The (re)birth of the fourth stack vendor
....Depending on how do you define a stack vendor you might want to say Dell is fighting to become the fifth one ;-)
Dell has been aggressive in their acquisitions and hirings in the last 18 months.
They are positioning themselves as the makers of the "plumbing" of distributed computing, their effort to integrate smart building boxes the likes of RNA is beginning to pay back.
It seems they believe that simpler is better and sells faster and,albeit a bit dull, Dell is a "no-BS" company that is striving to adapt to a changing market. If their performance has not been stellar in the last quarters, I expect this to change because of their strategic positioning.
IMHO Enterprise IT in the next 5 years will be an game of scale, Dell might be well positioned as the alternative to HP for x86 consolidated architectures.
Where they might have some hiccups is in the "re-factoring" of their sales-force and a related sales approach that is typical of the box-mover. In some countries (like where I live) Dell does not speaks to the CIO or even the CTO because they never positioned themselves as value added providers.
But I know, for sure, they are working hard to change their brand perception and whith much more impetus than one might imagine.