It could be the vibe from the upbeat music playing in the background. It could even be the festive atmosphere from the recent 2nd Annual Dell Solutions Tour 2014, where a number of Dell regional executives gathered to present the latest in Dell and in information technology (IT). Whatever it is, there is the unmistakeable “energy” that seemed to permeate from the cavernous SMX Convention Hall in SM Aura in Taguig City. This is the same positive energy we still felt, as we were introduced to Saleh “Haji” Munshi, the managing director for Indonesia and South Asia developing markets, Dell Inc.
”After Dell’s privatization, we are now the world’s largest start-up,” Munshi said. He added that the key message the company wanted to communicate in the 2nd Solutions Tour was to communicate that Dell is now a markedly different company.
”Dell from 29 years ago and what we are now is substantially different. We’re now an end-to-end solutions provider, and we acquired 23 companies in the last four years to be able to do just that,” he added.
As the highest ranking Dell regional executive joining the tour, Munshi said that he tries to see to it that the company is able to reach out to its customers, partners and even the media to give them a glimpse of the solutions the company now has for the benefit of its customers. They also aim to communicate to the world that privatization has enabled them to become more nimble and to act faster to adapt to the many trends happening in the world of IT.
”We started our transformation in 2009. Privatization is a very exciting chapter in that transformation, as it really enabled us, it gave us the tools to accelerate even further and faster,” he added.
With the privatization in place, Munshi said that the company has devised a strategy that embodies what the new company stands for today, and he calls it TCIP, which is the acronym for transform, connect, inform and protect. To do this, he said that the company heavily invested into research and development, so it can bring more solutions into the market that are unique and different. But beyond that, Dell is now investing in more “coverage,” especially in emerging markets like the Philippines, where its aim is to grow faster than the market, by investing in more partner resources, support services, and sales and marketing. And the results, he said, is a testament to the effectiveness of Dell’s new strategies.
”If you look at the fourth quarter [of 2013], we delivered almost 47-percent year-on-year growth in the enterprise space in the Philippines—servers in particular—and that’s phenomenal,” Munshi said.
Indeed, regional executives cited during the tour the scorecard of Dell, including the fact that four of five search engines are powered by Dell; three of four social media platforms are also powered by Dell and that 90 percent of Fortune 1000 companies use various types of Dell software.
New Information Technology trends
They also spoke about the five trends that they think will shape IT decisions in 2014. These are: one cloud does not fit all; the choose your own device (CYOD) is the new bring your own device (BYOD); moving beyond transactions to digital relationships with social media; big data analytics will be simpler to deploy and security will be at the core of business strategy. These five trends were discussed extensively during the tour by country manager for the Philippines, Christopher Papa.
Munshi said that one of the purposes of the solutions tour is to also make people aware how affordable data center technology is now.
”One of the products that we launched a few months ago here is the VRTX [vertex]. What’s unique about the product and relevant to data centers is it allows one to have a converged infrastructure,” he added.
This means substantial savings, he pointed out, because there is no more need to get three big components—the server, storage and networking—from three different companies.
In looking at the Philippines, Munshi observed what makes the country different from the other emerging markets he manages is that it has an extremely young population. These younger population, he said, are more social and much more connected and in general more informed, through the use of social media. He added this is certainly an advantage. This is one of the top IT trends that the company had pinpointed for 2014.
It is also through the social media that he frequently finds himself connecting with friends and family, especially when he is out traveling. Munshi added he is able to keep a balance between his work and personal life through discipline.
”I’m very disciplined when it comes to managing my time,” Munshi said.
He explained that he has a personal rule where he travels only every other week to be able to spend more time with his family, especially now that they have moved to Indonesia, where he has been assigned.
”I’ve designed my calendar in a way that I keep my family in mind. I also manage my calendar down to the last 15 minutes. That forces efficiency,” Munshi said.
This, he added, enables him to find time for taking his own kids to school every morning when he is around. With a smile, he said this schedule also means he is usually the first person to report for work every morning. He likes this type of time management since this also affords him time to play basketball and squash on weekends, usually from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m.
Since moving to Jakarta, Munshi is trying his hand on golf.
In the end, he said the same principles his company has taken great lengths to adopt are the same principles he applies in his life—be faster and focused on what’s more relevant. This way, he said decision-making becomes much more simple, and strategies are easier to execute, whether it is the next work goals, or planning how to finally achieve a “hole-in-one.”