Archive for April, 2013

Dell filing reveals poor state of PC industry

April 27th, 2013

Dell has revealed the dire state of the PC industry, poor take-up of Windows and the need for the company to invest in research and development (R&D). The company’s chairman, Michael Dell, is battling to win over the hearts and minds of Dell shareholders, in a bid to reprivatise and reinvent the company. US billionaire investor Carl Icahn and private equity group Blackstone are to fight Michael Dell in a bidding war over the computer company he founded.

The company suffered big losses in its most recent quarter due to poor PC sales. Dell reported an 11% decrease in revenues in the fourth quarter of 2012, compared with the same period last year. Much of this is due to the poor performance of the PC business.

Gartner noted that in 2010, half of device spending was on traditional desktop and notebook PCs, and 25% on smartphones. In contrast, it predicted that by 2017, half of device spending would be on smartphones, and 20% on traditional desktop and notebook PCs.

Dell filed several reports with the SEC at the end of March, including one, of 274 pages, which outlined why the company needs to move away from the commodity PC business. The report highlighted the long-term challenges facing the company, including a general lengthening of the replacement cycle for PC products, uncertain adoption of the Windows 8 operating system and unexpected slowdowns in enterprise Windows 7 upgrades. The filing also stated that PC sales may also be potentially affected by consumer interest in tablets and smartphones, especially given that Dell does not make a smartphone device.


VMware takes first step in the public cloud space

April 19th, 2013

VMware chief executive Pat Gelsinger has told investors the company will launch a hybrid cloud service later this year to help its 480,000 customers “reap the benefits of the public cloud without changing their existing applications”. The hybrid service, based on VMware vCloud suite, is part of the company’s strategy to bolster its software-defined datacentre plans. But analysts think it is part of VMware’s move to capture the public cloud market and compete with public infrastructure as a service (IaaS) providers, including Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Rackspace.

If we look at the announcement, VMware is trying to have greater control of the ‘choice’ its customers get. Choice will mean a VMware-hosted offering that, in theory, will make it easy for customers to move VMware-based workloads in and out of the pubic cloud.

One of the biggest problems of the public cloud today is the lack of interoperability between workloads and applications. This means users cannot move applications from a private cloud to a public cloud or vice versa when needed.

VMware is making the new vCloud Hybrid Service available through its existing channel network and will work with its partner ecosystem to accelerate customers’ journeys to the cloud.

Cornwall Council signs off outsourcing deal with BT

April 9th, 2013

Cornwall Council has awarded a £14m outsourcing deal to BT, ending months of often heated debate and major changes to its scope. The deal will be finalised once some minor drafts to the contract are made, said a council spokeswoman.

BT’s joint services venture was scaled down from the original proposal for outsourced services to what has become known as BT-Lite. In December 2012, councillors voted for the much-reduced privatisation option, covering Cornwall’s IT department, and a joint venture with BT and regional health bodies to develop a telehealth hub.

In early March, the council’s cabinet voted in favour of inviting BT to bid for the contract.

CSC, which was originally bidding for the work, pulled out in the same month.

BT is promising savings of £17.6m over the 10-year period. This will be £1m in the first year, rising to £1.9m in the third year and each year of the contract after. BT also committed to creating 510 new jobs in Cornwall and protect 181 existing jobs in Truro.