Dell Begins to See Cloud Computing Revenues

Dell's Q2 financial results for fiscal year 2012, announced today, include a brief but important mention of cloud computing. Specifically, Dell claims its growing focus on data management, services, security and cloud computing are helping to shift Dell's revenue mix to a "higher-value" portfolio of solutions.

Dell could have a point. The company's servers are widely deployed within many data centers and public cloud infrastructures. Plus, Dell has gradually introduced a so-called Dell Cloud Solution for Web Applications. And Dell has publicly embraced OpenStack, the open source cloud platform that numerous service providers are testing.

Still, I don't want to overstate Dell's cloud strategy and its impact on Dell's revenues. For its fiscal Q2 2012, Dell says top-line revenues were $15.7 billion -- up only 1 percent. Dell also trimmed its full-year revenue expectations, which disappointed Wall Street.

Glass Half Full?

For its part, Dell preferred to focus on its enterprise momentum, noting that enterprise solutions and services revenues climbed 4 percent to $4.6 billion in fiscal Q2 2012. The company said it saw solid demand for Dell's server, storage and services portfolio.

So what's next for Dell, particularly when it comes to partnering in the cloud computing market? We'll likely get some answers at Dell World (Oct. 12-14, Austin, Texas). Stephen Schuckenbrock, president of Dell Services, is expected to describe the cloud's impact on security, applications and business processes.

Channel Chief Greg Davis has publicly invited partners to Dell World. And CEO Michael Dell tweeted: "We love the channel and hope to see lots of you at #DellWorld!"

In the meantime, Dell has launched a new web site -- Dell in the Clouds -- to help drive the cloud computing conversation with customers and partners.

Still, it's difficult to truly pinpoint how much cloud-related revenues Dell now generates. We'll go searching for more answers at Dell World.
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