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Dell is an American multinational computer technology company that develops, sells, repairs, and supports computers and related products and services. Named after its founder, Michael Dell, the company is one of the largest technology corporations in the world, employing more than 165,000 people in the U.S. and around the world. It is one of the biggest PC product companies in the world.
Dell sells personal computers (PCs), servers, data storage devices, network switches, software, computer peripherals, HDTVs, cameras, printers and electronics built by other manufacturers. The company is well known for its innovations in supply chain management and electronic commerce, particularly its direct-sales model and its “build-to-order” or “configure to order” approach to manufacturing—delivering individual PCs configured to customer specifications. Dell was a pure hardware vendor for much of its existence, but with the acquisition in 2009 of Perot Systems, Dell entered the market for IT services. The company has since made additional acquisitions in storage and networking systems, with the aim of expanding their portfolio from offering computers only to delivering complete solutions[buzzword] for enterprise customers.
Dell was listed at number 51 in the Fortune 500 list, until 2014. After going private in 2013, the newly confidential nature of its financial information prevents the company from being ranked by Fortune. As of July 2020, it is the third-largest PC vendor in the world after Lenovo and Hewlett-Packard (HP). Dell is the largest shipper of PC monitors worldwide. Dell is the sixth-largest company in Texas by total revenue, according to Fortune magazine. It is the second-largest non-oil company in Texas (behind AT&T) and the largest company in the Greater Austin area. It was a publicly traded company (NASDAQ: DELL), as well as a component of the NASDAQ-100 and S&P 500, until it was taken private in a leveraged buyout which closed on October 30, 2013.
In 2015, Dell acquired the enterprise technology firm EMC Corporation; following the completion of the purchase, Dell and EMC became divisions of Dell Technologies. Dell EMC as a part of Dell Technologies focus on sells data storage, information security, virtualization, analytics, cloud computing and other related products and services.
History of Dell
Dell traces its origins to 1984, when Michael Dell created Dell Computer Corporation, which at the time did business as PC’s Limited, while a student of the University of Texas at Austin. The dorm-room headquartered company sold IBM PC-compatible computers built from stock components. Dell dropped out of school to focus full-time on his fledgling business, after getting $1,000 in expansion-capital from his family. In 1985, the company produced the first computer of its own design, the Turbo PC, which sold for $795. PC’s Limited advertised its systems in national computer magazines for sale directly to consumers and custom assembled each ordered unit according to a selection of options. The company grossed more than $73 million in its first year of operation.
In 1986, Michael Dell brought in Lee Walker, a 51-year-old venture capitalist, as president and chief operating officer, to serve as Dell’s mentor and implement Dell’s ideas for growing the company. Walker was also instrumental in recruiting members to the board of directors when the company went public in 1988. Walker retired in 1990 due to health, and Michael Dell hired Morton Meyerson, former CEO and president of Electronic Data Systems to transform the company from a fast-growing medium-sized firm into a billion-dollar enterprise.
The company dropped the PC’s Limited name in 1987 to become Dell Computer Corporation and began expanding globally. In June 1988, Dell’s market capitalization grew from $30 million to $80 million from its June 22 initial public offering of 3.5 million shares at $8.50 a share. In 1992, Fortune magazine included Dell Computer Corporation in its list of the world’s 500 largest companies, making Michael Dell the youngest CEO of a Fortune 500 company ever.
In 1993, to complement its own direct sales channel Dell planned to sell PCs at big-box retail outlets such as Wal-Mart, which would have brought in an additional $125 million in annual revenue. Bain consultant Kevin Rollins persuaded Michael Dell to pull out of these deals, believing they would be money losers in the long run. Margins at retail were thin at best and Dell left the reseller channel in 1994. Rollins would soon join Dell full-time and eventually become the company President and CEO.