The Dell/EMC Personalities Merge With VMware Gambit

Dell Technologies fascinate me largely because it is a very large merger that was not a near total disaster, in fact it was surprisingly well done largely because the two firms threw out the rule book. What fascinates me most is that that rather than being emulated by other firms, those firms seemed to look at Dell’s success, ignore it, and then went back to the flawed way of doing things. One thing I have been anticipating is a blending of strategic thinking between the firms. Dell seemed more creative and agile than EMC, but EMC seemed to be able to think out of the box, particularly when it came to customer care and organizational structure, better than Dell. But the idea that was floated in January that Dell Technologies would be acquired by VMware as a path to taking the joint firms public again reflects on the strengths of both firms. Whether it happens or not I think this is a very interesting development and one I also expect Dell’s competitors to ignore much like firms have ignored how Steve Jobs made Apple the most valuable company in the world. Let us talk about the VMware Gambit this week. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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Dell EMC: Laughing All The Way To The Bank
May18

Dell EMC: Laughing All The Way To The Bank

LAS VEGAS: The second Dell EMC World is over, a variety of products and services have been unveiled, 13,500 customers, partners and staff have gone home — including me, so ignore the address above — and now comes the $60-billion-plus question, what comes next? For the ‘nattering nabobs of negativism’ like HPE’s Meg Whitman, the company is struggling to stay afloat with $50 billion in debt, it’s mired in hardware-based, commodity hell and is quickly becoming obsolete as everything moves to the cloud and IT as a Service. The reality is far different: Dell is a leader in 15 of Gartner’s Magic Quadrants; it is the largest enterprise storage vendor; it is the third largest PC vendor, but unlike many of its competitors, is growing market share and increasing ASPs. All told, the combined entity — including Dell Technologies, Dell EMC, RSA, Pivotal, Virtustream and VMware — is bringing in $75 billion a year, which is not too shabby. “It’s all about show me the money,” said Forrester analyst Glenn O’Donnell, and the company is “laughing all the way to the bank,” posting solid numbers as it closes in on its first year following the EMC acquisition. According to a recent interview with David Goulden, president of Dell EMC, the company’s focus is a long-term game, looking three to five years in the future, where they see an even more consolidated industry than today and where they are uniquely positioned as an essential infrastructure, broad-based platform. Organizations are looking to have fewer information technology suppliers, and they want the ones they retain to be strategic and more capable, he pointed out. DEW17 was all about transformation — digital, IT, workforce and security — and I reached out to a number of analysts and asked them for their views on where Dell EMC is in its own transformation, and what it should focus on for the immediate future. Their responses follow: Rob Enderle, President and Principal Analyst, the Enderle Group: The IT market is hell bent on transformation at the moment and thanks to the promise of lower taxes and a huge ramp in valuations firms are investing in capital projects at an impressive rate so the opportunity, to quote President Trump, is HUGE! Their performance is good, the merger set them back far less than most expected largely because the execution literally set the bar for efforts like this and their old VCE unit was on the forefront as the most successful converged and hyper-converged provider. And it is these concepts that appear to be having the biggest impact on firms that truly want to change. Jaguar/Land Rover was...

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DEW17: Dell Utility Pricing Transforms CapEx to OpEx

LAS VEGAS: The products and services announced at Dell EMC World 2017 were interesting, but for me the star of the event was the flexible consumption offering, an extension of last October’s OpenScale Payment Solutions. Ranging from the desktop to the datacenter, the new releases included: PC as a Service and Dell EMC VDI Complete Solutions; Dell Financial Services Flex on Demand for reducing the cost of over-provisioning storage solutions; DFS Cloud Flex for HCI; and a new Dell Technologies Transformational License Agreement that offers customized software contracts for flexible license and maintenance of software titles. “Many IT leaders worry about unforeseen costs and risks when adopting new or different technologies, but organizations that do not invest in IT Transformation initiatives risk falling behind their competitors,” said Howard Elias, President, Dell EMC Services and IT, in a prepared statement. “With flexible, simple and predictable payment solutions, we help organizations adopt the technology—from the desktop to the datacenter—that best suits their business needs today and allows a more pay-as-go model for modernizing and transforming IT.” Erick Brown, Senior Director, OpenScale Payment Solutions, Dell Financial Services, spent 20 years with EMC, the last few years working on complex deals and consumption models, and owned OpenScale there. He told IT Trends & Analysis this is a real unique and differentiated offering that provides tremendous flexibility to customers by not shackling them to a single technology or pricing plan. “More of our customers are asking us for OpEx solutions.” There are a number of customers already using the storage offering, but the cloud flex capability was just rolled out internally a month ago, he said. VxRail and XC customers can return the product at any time, after one year, with up to a 30% price drop in the monthly payments in subsequent years. “We’re hoping customer will keep it for more than a one year.” PC as a Service is a hot market according to IDC: over 40% of respondents say they have engaged in PCaaS in the past 12 months, or are considering engaging in the next 12 months. The companion VDI Complete Solutions, powered by VMware Horizon and based on VxRail Appliances or vSAN ReadyNodes, makes it easier to buy, deploy and manage. “Basically what this is is a wrapper of the product plus the services,” said Brown. The Transformational License Agreement collapses software licenses and maintenance into one contract that substantially increases simplicity and flexibility, i.e. customers can swap un-deployed software with any new title, including titles not in the agreement, and freely exchange any software, including titles that have already been deployed. Additionally, pre-paid T-credits can be redeemed at...

