Dell Extends Offerings for SAP’s Hana Database

Dell Inc., the computer maker whose founder, Michael Dell, prevailed last year in a contested management-led buyout, is offering faster systems for SAP AG’s Hana database product to attract business clients.

Dell’s highest-performing server, the PowerEdge R920, has achieved certification for Hana, the world’s third-largest PC maker said in a statement today. New Dell systems for Hana are designed to speed deployment and use, the Round Rock, Texas-based company said.

Dell went private in a $24.9 billion leveraged buyout completed last October, and is concentrating on gaining market share in personal computers while selling servers, storage and networking equipment to corporate customers. Chief Executive Officer Michael Dell and his partner, Silver Lake Management LLC, bought the company last year after a lengthy battle with dissident shareholders including billionaire financier Carl Icahn.

“Dell today is a very different company than it was a few short years ago,” Sam Greenblatt, vice president of engineered solutions and technology, said in the statement. The company has increased its focus on technology that lets businesses run “mission-critical applications,” he said.

Hana Growth

SAP’s data-crunching Hana software is gaining in popularity as companies use it to rapidly process millions of database records ranging from business data to genome sequences found in cancer patients’ blood. Hana revenue at SAP increased 61 percent last year to 633 million euros ($874 million).

Improved performance with Hana may help Dell attract customers using servers from Hewlett-Packard Co. and International Business Machines Corp., Forrest Norrod, general manager for server solutions, said in an interview. Dell is also working on ways to optimize its servers for SAP’s Sybase database, he said.

Michael Dell undertook the buyout to escape market scrutiny while fixing the company’s low-margin PC business. After years of ceding market share to Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. in mobile computing, Dell plans to reduce its reliance on personal computers and expand in hardware and software for corporate data centers. The company will expand through acquisitions while investing in faster data centers, mobile devices and data analysis, its CEO has said.

Decision-making has accelerated since the buyout, with Michael Dell personally rendering decisions on product and spending plans within hours, Norrod said.

“The buck stops there,” he said. “There’s no further discussion with the board.”

Dell had a 13.4 percent share of global PC shipments in the first quarter, market researcher IDC said April 9, increasing its shipments by more than 9 percent.

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