These engineers are the brains behind our latest products designed specifically for OEM Solutions’ customers.
I spoke to Thierry Pellegrino, Director of Engineering, Dell OEM Solutions, for an exclusive, inside look into how his team helped develop our latest generation of servers to meet the unique needs of our OEM customers.
You can watch Thierry here in this video on the 12 minds behind the 12th generation launch together with some of our other engineers.
Q: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your team?
Thierry: I’m Director of Engineering for Dell OEM and I have been with Dell for 13 years. I’ve been in several engineering functions from Client (workstations, desktops) to Enterprise (servers, infrastructure), and now I’m managing a team of cross-functional engineers that customize Dell standard products to our OEM customers’ unique needs.
Currently, I have 22 dedicated OEM engineers; however, we also work very closely with engineers across Dell who design our standard Enterprise, Client, Networking and Storage products and solutions.
This expertise drives the work we do in the OEM Solutions engineering team by allowing my team to be very agile and harness Dell’s significant engineering prowess to deliver what our customers need.
Q: What do you consider your team’s biggest OEM engineering accomplishment?
Thierry: It’s very difficult to single out one item. But, I can say I am most proud of being able to meet the demands of our OEM customers in situations where it sometimes seems impossible to accommodate a certain usage model for our products.
And yet, time and again, we have done this. I credit my team’s creativity and experience for these successes.
I work with mechanical, electrical and BIOS engineering teams in addition to all the regulatory and software requirements. All of them work closely with customers to drive real innovation for them leveraging Dell standard products.
Q: How you you view “true” innovation?
Thierry: The ability of the OEM solutions engineering team to innovate is staggering.
We have established processes, beyond hardware and software integration, designed into our Dell products that make customisation of standard platforms faster and easier.
Illustrating this are some of the features found in our 12th Generation PowerEdge™ servers that provide increased automation of otherwise time-consuming tasks.
Two such features are:
Identity module which enables system level feature customization for ease of deployment and lowered costs. Custom features on IDRAC for installation when booting.
LCD access control panel (a programmable feature), which allows bezel-front interaction and full customer OS control.
Beyond these types of time-saving features there are many additional points to note, such as our OEM Ready product line which allows our Dell products to be de-branded.
The OEM XL Program (long life, stability & extended life products) is enabled by the engineering team.
All of this requires more than just engineering focus, and really strengthens our ability to push the boundaries on Dell products.
Q: What excites you most about our 12th Generation servers and how did you help drive your team to success on their development?
Thierry: I am excited about the number of features we’ve packed into these latest systems. For example: PCI-E slots, memory configurations, hard disk count, and multiple software features.
The features we’ve made available are the direct result of customer requests. In the design process of the 12th Generation PowerEdge, we really celebrated the successes.
One defining moment comes to mind. A short time ago, the teams were putting together a demonstration of the identity module feature. For the team it was a great success to see the many months of effort come to life. We took a Dell branded R720 product, and with a click of a button loaded a demo personality, and with a reboot the server was completely rebranded. The name had been changed in all places such as the idRAC, USC, Bios etc. Something in the past that might have taken a lot of effort and time was now effortless; finally we could see how much value this would bring to our customers.
Q: How did your team work on these new platforms?
Thierry: This team understands the need to engage with customers as early in the product-definition phase as possible to ensure every customer ask is delivered.
We participate in the design and validation of these requests and oversee the customization of standard platforms with both customers and field teams. We also worked with the product teams to ensure OEM-specific features were added to our 12G servers.
Q: How does a new server generation go from concept to customer?
Thierry: Customers drive new products based on the challenges they’re experiencing in their businesses or something completely new they want to bring to market.
Our marketing team analyzes customers’ requests and a set of product requirements is developed for the engineering teams who leverage new and existing Dell IP to design, validate and manufacture their products.
Q: What, in your opinion, are Dells strengths here?
Thierry: The fact that we have great and closely linked relationships with OEM customers and a deep understanding of their needs enables us to spur on innovation. Being close to our customers allows us to quickly address their requests and provide feedback on the future state of a product. Our state-of-the-art engineering team can innovate and master flawless execution.
Another area where we excel is in our constant design and process improvement making each generation more customer driven than the one before it.
Q: So what does the future hold?
Thierry: I am impressed by the Telco products we are launching with 12th Generation PowerEdge servers. I saw some of the testing done on the products and it’s amazing to see a fully-loaded rack of the Dell Telco products be subject to a Seismic test and shake left/right by several inches and still continue to operate without missing a beat.
These are exciting times for our OEM Solutions’ teams, to learn more about our Engineering services visit here and check out many of our Engineering Videos here on the Dell OEM Solutions youtube channel.