Six Five On the Road at Dell Headquarters with Patrick Mooney

On this episode of The Six Five – On The Road hosts Daniel Newman and Patrick Moorhead are joined by Patrick Mooney, Senior Vice President, Portfolio Management & CoC, Dell Technologies Services, to discuss Dell Technologies’ portfolio and how they work to meet the needs of their customers.

Their conversation covered:

  • An overview of Dell’s portfolio and how it has evolved in recent years
  • A dive into the multi-cloud consulting
  • An exploration of the different workloads that we are seeing today and the different needs of Dell’s vast customer base
  • A look into the future and what’s to come for Dell’s portfolio

To learn more about the Dell Technologies, check out their website.

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Patrick Moorhead: Hi, this is Pat Moorhead and we are here for another Six Five On the Road, this time at Dell Technologies headquarters in Austin, Texas. And we are talking about service today, which basically is the tip of the spear for all of high tech, as we’ve been discussing, Daniel. My co-host, our co-host. How are you, my friend?

Daniel Newman: I am feeling good. I am close to home. I am enjoying that. Is this Round Rock or is this Austin? You know what? I’m not going to correct you. But we are so close that I drove here and that is always such a relief.

Patrick Moorhead: Yeah, I know it really is. I mean, it’s been 48 hours since I saw you in a different city. And I think, gosh, it’s been 15 cities in the last three months at least. But who’s counting? I am.

Daniel Newman: Well, you’re an analytical guy, Pat.

Patrick Moorhead: Oh, yes. Very much so. No, listen, all fun aside. We’re here to talk about services. We’re at Dell Technologies headquarter and it is a privilege to be here with Patrick Mooney who runs portfolio management for the services group. How are you, my friend?

Patrick Mooney: Doing great. Thank you for having me. It’s great to see both of you.

Patrick Moorhead: Yeah. It’s been really great to get to know you through the team. And nothing puts an exclamation point on a transformation of services than you have to have somebody who runs a portfolio management. I think that’s very cool and it shows a huge growth in the way that Dell looks at it.

Daniel Newman: Let’s start there with Patrick then. Because needing that person is a big thing, but maybe knowing what that person does would be a good point to jump in. Patrick, talk a little bit about what leading a portfolio for the business at Dell Technology Services really. What is it, what does it mean? What are you doing?

Patrick Mooney: Sure. Thank you. It all first starts with talking to our customers and understanding what the demands are. And where they’re going with their businesses and how we can build compelling products that will help them achieve their outcome. The nature of the team is product development. Building those products that are going to fuel our portfolio for the future, making sure that they’re priced right. Making sure that they’re positioned right. Making sure that we’ve enabled sales to really have those meaty conversations with our customers. It’s that whole end-to-end continuum of building it and making sure it’s in the right hands so customers can put a jet pack on with it and move forward with their business.

Patrick Moorhead: No, I love that. I started in the IT industry in 1990 and the way that we looked at services then, it was break, fix. You build something, you sell it. It was capex. And then, the services group fixed it. And then, through the years, design, you remember the designed for services kick?

Patrick Mooney: Sure, sure. Yeah.

Patrick Moorhead: That we went through. But how have you evolved the portfolio since you have been in command of the ship here?

Patrick Mooney: Yeah, that’s a great question. Let me step back for a little perspective first and just give you a short overview of Dell services, size and scale. We’ve got 170 countries we’re operating in. We’ve got 60,000 Dell employees or partners operating professionals around the world. We’ve got an end-to-end life cycle portfolio that spans your consulting, your deployment, your managed services, security, education, asset recovery and disposition, so and so forth. Some brands you might recognize would be ProSupport, ProDeploy, ProManage the whole Pro suite were pretty common brands as well as others.

Patrick Moorhead: I think we’ve written papers on every one of those, Daniel, between our companies.

Daniel Newman: I think we have.

Patrick Mooney: To answer your question more directly as the portfolio evolves, think about we’ve anchored around cloud inspired tenants. Is our portfolio easy to buy? Is it easy to use and is it really customer experience driven? And if we can accomplish those three things and what we’re taking to market, then I think we’ll continue to move forward in a great direction with our customers.

Daniel Newman: Patrick, should I ask Patrick how he feels about our warmup questions?

Patrick Moorhead: Exactly.

Daniel Newman: All right. You ready? No, but in serious, something that came to my mind, we went to Dell Technologies World. We’ve been listening to Jeff and Michael, Chuck and the team really hammering home multi-cloud. That has been the story of the most recent, big splash, Dell Technology moments.

