“Our purpose is to impact human life through technology” – John Byrne, Dell Technologies

CNME Editor Mark Forker spoke to John Byrne, President, Sales, Global Theaters at Dell Technologies, and Mohammed Amin, senior Vice President—Central Eastern Europe, Middle East, Türkiye and Africa at Dell Technologies, in an effort to better understand the company’s play into the burgeoning Generative AI space, what differentiates the company from market rivals – and how its mission to impact human life through technology is unwavering.

John Byrne has enjoyed a remarkable career in the technology ecosystem.

The sales professional has spent 8 years at Dell EMC, and Dell Technologies, and has played a pivotal role in helping the company solidify its standing as a global technology leader.

Mohammed Amin needs no introduction to our readers, and has been the face of Dell Technologies in the Middle East region for the best part of two decades.

CNME managed to secure an exclusive interview with them post-GITEX, in an effort to see what’s next for the company that never stands still.

Byrne was univocal about Dell’s ambitions and aspirations as a company, quite simply, they want to be the ‘essential’ technology company in the world.

“I have been at Dell Technologies for the last 8 years, and anyone that has been around me during that time will know that I absolutely love this company. I love it from our purpose to our vision, to our culture, and our people, and I can see why world-class leaders like Mohammed have been at the company for over 20 years. There are very few organisations that have a purpose that they believe in, and are executing towards that. Our purpose is to impact human life through technology, and we live it during every single interaction we have. We want to be the essential technology company on the planet, but there’s a couple of things we need to invest in, and some of that investment is around our people, talent, and of course technology,” said Byrne.

Byrne highlighted how the conversations they have with their customers are naturally varied, but said that all of them were looking for help when it comes to establishing business outcomes.

“I’d say that up until around 9 months the conversations we were having with customers was primarily focused on where should my data reside? We very quickly get into a conversation around multi-cloud, and we outline the role Dell can play for them, but then the conversation would pivot towards what should the financial model be, should it be CAPEX, or OPEX? We’ve made great progress, and we feel that what we are bringing to the table really resonates with customers. Sovereignty is becoming more and more of a conversation, and we think we have a very unique perspective and a lot of experience in terms of seeing where workloads should reside. However, it’s all about outcomes, they want to know what their outcomes are going to be, and they are coming to us for help,” said Byrne.

Byrne added that you can’t get into a conversation now with any customer without the topic of Generative AI being brought up.

“We have been talking about AI as an organisation for over 10 years. It’s been in our workstation offering, and even in our compute capability we had AI models. However, with the advent of ChatGPT, suddenly you had 100m within two months using it then you knew it was coming alive. We have seen an unbelievable acceleration in all of our Gen AI offerings, and every conversation we are having globally is all about where should I focus my outcomes and what are the business use-cases? We’re also having conversations around where does Gen AI play on our edge, and we think that all these business use-cases as incremental. We believe that in 2-3 years it will be a $90 billion incremental hardware and services industry vertical,” said Byrne.

Byrne also stressed that when it comes to the topic of Gen AI the conversation typically shifts to the question of how can I secure all my data?

Byrne highlighted the capabilities of its cyber vault platform.

“We believe that 80% of customers will have their mission-critical information on-prem, but they are all asking how do I secure it? We know that the intensity of the cyberattacks are not slowing down, they are only accelerating, and it’s a huge challenge. We have professional services on cyber, but our cyber vault has the ability to isolate your mission-critical data, and can take it off the network, so if and when an attack happens you have business resiliency and you’re very quickly able to get back up and running again. We are very humbled and proud in terms of what we do, and we are No.1 in terms of the products that we play in, but there is a lot of markets for us to go and get after,” said Byrne.

When asked what he felt differentiated Dell from other market players, Byrne said its ability to listen to its customers and its sales and marketing operations were key factors in its ability to stand out from the crowd.

“Our breadth of go-to-market, and the sheer magnitude and scale of our sales and marketing organisation is almost unrivalled in the marketplace. We pride ourselves as a company on our ability to listen, we have big ears, and I know that Mohammed lives by this mantra. When we are sitting down with customers it’s very rare for them to talk to us about a product, they want to talk to us about where their business is going in 3-5 years and how can Dell help them? As sales leadership we have to continue to evolve our go-to market, and that is what we are going to continue to do to ensure we meet the requirements and needs of our customers,” said Byrne.

Mohammed Amin echoed the sentiments expressed by Byrne, and reiterated how the company is a customer-centric organisation.

“Our strategy over the last 20 years has always been focused on hiring the best talent and the best people to really drive the organisation forward. We believe that we have the best products in the world, but our customers don’t care, they only care about their businesses. We’ve been selling the business outcomes to our customers, and have been focused on helping them to transform. We are very mindful of the fact that are job is to serve our customers and that is in the DNA of our company,” said Amin.

Amin said that even though the company is a technology leader, he believes that Dell are in the service industry business.

“We sell technology, and we are extremely proud of our products, but at the end of the day we are in the service industry, and we’re here to make our customers successful. Most of our relations here in the Middle East with our customers is a partnership, and a lot of the time we put the interests of our customers ahead of our own, because over time it will serve our interests eventually. We exist to deliver for our customers, and that mindset has enabled us to be successful,” said Amin.

Dell have transformed their channel partner ecosystem over the years, and Byrne, who was once responsible for building out their channel program, has said that a message he repeatedly hears from partners is the fact that Dell have an incredible brand.

“We talk to our channel partners every single day, because essentially, they are an extension of our sales team. They give us feedback regularly, and a recurring message from our partners globally is that our brand is phenomenal, and we have a great program. Our partners are so important to us, and we want to go to market with our partners. The future of our partners is building out that AI capability, and the next frontier with our partners is going to be focused on the edge. We want to thank our partners for trusting us, and going on this journey with us together,” concluded Byrne.

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