The Korea Herald


[Herald Interview] Dell ready to empower Korea to unlock potential of AI

Dell Korea chief praises Korean firms' faster, more extensive embrace of AI compared to Asian rivals

By Jie Ye-eun

Published : Jan. 29, 2024 - 15:54

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Kevin Kim, senior vice president and managing director of Dell Technologies Korea (Dell Technologies) Kevin Kim, senior vice president and managing director of Dell Technologies Korea (Dell Technologies)

US tech giant Dell Technologies has jumped on the generative artificial intelligence bandwagon with a range of new AI offerings combining its hardware and software prowess. The firm is also setting its sights on Korea, a tech powerhouse aspiring to become a potent player in the burgeoning AI era.

“Korean firms, from manufacturing giants to internet and cloud service providers, have embraced AI faster than their Asian rivals. We are confident in saying that Dell was at the center of the journey,” said Kevin Kim, senior vice president and head of Dell Technologies Korea, in a recent interview with The Korea Herald.

“Dell is very serious about AI and we believe that Korea‘s inherent power to commercialize AI is truly the best in the world, compared to other advanced countries,” he noted, adding that 2024 “will likely be the first year that many comprehensive Korean businesses adopt AI technology and (we at Dell) are very proud to be part of the wave.”

Dell, which boasts the largest market share in global server sales, has remained almost unrivaled in its extensive AI solution portfolio and ecosystem.

According to Kim, Dell‘s corporate clients consider it to be their most important partner, as Dell helps generate better and faster results with expanded generative AI services. The firm specializes in offering “on-premise” infrastructure that allows more control and data protection compared to traditional cloud computing.

In the Asia-Pacific and Japan region alone, spending on AI servers is estimated to become a $55 billion market by 2026 with an annual growth rate of 23 percent, according to market research firm IDC. Of the total sales, 83 percent are expected to come from on-premise server deployment.

The company sees huge business opportunities in Korea, Asia’s fourth-largest economy, and has worked to secure several corporate clients, including NHN Cloud, the nation’s leading cloud service provider.

Dell supplies its GPU-enabled AI server, called the PowerEdge XE9680, to NHN Cloud’s new data center that opened in October in Gwangju.

The data center uses Dell-powered servers, each equipped with eight Nvidia H100 Tensor Core GPUs, which also helps reduce operating costs and improve energy efficiency.

Kim touted the PowerEdge XE9680 as the “fastest-growing solution in sales in Dell's history.”

As of the earnings announcement made in August on the fiscal year spanning Feb. 2023 to Jan. 2024, the product’s order backlog hit $2 billion, posting 20 percent of the tech giant‘s total server order revenue.

“It is a key element to our Dell generative AI solutions, engineered to speed up the deployment of a modular, secure and scalable platform for generative AI in the enterprise,” Kim said.

Kim added that the company plans to launch another XE9680 server equipped with eight AMD Instinct MI300X accelerators around March as part of efforts to offer clients broader options and lower prices.

Kim said that Dell is also seeking to expand AI partnerships in Korea, citing its latest collaboration with Nvidia on Project Helix, a full-stack solution that enables companies to create and run customized AI models specialized in their specific business areas. Korea’s AI market is expected to reach 4.4 trillion won ($3.29 billion) in 2027, according to IDC.

“We believe AI will likely become a new future growth engine for Korea, together with its strength in chips and batteries,” Kim said as he offered a positive outlook about more investments and partnership deals between Dell and Korea.