You leading this portfolio on the services side, have to be in alignment. And you said tip of the spear. But historically speaking, services was the got wagged with the dog’s tail. It came along later. How are you getting ahead of this? How are you partnering? How are you collaborating to make sure that the portfolio you are managing is in alignment with this operating model, this multi-cloud operating model that most of the enterprises and even mid-size companies are starting to adopt?

Patrick Mooney: Yeah. That’s great. And I think you hit it right there where cloud is an operating model. It’s not a destination or a place. And if you step back and look at it, there’s a few different types of clouds. You’ve got a private cloud, you’ve got a hybrid cloud and you’ve got a public cloud. If you are a Dell customer and you say, “Well, which one is right for me?” I think the question is rooted in, what are you trying to do? What is the workload that you want to put in that cloud? And what are your objectives around that?

We’ve developed our multi-cloud consulting services, as well as our outcome based services in the cloud to help guide customers through that. The first question is, okay, what are you trying to accomplish with this workload? And two key variables pop out. One is around economics. And the second one is around the IT operating model that you want.

And as you begin to deconstruct that most customers say, “Well, I just don’t know.” We’ve got all of these consulting experts, in our multi-cloud consulting practice that will come in and say, “That’s okay. We don’t expect you to know, but we know. And we’ve got tools and expertise to guide you through this. Let us help you.” There’s different use cases that are appropriate for private and there’s different for public and there’s different for hybrid. And we can go into those.

Daniel Newman: Sure.

Patrick Moorhead: I have to tell you, I am just so glad that we’re not having you explain or apologize for hybrid cloud. I mean, three years ago, the industry was debating this. It was primarily the cloud native companies, but now that all of them are offering hybrid cloud offerings, we’re not talking about this. But the big conversation right now is multi-cloud, how to do it. It’s challenging.

And whether it’s having networking fabric, security fabric and data fabric, it gets difficult to do that. Particularly when all large companies have a heterogeneous environment. Because I heard somebody, a CIO last week, say, “We never get rid of technology. We just add new ones.” I still have mainframes and mini computers. I just don’t give these things up. But hey, I’m headed with a question on this.

Daniel Newman: You’re asking one of my questions.

Patrick Moorhead: No, I know. The I was born in a log cabin question.

Daniel Newman: Yeah. Something like that.

Patrick Moorhead: I have to ask you though, just for the sake of the audience, how granular do you get when you say workload based?

Because don’t hold this against me. I’m an ex-microprocessor person. Okay. And when I think of workloads, I’m thinking of, “Man, there’s a lot of different workloads.” How do you define a workload?

Patrick Mooney: Well, sure. Largely, we’re talking about what is the outcome you’re trying to achieve and what are the applications that you’re leveraging in order to achieve that outcome? And not all applications are suitable say for the public cloud or they might not be good for just a private cloud. We’re drilling into the application layer and making sure that we’re setting up the foundation to run that in the best way possible for you.

Patrick Moorhead: With all of this change and churn, I talked to Doug Schmitt recently and it dawned on me that not only is he on the train, but he’s also building multiple new train tracks out there at the same time, which can be done. But how do you keep up with all these changing needs? I mean, it seems like it’s daunting.

Patrick Mooney: Oh sure. It is. I think you’ve got to just step back and prioritize and understand really what are the key things that we need to be moving forward with? And when we step back and look at the portfolio, we said, “There’s really three types of personas that are hitting us right now. And we want to make sure that we’re ready to service those. Each of those. There’s the do-it-yourselfer. There’s the, I want to do it myself and manage the environment by myself but can you help me? And then there’s, can you just do it for me? I want to focus on my core business.

If you look at the way we’ve structured the portfolio for the do-it-yourselfers, we have best-in-class Pro support. And we’re continuing to modernize that. And when they need our help managing their own environment, we’re there for them. And embedded in the Pro support tool set, we’ve got integrated AI flown back on our telemetry, feeding our multi-vendor fleet management services to really help them do it best themselves.

If they want us to help them, we’ve got a portfolio where you might be comfortable doing a lot, but not everything. We might augment you with a security resident or a storage resident to supplement and help train your staff and keep it running. Or we may be able to just remotely help you optimize things, like your storage or manage capacity, things that you don’t need a dedicated resident or what have you, but you’re not comfortable doing it yourself.

And then all the way at the end, we’ve on I just want you to do it for me. We got that full portfolio of managed services, including the life cycle hub that you may have heard about. That huge for modern remote workforce that we launched at Dell World. We’ve got our data center managed services. You heard about APEX, just our managed detection response. We’re such a fragmented space, just let us do it for you.

Daniel Newman: Yeah. I think you hit on a number of things. And if I’m being totally candid with you, the one thing that troubles me at times as an analyst is that you do go from event to event, to event and you hear a lot of the same things. Okay. It’s not because they’re wrong, it’s actually because they’re right. And all the companies they have resources, they’re pulsing the market. You guys are obviously, Michael always talks about big ears and listening to customers. And then you come out and say things like we’re going to differentiate the customer experience.