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DEW17: Storage On Steroids (& Cloud and Networking)

LAS VEGAS: Digital transformation is the (current) be-all and end-all, but for IT vendors, it’s all about building and selling the products and services that facilitate the DT journey, and in the second segment of our preview of a plethora of pithy product pronouncements, Part 2 we look at Dell EMC’s more mundane announcements, while Part 3 will focus on the revolutionary new payment program that turns CapEx to OpEx and might even help reduce the fear of vendor lock-in. As the dominant enterprise storage vendor, there were a number of storage announcements, including a heaping helping of software-defined storage news: a new release of ScaleIO; Elastic Cloud Storage (ECS) platform updates; IsilonSD Edge enhancements; new and updated Dell EMC Ready Nodes; and a preview of Project Nautilus, a new software-defined solution for storing and analyzing high volumes of streaming IoT data. “While software-defined everything is a critical piece of IT transformation, the reality is that we’re still early with regard to the ability of enterprises to consume software-only offerings,” said Jeff Boudreau, President, Storage, Dell EMC, in a prepared statement. “Offering software-defined storage offerings for on-premises and the cloud, in a variety of deployment models including ready nodes, allows us to meet customers where they are today and take them where they need to be as they transform their IT and their businesses.” Available now are Dell EMC ScaleIO Ready Nodes and Dell EMC VMware vSAN Ready Nodes, with availability on the new PowerEdge servers scheduled for mid-2017. Dell EMC Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct Ready Nodes are scheduled for June, followed shortly on the servers, while Next, ScaleIO.Next, ECS Dedicated Cloud Service and IsilonSD Edge are also expected out soon. If IT is now all about transformation, storage is all about flash, and the two are inseparable, noted Mark Peters, practice director & senior analyst, Enterprise Strategy Group, in a prepared statement. “… All-Flash and scale-out storage solutions — capable of delivering both the high performance and rich data services needed for today’s demanding applications — are critical elements for any enterprise that wants to achieve IT transformation.” Dell EMC made a number of flashy announcements: the VMAX 950F, up to 4x faster than the nearest competitor; XtremIO X2 delivers new levels of efficiency for VDI (virtual desktop infrastructure) and large scale snapshot use cases, with 3x higher capacity, 25% better storage efficiency on average and 80% better response times; Unity All-Flash storage models feature up to 4x larger file system capacity, 8x increase in density and sub 10-minute deployment; SC5020 midrange hybrid storage array offers up to 45% more IOPS, 2x greater capacity and market’s lowest hybrid array $/GB;...

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DEW17: It’s Mainly About DT… and IoT

LAS VEGAS:  In a preview of a plethora of pithy product pronouncements, Part 1 (PPPPPP1 or P61) I’ve taken the first set of Dell EMC’s announcements based on leading-edge hype, digital transformation (DT) and Internet of Things (IoT). The more mundane offerings like storage, appliances and cloud, have been relegated to Part 2, while a seemingly revolutionary new payment plan will get its own focus in Part 3. Only time — and the market — will tell if I got these right. However DT is the focus of both Dell EMC, and Dell EMC World 2017, so that’s where I’ll start. First, while there were DT-flavored announcements, i.e. Dell EMC Drives IT Transformation With the New 14th Generation of PowerEdge Servers and Dell EMC Powers IT Transformation with New Open Networking Products, there were no specific DT products and services announcements. That might be because digital transformation is more of a business phenomenon than a product or service that you can buy. It’s more about the people and processes; products and services are only a means to an end. The only DT-branded announcement, and IMHO that’s a stretch, is the upcoming 14th generation of the Dell EMC PowerEdge server portfolio that help customers drive IT Transformations. The company says it delivers innovation in three areas: a scalable business architecture; ‘intelligent automation’ via expanded APIs and the new OpenManage Enterprise console; and integrated security. Availability is scheduled for mid-year, i.e. real soon. If DT was more a premise or promise than a product, there were a number of IoT announcements, including those from Dell’s VMware subsidiary and Atos. The company bills itself as an ‘IoT heavyweight’, the industry’s ‘broadest IoT infrastructure solutions provider’, and has a ‘complete edge-to-core-to-cloud portfolio of infrastructure for IoT solutions.’ The VMware Pulse IoT Center is a secure, enterprise grade (IoT infrastructure management solution that will enable IT and operational technology (OT) teams to control their IoT infrastructure and things. Due out later this year as both a standalone solution by VMware and partners as well as a bundled offering via partners such as Dell EMC and others, it will provide IT and OT teams visibility and control across their IoT use cases, while offering peace of mind with security capabilities throughout the IoT value chain, stated Mimi Spier, vice president, IoT, VMware. The Atos partnership revolves around an IoT service management framework (Atos Codex IoT Services), that will enable customers to be in control and assure that all users ‘can continuously create value from their connected devices.’ Although very much a work in progress, the framework is available now, combining Dell EMC hardware and software...

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