“Competitors like HP are shrinking their rate of success,” Dell said in his opening keynote at EMC World, here in Las Vegas. “You can’t shrink your way to success. That’s not even a real thing. But they’re doing it, they’re getting slower.
“They’re separating their edge from their core with far less innovation, less investment in R&D, less software, a smaller supply chain, and losing share in each of their businesses to Dell, even right now in this period.”
“We’re going in the opposite direction. Building, while fostering speed, agility and innovation. By combining Dell with EMC, we can become the essential technology infrastructure for the next industrial revolution.”
Dell also sniped at HP’s client solutions business.
“We have incredible momentum, gaining [in client solutions] for 13 straight quarters. In the US our client business grew positive four percent and in the very same period, HP’s client business declined minus fourteen percent.
“Plus four for Dell, minus 14 for HP,” he said. “Dell gained two and a half points of share in exactly the same period HP lost 2.4 points of share.
“See the correlation? It’s pretty easy to see who’s winning and who’s losing.”
The business’ rebrand, Dell Technologies, will be the overall umbrella for all the combined brands of Dell and EMC – including EMC Information Infrastructure, VMware, Pivotal, Secureworks, RSA and VCE. The client solutions business will remain branded as Dell.
The EMC merger can quite clearly be seen as a realigning of Dell’s business with a core focus on the enterprise market. But Dell asserted that the client solutions business is still an important focus for the company.
Overall, though, much of the focus was on the “next industrial revolution” and how this will be found in the ‘internet of everything’ - as more and more smart devices are connected to the global grid, there is ample space for profit-making in providing the products that can power it.
Michael Dell made a play to align Dell Technologies with this upcoming digital world, and to position the company as the vanguard of powering and managing the connected planet. He cited some ways in which he expects the internet and compute power to change over the next 15 years.
“Today, if you want to decode a human genome it takes about 26 hours, in 15 years it’ll take 94 seconds,” he said. “When a newborn leaves a hospital, it will have a complete digital DNA profile and a lifetime of personalised medicine.”
“By 2031 the number of connected devices will grow from roughly eight billion today to perhaps 200 billion or more,”he said. “About 25 times the number of people on the planet – all of these connected nodes and devices will create massive amounts of new information. And using that information, especially in real time, to build a better world, that is the challenge of our generation.
“We are at the very beginning of the internet of everything. An intelligent world pulsing with unprecedented processing power and productivity.”
Before being joined by Michael Dell, EMC CEO Joe Tucci asked the audience in his opening keynote: why are we doing this merger and why with Dell?
Tucci likened the emerging era of a connected planet to the original industrial revolution. He said it will “dwarf the industrial revolution” and that smart devices will fuel this, creating a “treasure trove of data” for organisations to analyse, capitalise on and play with. It will, Tucci said, change the way products are built, serviced and sold.
Of course, the $67 billion value of the deal – the largest of its kind ever seen in the technology industry – helps to explain why EMC went forward with the merger too.
Dell was keen to highlight the role its customers play and he had little time for modesty.
“With Dell and EMC combined, our customers and our partners will stand at the centre of the world’s technology infrastructure,” he said. “And that means we stand at the centre of human progress. And there’s no place I’d rather be.”
In what could well be taken as another shot at its rivals, Dell underlined the importance for simplicity from a customer point of view.
He said: “Customers never say: you know what I’d really like? More vendors and more suppliers. I’d really like more disparate pieces I’d have to configure and manage myself.”
“What I hear is people want things that can be simpler, you want technology being easier. From the purchase to the procurement to design to deployment to management to services, you want a strategic partner sitting on the same side of the table as you.
“You like to spend time above the data and focus on the applications, the workloads, the things that will be your business focus,” he added.
All the chest-beating aside, customers will no doubt be concerned how the deal will impact on them in a period of such large change.
The vendor line is that Dell is in love with its customers but time will tell if the feeling will be reciprocated towards Dell EMC.
Dell’s keynote was followed by David Goulden, CEO of EMC II. He stressed that customers who are concerned by any impact on product innovation need not worry (followed by a tranche of product announcements).
Goulden was also keen to highlight just how big the internet of things phenomenon is going to be, referring to them as cloud-native applications and making a point about the opportunity in the market, including all the concerns that come with it, such as data protection and security.