatic growth and we have carried out six acquisitions so far. Going forward, we are likely to carry out three-to-four transactions per year to support the storage business.

Our latest acquisitions has been Wyse. Although this was driven by our end-user computing group, this does have implications for storage.

Virtualisation and thin provisioning is becoming increasingly important as businesses tackle infrastructure challenges in the workplace.

What are the main challenges for businesses when it comes to storage and how does Dell plan to address this?

There are two ever-present challenges faced by businesses: the growing amount of data and tighter budgets.

There is a tremendous amount of data growth, which isn't new, but at the same time this isn't going away. IT departments are also under pressure to do more with less, so this creates a lot of tension.

To bring affordable technology to smaller firms, we obviously have to charge less money. We also have to make products easier to use.

It is important to note that smaller firms can't afford to hire specialised staff to run and maintain complex products. Automated products are becoming increasingly important, so that businesses can manage products.

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