Dial D for Dell

Dell is traversing diverse routes-to-market into the final leg of its EMC buy. Is the tech giant pulling the right strings? 

A few good technology companies have bitten the bullet.

Or changed hands.

Dell sold Quest and SonicWALL of its software division for $2 Billion as per reports to private-equity firm Francisco Partners and hedge fund Elliott Management Corp. The software group of Dell provides services like analytics, database management, data protection, access control and performance monitoring to companies.

A few months ago, Dell sold its IT services business to NTT Data for over $3 billion.

Sale of tech companies to OEM or PE arm is not new. But the sale of software and services arms that power the modern enterprise conundrum of SMAC and IoT did surprise a few. Prod OEMs, CIOs or channel partners and they would lay their bets squarely on software and services in the rapidly commoditized ‘hardware box’ business.

Dell is however disrupting the industry by re-tuning its product portfolio in sync with customer demands, market outlook and its own strengths. And if it meant selling a few acquired companies of the past, Dell has identified the battles to fight with well-etched tech blueprint from the combined entity perspective.

It’s a little over 9 months since behemoth Dell announced its intent to buy another tech behemoth EMC. Industry experts and research analysts at large anticipated a ‘not-so-smooth’ acquisition for one – the big $67billion price tag and secondly the bigger portfolio that cuts across various technology domains.

Dell Technologies announced by Michael Dell at EMC World in May 2016 includes Dell today, plus EMC’s core Information Infrastructure storage division, Pivotal, Virtustream, VMware, SecureWorks and RSA.

Dell now I believe will largely pivot around the four key pillars with EMC deal.

Device to Datacenter: The dominance in laptops, desktops, all-in-ones will be enhanced as prominent force in datacenter space (Virtualization and Cloud through VMware and Pivotal). With HP split, will Dell emerge as ‘the preferred’ end to end IT infra player?

Executive Management: Senior executives diligently across each company (especially EMC and VMware) would be super crucial. Right people at right posts means great business. Will there be a shuffle or big shuffle or status quo for the senior folks at new Dell?

Leverage Indirect GTM: Dell late to indirect (channels) route than HP and IBM gets access to well-entrenched and channel friendly ecosystem of VMware, EMC, RSA to name a few. Can Dell retain channel loyalty to fortify customer stickiness with the extended portfolio?

Lead Innovation: Converged Infra, Big Data, Flash, Hybrid, Virtualisation, IoT etcetera are much in demand technology trends that should steer Dell ahead of the innovation curve. Will Dell’s new solutions command the ‘buy-in’ from IT decision makers and CIOs?

There are so many uncertainties with the colossal merger of Dell and EMC.

Would Dell sell more of its acquired companies? Difficult to say.

What will be the final avatar of erstwhile Dell? Hard to guesstimate.

But one outcome is assured.                                                                             

D for Dell has more connotations in the IT industry than in the past.

D for Disruptive. Daring. Diligent....and perhaps Dominant.