Well, as someone that’s we cover this and by the way, written, I don’t know, seven books about digital transformation. What I guess I get at, Pat. Is that…

Patrick Moorhead: You drop online every video, don’t you?

Daniel Newman: No, every other.

Patrick Moorhead: Okay.

Daniel Newman: 800 videos. But the point is, is that how do you do that? How do you really listen in, figure out what creates a differentiated customer experience with all the complexities right now of these journeys that these customers are on?

Patrick Mooney: Right. Yeah. That’s a really good question. And there’s so much choice out there, a full portfolio like ours, a lot of times and others, customers say, “I got a great idea. Can you just help me get my idea into motion?” And if you step back and look at the way our consulting portfolio and approach is designed, it’s really to do that.

A customer might say, “I really want this. Can you help me put it in motion?” We say, “Great. Why don’t we set up a workshop and we’ll sit down with you. And we really understand, do you really understand what it is that you want? Or do you think you know and the outcome of that is what?” We land on a what together. This is really what you want to achieve for your business.

And from there, we do an initial engagement where we flush out the how. Really getting into the strategy and the planning of how a customer could go do it or how we could do it for them. And then from there, we roll into implementing, adopting and scaling.

Just getting a framework in place and putting a few apps on it that nobody uses isn’t good enough. We got to drive the adoption and the scale around the world for the customers. We call that our outcome accelerator framework. It really helps customers with an idea, accelerate the time to value from that idea to having it in production. It’s packaged, it’s global and it’s what we do best.

Patrick Moorhead: I’m going to steal a line from Daniel, who he stole from your founder, Michael Dell, who talks about having very big ears. And that really comes from this, first of all, the scale of your business is extraordinary. And the scale of the services group, I mean, you talked about 170 countries. And Doug recently, I think talked about 65,000 associates,

Daniel Newman: 60, 67. 60 plus.

Patrick Moorhead: Yeah. Thanks, Daniel. But there it’s a lot of people. You have scale.

Patrick Mooney: We do.

Patrick Moorhead: It’s one thing to have a lot of data. Oh, and by the way, you have a lot of data that’s streaming off of either your appliances or your PCs. It’s one thing to have data, which then you have to turn into information, which then you have to turn into insights about your customers. But with all of this going on, how do you keep in touch with your customers?

Patrick Mooney: Yeah. That’s a great question. There is the digital path coming in for sure where we’re leveraging that to have really credible conversations with them and really help guide them based on data from the telemetry. But at the end of the day, we’re always talking to our customers, always talking to them.

And we want their feedback. Their feedback fuels our innovation engine. And as we talk to them about ideas they have and ideas we have, the things that resonate the most are what land on our roadmap. And as we move forward then, we involve them in our development process saying, “Hey, are we hearing you right? What do you think of this? Are we moving forward?”

Throughout the whole life cycle of development, we’re constantly engaged. And then, look, when things are out and they’re consuming our services, we’re constantly talking through customer councils, just touchpoint meetings, so on and so forth. But as you said, there’s no better voice to listen to than our customers.

Patrick Moorhead: For sure.

Daniel Newman: Yeah. It’s one of those areas that I think if you said, “What’s good advice to give to any business in any industry?” It’s having those big ears. Now, different companies would lean how much they listen and then apply. But in your case, you seem to be looking at all that data, all that telemetry and figuring out the right areas to lean in. And the right cases where maybe is the customer ever wrong?

Patrick Moorhead: Well, it’s interesting. The only, when you’re trying to make a market versus take a market, I mean, we’re trying to make a market. All customers don’t know exactly what they’re going to need in three years. And if you’re listening and reacting to what they’re saying in year one, you might have not have what they want until year three. As opposed to you know your customers so well that you can predict what they’re going to want, start working on it so in year one it’s there.

Daniel Newman: Well, maybe the data can be indicative. All the machine learning and intelligence starts to tell you the things that you don’t hear in the words qualitatively, but the data. It’s very fascinating to know who’s going to be smarter, us or the machines in the long run. I think there’s some sort of partnership.

Patrick Moorhead: I don’t know, at my age, they’re still going to be in the loop. But you, I mean, no, you’re a young man.

Daniel Newman: I am a young man. Let’s finish this up, Patrick and Patrick. And talk a little bit about what were some of the key things, some of the key moments that are really in your mind enabling you to drive this portfolio into the future. I’m always interested when I talk to executives that have to think about today, but as we were just saying, have to think about three years from now. What are those key moments that are going to help you to build a portfolio that continues to be world class?

