Dell EMC— Would it Be Able to De­liver Big?

Dell EMC has lined up a port­fo­lio com­pris­ing the build­ing blocks of mod­ern IT. There are early signs of suc­cess, but there are many threats as well. Will Dell EMC be able to out­pace them?

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Dell Tech­nolo­gies, the com­pany formed out of the merger be­tween Dell and EMC, held the first edi­tion of its an­nual show­case for cus­tomers, tech­nol­o­gists, part­ners, and in­flu­encers at Las Ve­gas in May. With over 13500 at­ten­dees from 122 coun­tries, Dell EMC World 2017 (DEW 2017) could con­tend to have been one of the largest shows in IT.

Michael Dell, Chair­man and CEO, Dell Tech­nolo­gies in his key­note re­it­er­ated the com­pany’s ap­proach to help­ing cus­tomers with IT trans­for­ma­tion, workplace trans­for­ma­tion, and se­cu­rity trans­for­ma­tion in their jour­ney of dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion. Michael said, “Dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion is the ticket to the dance of con­tin­u­ous in­no­va­tion”. Michael and his top team dwelt on the es­sen­tial con­tours of what the com­pany achieved in the past few months since the merger, new prod­uct launches and tech­nol­ogy roadmaps, cus­tomer in­no­va­tions, new con­sump­tion mod­els, and the emer­gence of Dell Tech­nolo­gies Cap­i­tal, its cor­po­rate ven­ture arm, from stealth mode.

But let’s step back for a mo­ment and look again at the Dell- EMC merger from a strate­gic point of view. Agreed that enough has been said about it by now. But they have all been of­fi­cial state­ments care­fully crafted by the cor­po­rate com­mu­ni­ca­tions team and mostly at­trib­uted to Michael Dell him­self. I was look­ing for a dif­fer­ent ar­tic­u­la­tion about the logic be­hind the Dell EMC merger.

At DEW 2017, I caught up with some­one who has been in­volved with Dell and its var­i­ous ac­qui­si­tions, its di­vesti­tures, and the EMC merger. Matt Baker, Senior VP- Strat­egy and Plan­ning, Dell EMC has been at Dell over the past 12 years in the role of strat­egy leader. In this role, he made num­ber of ac­qui­si­tions of prod­uct com­pa­nies and ser­vices com­pa­nies in the run-up to mak­ing Dell an en­ter­prise IT com­pany shed­ding its ‘PC ven­dor only’ im­age.

Matt sees the EMC ac­qui­si­tion as a ‘in one fell swoop’ kind of a move to greatly ad­vance Dell’s foot­print in the en­ter­prise space in con­trast to the mul­ti­ple small steps the com­pany took in the pre­ced­ing years. Dell did cover some ground, but more needed to be done.

Be­fore the EMC ac­qui­si­tion, Dell was strong in the vol­ume work­loads server and stor­age busi­ness, but the com­ple­men­tary na­ture of EMC’s prod­uct port­fo­lio made for a block­buster com­bi­na­tion, Matt feels. Apart from the great prod­uct and tech­nol­ogy port­fo­lio from the EMC fam­ily, Dell has been able to gain cus­tomers and great SI part­ner­ships. Says Matt, “For ex­am­ple, every tier-1 ap­pli­ca­tion runs on VMAX, a fam­ily of SAN ar­rays for en­ter­prise stor­age, and they are now Dell EMC cus­tomers.” This means that the ac­qui­si­tion was as strate­gic from the point of view of cus­tomer ac­qui­si­tion as well as SI part­ner­ships as much as it was about the prod­uct and tech­nol­ogy port­fo­lio.

We need to look more at what does Dell EMC stand for in the mar­ket.

Dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion is the ticket to the dance of con­tin­u­ous in­no­va­tion

Michael Dell, Chair­man and CEO, Dell Tech­nolo­gies

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