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To its credit, Dell has done better than most companies at preserving the culture of acquired companies and keeping them productive, which is in notable contrast to Hewlett-Packard, which overpaid for Palm, Autonomy and EDS, analysts said. But Dell still has issues to contend with and so it can't afford to charge a premium for its enterprise products just yet.
"Dell is not in a comfortable position. It is not as mature in solutions as IBM or even HP, and it doesn't have the brand premium of Apple, but my sense is that if it sticks to its knitting, the company can ultimately be successful," Endpoint Technologies' Kay said.
Gladden said Dell will not spend as much on acquisitions in coming years as it did this year, but he is optimistic about the company's future.
"As we've seen the year play out, you've seen a lot more of our customers really delay purchases given the macro environment. We still really feel good about pipelines and opportunities across the enterprise portfolio," Gladden said.