Redrawn frontiers


Dell EMC seeks to lead the digital transformation journey for its customers

The Dell EMC merger has redrawn the industry landscape significantly and promises to create a redoubtable market leader with perhaps the most extensive portfolio across the industry. The coming together of two industry behemoths is also an extraordinary instance of how the compulsions of emerging technologies is reshaping the future.
With Dell Technologies as the parent holding entity, the merged entity will operate under the name Dell-EMC. The merger also includes the companies, part of the erstwhile EMC federation and industry leaders in their own right. These include RSA Security LLC, Pivotal Software Inc., Virtustream and VMware
The new company, worth $74 Billion in revenues, has every reason to be confident that the consolidation will help it take leadership in the digital transformational journey for Business customers with its extensive range of solutions targeting the fast growth areas of hybrid cloud, software-defined data center, converged infrastructure, platform-as-a-service, data analytics, mobility and cybersecurity.
According to Michael Dell, chairman and CEO of Dell Technologies, “We are at the dawn of the next industrial revolution. Our world is becoming more intelligent and more connected by the minute, and ultimately will become intertwined with a vast Internet of Things, paving the way for our customers to do incredible things. This is why we created Dell Technologies. We have the products, services, talent and global scale to be a catalyst for change and guide customers, large and small, on their digital journey.”
As a “Leader” in 20 Gartner Magic Quadrants and a portfolio of more than 20,000 patents and applications, the merged entity has unmatched credentials in terms of the range of solutions on offer for mid-market to enterprise customers.
Mohammed Amin, senior vice president, Turkey, Eastern Europe, Africa and Middle East at EMC Corporation, who leads the regional operations says, “This is an exciting phase; the consolidation is in the right direction and that makes it possible to offer the right technology portfolio to the end users. In the Gartner magic quadrant, we are leaders in 20 categories.”
He adds, “We offer a real wealth of options for end uses in their journey towards digital transformation as the largest private owned enterprise infrastructure technology company. I believe, in the next three years, Dell Technologies will be the largest cloud enabler company in the world.”
A successful journey for Dell EMC in the post-merger scenario hinges on bringing together Dell’s strength with small business and mid-market customers and EMC’s strength with large enterprises.
“Legacy EMC has been a leader in all the segments it covered but the company lacked some parts to service the customer end to end, such as the computing solutions for instance. From a go to market point of view, the two companies hugely complement each other because either didn’t have access to the areas of the market the other had access to. From a go to market point of view as well the product portfolios the two companies have to offer, there is synergy that benefits the end user as he will be happy getting everything under one roof,” says Amin.
In the region, the new company is ideally poised to play a larger role in the digital transformation initiatives, both in the private and in the public sector. Senior executives from Dell EMC had come down to Dubai last month to meet with customers and channel partners and discuss their roadmaps. They also met with key stakeholders in the UAE and have highlighted ways in which the merged company will support the government’s strategy to develop a knowledge-based economy and enhance service delivery for residents in line with Vision 2021.
At a regional press Round Table briefing last month, Aongus Hegarty, president of the EMEA region at Dell EMC, shared the insights on the region from the company’s perspective.
He said, “This region and the UAE specifically has the opportunity to make a quantum leap in using technology solutions to resolve pressing business issues – the lack of outdated infrastructure combined with the public and private sectors’ focus on creating employment opportunities and forging a digital transformation in education, financial services, government and other key sectors providing tremendous opportunity for collaborative problem-solving with Dell Technologies.”

Building synergies
The integration work between the teams is a work in progress. At the macro level, the new company seeks to bring together synergistic approaches such as exists between RSA and SecureWorks for instance, the former focused on cybersecurity and the latter on managed services in security.
Amin says, “SecureWorks and RSA complement each other because the focus of SecureWorks is around cybersecurity in the Internet and IoT, whereas the focus of RSA is around infrastructure security. Further, as Security is a top priority for CIOs today, we are now in a position to offer a solutions that secured from an infrastructure point of view, from an application point of view and from the cyber point of view. RSA is also known for the security analytics part which helps predict threats before they occur and which is an essential requirement in today’s landscape.”
An overlap can be seen in the converged infrastructure space as well because Dell has built a portfolio in tandem with its Nutanix partnership whereas VCE, part of the legacy EMC Federation has been a pioneer in the hyperconvergence space.
Amin’s explantion seeks to discount the overlaps and look at the synergies. He says, “In the hyperconverged space, we have the Dell XC Series web-scale solutions powered by Nutanix meant more for VMware applications. We have the VCE V-block which can be used for other applications. So there are different use cases for both solutions.”
The greatest synergy is perhaps in the storage market where now DELL EMC become a redoubtable storage leader that covers the needs of mid-market to large enterprises.
As Amin says, “In Dell, the storage portfolio was a small part compared to EMC’s portfolio that has had leading marketshare in the region, with as much 50% market share in Africa. Post consolidation, the portfolio of legacy Dell’s storage solutions will address the lower end segments whereas we will continue to address the mid to higher end segments with the legacy EMC range of solutions. While the EMC range address typically datacenter storage requirements, the Dell suite of storage helps address lower end requirements such as storage requirements in CCTV installations. EMC could not earlier address these requirements earlier and now we can with the Compellant and lower end storage solutions of legacy Dell. Further EMC has always been known for its support to customers and coupled with an entire suite of storage solutions, we can serve our customers better.”
Post merger, it is expected that the roadmap for all products will continue as scheduled, according to Amin. Legacy EMC has had a strong focus on smart city solutions whereas legacy Dell has been strong in IoT solutions.
Amin says, “We are getting this together- the coming together of the two companies is creating roadmap for additional products. We are going to be announcing a new product in the next few weeks, which has not been on the roadmap even for both companies. That is a result of the cooperative collaboration.”
One of the moot points in the post-merger scenario is the relationship that Dell has with Microsoft on the virtualization front in the face of the fact that VMware, Microsoft’s fierce competitor on the virtualization and cloud computing fronts is now part of the Dell EMC extended family. However, VMware is expected to remain an independent and publicly traded business.
Amin says, “VMware will operate under Dell Technologies which is the holding group. Dell EMC will have full access to their technologies. Microsoft is a strategic relationship for Dell EMC and will continue to be stronger than ever. We live in a world there is competition and collaboration; so we might compete with Microsoft in some instances while collaborating on other fronts.”
The realignment in the regional operations is expected to follow. Eventually, existing customers will have one Account Manager who will the one point of contact offering access to the entire solution range.
Amin says, “The customer will not be confused- he will have access to one Account manager who will offer them access to the whole portfolio and behind the Account Manager, there will be specialized presales and specialized sales. Between the two teams in the region, we have enough competent resources so that all customers can have their own dedicated Account Managers, so that there will be a single point of focus.”
On the partner front, Amin quips that this presents an opportunity jump because with no other vendor will they have access to such an extensive portfolio of solutions. The company is expected to unveil a combined program for partners by early next year.
He adds, “This gives them the opportunity to transform their Business for the future- for instance if they were only selling infrastructure before, they can now take other solutions as well to their customers. February 1st 2017 onwards, we will have a single partner program. Having said this, there are already select partners who are already being given access to both portfolios of solutions. The partner is one of the biggest beneficiaries of this merger.”
The merger clears a great path ahead for the new entity to play off the strengths of each other and counter the slowdown in traditional areas such as PC computing for Dell and storage for EMC. How all the synergies materialize is something that we will have to wait and watch as the script plays out.