At what will probably be the last EMC World in Las Vegas ahead of the company and its 'federation' of subsidiaries being absorbed into the Dell empire, suitor Michael Dell today laid out his vision of radically changed IT industry.
“Whole new ways of business will open in front of our eyes.” Dell promised as he announced the merged EMC-Dell company will have the name Dell Technologies. “As family names go, I'm kind of attached to them,” he joked.
For outgoing EMC CEO Joe Tucci his address was bittersweet, “While it's very likely it will be the last time I'm up here as CEO,” he told the audience before receiving a standing ovation. “The best years are ahead of us.”
The audience had forgiven Tucci for earlier disappointing them by not riding a hoverboard onto the stage despite the warm up video showing him trying one out, however he did lay out how the company plans to push its storage and data centre products along four lines revolving around flash storage, cloud compatibility, scalability and software defined.
Uderscoring that message was the announcement of new products including, the flash storage Unity product, Virtustream storage cloud, MyService360 management tool and an update to the VIPR automation software.
Micheal Dell continued upon Tucci's theme of the opportunities in the marketplace with a glowing description of the IoT and notably appropriated Cisco's 'Internet of Everything' monicker for the concept.
Dell sees the market driving the massive acquisition which is still awaiting shareholder approval and sign off from some government agencies. “Why are we doing this merger?” Dell asked, “there are certain times where everything changes. Right now we're at a shift greater than the industrial revolution, the digital revolution.”
To succeed in dealing with that shift, Dell believes keeping his company private along with EMC is essential. “We can invest for the long term and don't have to bother with ninety day horizons,” he told the keynote audience. “We can be one hundred percent focused on the customer.”
An issue worrying analysts and customers is what happens to the 'federation' of companies owned, in some cases, partly by EMC. Dell was at pains to emphasise that arrangement with VMWare, RSA and Pivotal would continue.
Whether a privately-held, Dell-led EMC federation is enough to maintain the line against the evil empires of Amazon and Google along with an horde of rebellious cloud-based startups and Chinese hardware companies is going to be the key test of the merged company. Today's announcements at EMC World show they are least going to fight.