Dell OEM XL program – new supply chain support
May 11, 2011 - Telcon in Livermore, CA - Recently we had the opportunity to talk with one of the Dell Technology Evangelists about their OEM program and the new OEM XL program. The OEM program, started in 1998, is targeted at outbound sales of systems that are based on Dell hardware platforms that have client specific branding on the logos that are found from the BIOS level through the system package. These products are currently being sold to over 2000 customers, from small to large volumes, for use as application specific appliances. The largest sector for the appliances is the IT security market, but the OEMs make products for a very large community requiring a captive, branded computing solution. One of the keys of the program is the ability of Dell to create both unique OS configurations and proprietary image loading on the systems that can be drop shipped to end customer for the OEM client.
The new OEM XL program is aimed at addressing the rapid change in technology and provide stability to the OEM marketplace for non-consumer targeted products. The program is based on locking the BOM for the main board and system and driving active engineering control of the BIOS and add on peripherals to insure stable operation. The OEM marketplace typically targets a 5yr operating cycle, and needs product availability over that period of time. This program has 5yr, 3yr and standard 90 day contracts available to give 5yr & 3yr OEM customers development and deployment time for their products.
The program currently supports 4 server class products and 1 workstation product. The systems have 6 mos notifications on any changes to the BIOS, as well as providing a 12 mos overlap between old and new products being released. The program is a sustaining model that has a JIT model including warehousing. The 12 mos overlap for end of life products, give companies a chance to maintain thier current customer while they develop new products, and eliminates the capital investment in purchasing and storing, for repair or sale, large amounts of EOL hardware that may not be convertible to sales.
From a technology point of view, the OEM XL program supports both duplication and redundancy in the supply chain, so product interruptions can be minimized. For platform stability purposes, they currently do not have GPGPU systems in the program, but they are evaluating them for future inclusion. They do however, support SSDs as part of the product offering, but due to the current nature of the SSD industry, they do not have a single preferred vendor for the products.