Dell-EMC to converge APAC channel initiatives

Dell and EMC will begin operations as a combined entity something me between July and October, pending the necessary regulatory and shareholder approvals, and run one consolidated channel programme from February 2017.
Written by Eileen Yu, Senior Contributing Editor

LAS VEGAS, USA--EMC and Dell will consolidate their channel programmes after the merger is official and run a single initiative from February 2017.

Since the merger was announced in October, the vendors had been working on integration details and establishing new processes organisation-wide, including human resources and branding. These efforts were in preparation for "Day 1" of operations as a combined entity, which could be anytime between July and October, pending the necessary regulatory and shareholder approvals, said EMC Asia-Pacific Japan President David Webster.

Speaking to regional media at EMC World 2016 here this week, he said Day 1 would see the launch of a new company, complete with a new logo, new value proposition and messaging as well as new product portfolio. Meanwhile, efforts were focused on ensuring its customers, partners, and employees were ready for the new combined entity officially began operations.

"We need to make sure that when a customer calls us about a Dell server, we are going to be able to deal with that," Webster said. "So the focus now is on Day 1."

Channel programmes would continue to run separately before converging into a single scheme in February 2017, when Dell kicked off its fiscal year. During the transition period, however, channel partners would have the option to sell across both companies, he said, noting that the overlap was about 20 percent, of which these channel partners were currently selling for both Dell and EMC.

According to Dmitri Chen, EMC's Asia-Pacific Japan COO and vice president of specialty sales, EMC currently has more than 1,000 resellers in the region, said Chen, who was unable to provide reseller numbers for Dell or VMware. He added, though, that cross-sell opportunities between the entities were "substantial".

Company executives had previously estimated the revenue synergies from the merger to be US$1 billion, and at three times the cost synergies.

Asked if there were any missing parts in the region that needed to be addressed, Webster expressed confidence the merger would be a successful one because of the similarity between the two corporate cultures and very little overlaps in their product portfolios.

Stressing that each side would contribute equally in the merger, he noted: "Let me be really clear. The structure of the organisation isn't [one of] Dell buying EMC. What's happening is that Michael Dell and Silver Lake are taking EMC private and blending together Dell and EMC to form a new company."

He dismissed sentiments that one would have the upper hand over the other, noting that direct reports under Michael Dell comprised a mix of EMC and Dell executives.

VCE to remain significant business

In a previous ZDNet report, however, Forrester's senior analyst for infrastructure and operations, Naveen Chhabra, pointed to the lack of clarity over EMC's converged infrastructure business, VCE. "Would the customers get continued support for their investment in [VCE's] Vblock? Or would they have to move into the Dell converged infrastructure stack?" Chhabra questioned.

According to EMC's Asia-Pacific CTO for VCE, Matthew Oostveen, Vblock would continue to be supported on Cisco Systems UCS and switches, VMware's hypervisor, and EMC storage. This equation would remain unchanged and customer support for this would continue, Oostveen said.

He further noted that Cisco and EMC CEO Joe Tucci had provided "ironclad statements" to assure this relationship would continue, and added that the VCE line was "an extremely profitable" business for Cisco today.

"We're their number one go-to-market for UCS and Cisco, as well as us, would never abandon our customers," he said, but noted that this would not rule out the possibility of making different platforms available to customers in future. They could, for example, incorporate Dell technology, or choose VMware NSX instead of Cisco, or deploy other hypervisors other than VMware's.

This would be provided on a different model outside of Vblock and run only EMC storage, he added.

The vendor's Asia-Pacific strategy was similar to its global ambition, in which the company would be looking to provide the products and technology to help enterprises through their digital transformation as well as modernise their IT and datacentre architectures.

These would revolve around four key components EMC had identified to necessary in modern datacentre environments: flash, cloud-enabled, scale out, and software defined.

Based in Singapore, Eileen Yu reported for ZDNet from EMC World 2016 in Las Vegas, USA, on the invitation of EMC.

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