Dell’s Limerick operation is now a strategic hub for the company three decades on

The US computer giant’s Midwest campus started out as an assembly line but is now a global digital leader through its Innovation Lab and a host of other functions

Sean O’Reilly, vice-president of EMEA Logistics and Dell Limerick site leader: ‘We have evolved to become a multi-functional campus at the forefront of emerging technologies.’

When Dell Technologies opened its Limerick facility 30 years ago, Michael Dell, the US company’s then 25-year old founder, paid a special visit to Raheen, accompanied by Des O’Malley, who was at the time Minister for Industry and Commerce.

Dell’s arrival in Limerick was a major coup for the Midwest, which was to act as the launch pad for the US computer maker’s sales into Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Three decades on, Dell’s Limerick operation has evolved enormously from its assembly line origins, into a global digital leader and a lynchpin in the US company’s global operations.

“Over the past 30 years, I’ve seen first-hand the transformational journey Dell Technologies has undergone in the city,” Sean O’Reilly, vice-president of EMEA Logistics and Dell Limerick site leader, said.

“From building our first EMEA manufacturing operations centre and supporting the company’s global growth in the 1990s, we have evolved to become a multi-functional campus at the forefront of emerging technologies.”

Dell Technologies’ Limerick operation has become a strategic hub for the company’s global and regional functions, housing a customer solutions centre, services command centre, and globally-focused supply chain team.

“Our customer solutions centre in Limerick provides world-class resources for businesses, designing and implementing technology-led solutions specific to their needs and challenges,” O’Reilly said.

“Through our Innovation Lab, customers can also experience real-life examples of how Artificial Intelligence, 5G and the Internet of Things can bring business value, in developing digital cities and connected healthcare, Industry 4.0 and connected transport.”

In all, Dell Technologies employs more than 5,000 people in Ireland at its Limerick site and two other campuses in Dublin and Cork.

“As a strategic location for Dell Technologies globally, our team in Ireland plays a crucial role in helping companies to embrace new technologies,” O’Reilly said.

“With the Midwest being home to some of Ireland’s leading third-level universities and colleges, Limerick has developed a highly-educated and talented workforce.

“Over the years, we’ve developed strong ties with University of Limerick amongst others, and have helped to design courses that meet the evolving needs of the technology sector. The University of Limerick launched Ireland’s first Masters in AI back in 2018, for example, which was designed in partnership with our sector.”

Such initiatives had helped Limerick to foster a strong network of technology experts and innovators, O’Reilly said.

“I’m proud that we operate within a vibrant city that is expanding and going places. Limerick is the perfect connection point between the US and EMEA markets,” he said.

“With the Americas just five hours away and the EU Single Market made up of 450 million consumers at our doorstep, the city provides an important transatlantic bridge — not only for Dell Technologies but for many other multinationals in the region.”

The Midwest also benefited from a relatively young and educated population, O’Reilly said.

“We wouldn’t have stayed here for 30 years if there wasn’t something special about the place. Our team at Dell Technologies has shown a unique capacity to pivot and evolve in tandem with the accelerated pace of digital transformation and the changing needs of businesses,” he said.

“A third of our global cyber security leadership team is based in Limerick, and we see security transformation as being key to enhancing the competitiveness of Irish businesses as they scale up their growth.

“Our team now is focusing on how AI, 5G and Edge Computing can unlock new business opportunities as we create digital cities and develop connected healthcare services.

“Dell Technologies is always looking for top talent to support our go-to-market plans and business growth agenda,” O’Reilly continued.

“We’re currently expanding the range of capabilities at our sites in Dublin, Cork and Limerick, so businesses can embrace new technologies at speed, and continue on their digital transformation journeys.”