Dell Attacks HP’s Cash Cow With Ink Distribution Expansion Plans

Includes: DELL, HPQ
by: Larry Dignan

Dell (NASDAQ:DELL) CEO Michael Dell said that the company will expand its retail partnerships to sell Dell branded printer ink into more outlets.

Dell made the remarks speaking at the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in Orlando. Dell spent a lot of time talking about how the company will expand its channel presence, which currently accounts for $9 billion in revenue of Dell’s $61 billion annual total.

“We think there are opportunities to go with,” said Dell. “We’re not going to be all things to all people, but there are channel partners that want to work with the capabilities we have.”

Dell’s move into printer ink distribution seems to be a direct attack on HP’s (NYSE:HPQ) cash cow. Dell didn’t name what retailers would be selling the company’s printer ink.

Dell also noted that the company is launching new services to simplify IT management. The gist is to offer centralized management software and services for remote management.

On other topics:

  • Dell won’t be offering cloud computing services on demand. Dell said the company sees itself as a “provider to the cloud providers.”
  • Is Dell’s core PC business under fire? Given thin clients, flexible computing, virtualized desktops, Dell was asked whether the core PC business will be eroding. Dell said it plans to offer products and services to tackle all of those markets. It will add devices as customers ask for them. For instance, Dell will launch a tablet PC shortly.

  • Consumerization of product design. Business customers are also interested in consumer-focused products, said Dell, referring to the company’s laptops that come in various colors. “The thing that surprised us a bit is that our business customers showed interest in personalization,” said Dell.