Patrick Mooney: Sure. There’s three things that jump out at me. One is our customers. Two is our people. And three is our transformation agenda and ability to continue to evolve. I mean, from a customer perspective, customers first, as we said, big ears, listening. They’re going to guide us to where we need to go and help make sure that if we’re off or they’re off, we’re going to jointly course correct. And having that relationship, the relationship is key.

And then people, I mean, I’ve stayed here as long as I have just because our people are amazing. I mean there’s no better place to work, no better people to work with and no better people to go service our customers. And then, on the transformation agenda and continuing to evolve, we’re always modernizing our portfolio. It doesn’t matter if it’s a traditional core that we might offer in a capex or a subscription. Or a complete outcome-based offering that we’d be offering as a service. We’re going to continue to modernize. And we’re going to continue to digitize.

Everything, you would see building out our telemetry stream so that we’ll always know. We want to know what’s going on and advise customers or prevent things before they even know. From a AI, telemetry, integrating in augmented reality, it’s just pushing us forward.

Patrick Moorhead: I appreciate that. We had a chance to talk with Doug Schmitt recently, like I said, and he seemed pretty hot on augmented reality, virtual reality, things like digital twins, education, and even helping service in the field. I’m glad the two of you must be talking. No.

Patrick Mooney: Twice.

Daniel Newman: Yeah. I mean, Doug, president of the Dell Technology service, I imagine you two collaborate a little bit. We should put that other show in the show notes.

Patrick Moorhead: Oh yeah, yeah. We should. [inaudible] No, there we should. Let’s… Yeah. Patrick, this is my big takeaway. First of all, the energy that I get from you is you really like Dell Technologies and the culture here. And it’s so evident in the passion that a way comes through. And I do a lot of interviews and stuff like that, but it’s really great to see.

And quite frankly, culture in today’s world and management leadership structure is paramount. Because quite frankly, people want to work for strong leaders and companies who have strong leadership. And I’m really pleased that we’re here and it’s in the services group, which quite frankly, like I said, I’m old. I started working in ’90 in the industry. And our transformation has shifted so much to where, like I’ve shared with you, that services is the tip of the spear for a lot of people in technology today.

But for companies like Dell Technologies at other people in your space within five, 10 years, it is going to be the entryway in the front door. And through our research, it’s very evident that it’s being driven by the world is changing so much faster than it was. There’s more pandemonium and chaos. You had to have more agility. I know it sounds like a marketing word, but it’s true. You have to be able to zig and zag and move over and predict things.

But also, the people who are buying it have different expectations. There are generations who are buyers now that grew up with iPhones and I had three TV stations. And then we thought cable TV was crazy, but now we have hundreds of millions of ways to consume content. And so, net net people want exactly what they want that’s specific for them. And you talked about your three modalities that you have.

They only want to pay for it along the way, which is exactly where you’re going with managed services, but also with things like APEX. I don’t know. I’m excited about this and I have a soft spot for product management. That’s where I spent most of my career. But the product is the way you’re productizing it, I think I like the method.

Daniel Newman: Like a Six Five On the Road.

Patrick Moorhead: There we go. I know. This is the, Hey, Pat. We’ve got to wrap. No, but Patrick, I really appreciate your time, giving us insight into the product line, how you prioritize, how you do things and your core philosophy of that. And with that, Daniel.

Daniel Newman: Yeah. It’s time to say goodbye. Everybody, we appreciate you tuning into this Six Five on the Road. Hit that subscribe button. Lots to learn here. Check out all the links. You can learn more about Patrick and Patrick.

Patrick Moorhead: And Daniel.

Daniel Newman: And of course, myself. And check out that other pod that we did and on the road with Doug Schmitt, president of the Dell Technology Services group works right alongside Patrick here. But we got to say goodbye for now. Thanks for tuning in. We’ll see y’all later.

Author Information

Daniel is the CEO of The Futurum Group. Living his life at the intersection of people and technology, Daniel works with the world’s largest technology brands exploring Digital Transformation and how it is influencing the enterprise.

From the leading edge of AI to global technology policy, Daniel makes the connections between business, people and tech that are required for companies to benefit most from their technology investments. Daniel is a top 5 globally ranked industry analyst and his ideas are regularly cited or shared in television appearances by CNBC, Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal and hundreds of other sites around the world.

A 7x Best-Selling Author including his most recent book “Human/Machine.” Daniel is also a Forbes and MarketWatch (Dow Jones) contributor.

An MBA and Former Graduate Adjunct Faculty, Daniel is an Austin Texas transplant after 40 years in Chicago. His speaking takes him around the world each year as he shares his vision of the role technology will play in our future.


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