Dell pursues profits from Green IT

Speaking at the Gartner Symposium ITxpo here, Dell founder and chairman Michael Dell said his company is investing in energy efficient products and is doing its part to add to the greening of the environment.

"When we look at this we've done a number of things," Dell said. "We're the first big computer company to reduce our carbon emissions. And we were the first to drive to recycling in a major way."

And Dell has done a lot with materials and packaging and the reduction of costs and in the reduction of its carbon footprint.

"We've taken the highest volume desktop computers in the world, the OptiPlex and reduced the energy consumption of those by a dramatic amount," Dell said. "And that will save billions of dollars in energy."

Dell said the new OptiPlex desktops use 70 percent less energy than the prior generation. And "We have energy smart servers that use half the power of regular servers," he said.

To read more about Dell commuting to carbon-neutral operations, click here.

The OptiPlex 755 consumes $21 in energy per year, compared to a previous generation product that consumed about $100 a year, Dell said. "The customer saves $79 per year," he said. "Now if we have to spend $6 to engineer that to save $79 per year, is that worth it to us? Absolutely, we can save customers money."

Dell also described the company's "Plant a Tree for Me" campaign for consumers, where the company will plant a tree, for a small fee, to help offset carbon emissions from the PCs it sells. Dell said the company also has a program called "Plant a Forest for Me," which allows companies to make donations toward the planting of entire forests of trees.

In another "green" move, Dell said his company has its suppliers reporting to Dell what the suppliers' carbon emissions are. "So we can keep track of them," he said. When asked where Dell sees its investment going in the near future, Dell said he believes "the big opportunity is around simplifying. The opportunity is to say, how do we take complexity out of the environment and drive cost down?"

Moreover, Dell said "we're looking at how we bring back the customer-centricity into Dell."

Meanwhile, Dell said the company has been focusing on emerging markets. "Notebooks and mobility are huge markets for us," he said. Other key markets include the enterprise and data center markets, small and medium businesses, and the virtualization opportunity.

Read more here about why green IT can pay off in the data center.

"We see fantastic opportunities in virtualization," Dell said. He said that Dell is the largest reseller of Microsoft, Oracle and VMWare software. "We're designing servers and storage that are optimized for virtualization," he said.

"But this is not to forget the core of Dell, which is big commercial shops," Dell said.

The company announced Dell On-Demand Desktop Streaming, a solution that provides tighter security, easier manageability and better reliability in desktop environments, at the Gartner show on Oct. 10.

"So all your message management, portals, security, etc., are delivered centrally," Dell said.

On-Demand Desktop Streaming is available now at an average cost of $1,100 per user, the company said. It is a tested and validated solution where operating systems, applications and data are streamed to 100 diskless desktops from a shared, standards-based server. And the offering is designed for desk-based workers, such as those in education computer labs and call centers, company officials said.

Click here to read more about Dell's On-Demand Desktop Streaming.

Dell also offers an IT simplification self-assessment, "so people can see where there end-to-end infrastructure is and where there are opportunities to simplify."

Meanwhile, Dell said his company earns $6 billion a year in services revenue and generates more than $9 billion of its overall $60 billion in annual revenue from the channel. "We're trying to grow that," he said.

In addition, Dell said the company has been closely watching the move toward cloud computing. However, "we see ourselves as the provider to the clouds as opposed to offering services ourselves," he said.

Dell also talked about the company's investment in Linux. "On the server, Linux continues to grow well—a bit faster than Windows," he said, noting that Linux is growing "in the teens."

On the client, Dell has been selling Linux to scientific and engineering users for years, Dell said. "But on the consumer side it's harder to get a lead on," he added. "People said they wanted Linux on Dell products, so we picked Ubuntu," Dell said. "With our model we can be flexible and agile."

And Dell said the company has a "huge Unix to Linux migration practice."

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