8 things you need to know from the Dell EMEA Solutions Conference

PCR reports live from Vienna
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Dell hosted its 2015 EMEA Solutions Conference in Vienna today - here are the major announcements and statements made at the event

Over 750 people gathered from 60 countries to see the latest Dell products and services, view the conference and hold meetings with executives.

Reporting live from Vienna, here are PCR editor Dominic Sacco's key takeaways from the event:

1. Over 50 per cent of Dell's business is through the channel

Aongus Hegarty, Dell's EMEA president, kicked off proceedings, highlighting the core three areas of focus: Explore, Engage and Grow, as well as reflecting on the importance of working with reseller partners across the channel.

"We have a common interest, to serve our customers and grow our business together. That will continue into next year," he said.

"Our success is built on our partners and our partnerships. Over 50 per cent of our business is through the channel, and over 70 per cent of our enterprise business is through the channel."

Hegarty also promised to grow Dell's portfolio going forwards.

2. 'We are the fastest growing distribution solution provider' 

Laurent Binetti, Dell's VP and general manager, EMEA channel, highlighted a recent award picked up by the vendor.

Dell received the GTDC's 'Rising Star' award in both the United States and Europe this year, as the fastest-growing distribution partner in year-on-year sales growth in the largest revenue categories ($500 million+ and €500 million+, respectively). 

Binetti also spoke about how digital disruption will affect the channel going forwards. 

"We are crossing ages of digital disruption. There is no business as usual," he said. "We want to emerge as the winner of the digital disruption era. We want to regain our fair share in Europe for both, and we want to get ready for the future of IT - and give you the ammunition to win.

He also spoke about large investments Dell has made, including $125m+ in PartnerDirect programs and incentives, as well as $26m+ in channel specific IT improvements.

3. $70 billion will be spent in the IT market in the next few years 

Tom Meyer, IDC's group VP for EMEA offered an overview of big trends in the industry.

He said that more than $70 billion will be spent in the IT market in the next few years, and highlighted the Internet of Things, robotics and digital transformation as the core areas of change going forwards, saying that "getting in there early is absolutely key".

"Digital Transformation is a CEO priority. By the end of 2017, two thirds of G2000 enterprise CEOs will have digital transformation at the centre of their strategies. 59% of businesses see digital transformation as a major priority over next 12 months," he said.

"Around three in ten companies will be gone in the next few years because of that disruption." 

4. Dell has a higher share of EMEA's commercial PC market than ever before

Patrick Dwyer, Dell's VP of EMEA client solutions, revealed that Dell has a 17.8 per cent share of the commercial PC market in EMEA - its highest ever share in that market.

He also said that Dell is number two in commercial Windows tablets, commercial desktops and monitors, and is number one in all-in-ones.

Dwyer spoke about the fact that PCs are getting smaller, mentioning Dell's new power efficient and smaller OptiPlex range, as well as the fact that workplaces are changing, with staff now requiring more tech on the go. 

5. Intel Unite, Windows 10 devices and Dell's Internet of Things bee monitoring turn heads at the expo

PCR had a tour of the expo area, with the likes of SanDisk, Targus and many more promoting their latest products and services. 

Dell's Internet of Things area had a bee hive, showing visitors how technology is tracking temperature etc in bee hives, and how IoT can be used as part of a solution to businesses.

New Dell workstations and Windows 10 devices were shown off, while Intel was presenting its RealSense face-tracking login technology, as well as its Intel Unite screen collaboration service.

With the latter, people from different parts of the world can share presentations etc with each other remotely in real-time. Hubs that can power this tech include the new Dell 7040 Skylake-powered unit and the 9020m micro form factor Haswell-based hub.

Client software can then be installed on any Windows client - 7, 8 or 10.

Hub part needs to run on Dell machine. Client software can be installed on any windows client. 7, 8 or 10. 

6. Windows 10 is now on 120 million devices

John O'Callaghan from Microsoft's OEM Division took to the stage to talk all things Windows 10, saying that now is the time for partners to drive sales of Windows 10 hardware. 

He said that eight million businesses are running Windows 10, with 120 million devices now running the new operating system.

"I believe we're in a pretty good place in terms of market adoption," O'Callaghan said.

He also talked about Windows Store for Business, which can control who in an organisation gets to access the store, with their own private portal, and the fact that Windows 10 virtual assistant Cortana has been asked to tell a joke by half a million people. 

O'Callaghan also spoke about the security aspect of Windows 10, including new Microsoft Passport functionality.

"Windows 10 has the best security of any operating system on this planet today," he added.

7. 'Dell has the best portfolio in the industry' - and says it will be number one

Dell's recent announcement to acquire EMC wasn't spoken about directly at the conference, as it's still early days in terms of the acquisition process, and any questions about this week's asset-sale rumours were not able to be answered.

However, Claire Vyvyan, VP of Dell's EMEA enterprise solutions group, did mention that the EMC deal will make Dell stronger.

She also said that the channel is "critical" to Dell's business and that there is a "massive growth opportunity for partners", emphasising the point that Dell wants to work even closely with partners to drive growth going forwards.

"Server, shortage, converged platforms, end to end systems management - you should not need to go anywhere else in the industry if you're working with Dell," she said. 

"Dell has the best portfolio in the industry. Look no further than Dell - we see the channel as our primary route to market."

Manuel Staiger, CEO of reseller IT-sure GmbH - a German Dell Premier Partner - also took to the stage to speak about the success he has had since working with Dell. His business was recently named the fastest growing business in Germany by Deloitte.

8. 'Dell will be a leader in all four big pillars of IT' - Michael Dell

Last but not least, the vendor's CEO and founder Michael Dell told members of the press and analysts his latest vision for Dell.

You can read the full intro talk from Michael Dell here, and check back on PCR online over the coming days for more of his comments.

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