In this ESG On Location Video, ESG's Mark Peters, Nik Rouda, Scott Sinclair, Kevin Rhone and Tony Palmer report on the key takeaways from EMC World 2016, held in Las Vegas.
Announcer: The following is an ESG on location video.
Mark Peters: ESG recently attended EMC World. Its theme this year was "Modernize", and indeed, there were nods aplenty in the presentation, signage, and exhibition hall to both the past and the future.
Of course, some things were the same. Lots of people, myriad meetings, a stage longer than a football field, a dramatic expo, the hunt for freebies, and coffee, a sprinkling of razzmatazz, and a ton of new product and service announcement. But there was change too. Michael Dell, front and center of course with Dell items as door prizes. Joe Tucci in jeans and then photo ops as the industry patriarch took a bow. Much was unsaid. The anticipatory nature of what will be once these two behemoths are officially hitched, but plenty was said in the business as usual category. That of course means there's way too much to cover in this quick report, but four of my ESG colleges each provide a sample insight. Here's our report from Vegas.
Mark Peters: It's spring time. We're back at the lovely Palazzo for another EMC World. Usually, there are big banners as you go into the convention center, but you can see this year in front of me on the floor is like a floor banner, and I wondered about that. And I think maybe it's because we're here at if you like, the ground floor of something very new and potentially very important for the IT industry, the arrival of Dell Technologies and Dell EMC when it comes to the enterprise part of things.
Kevin Rhone: Certainly after the announcement that EMC and Dell were going to combine their companies, ESG conducted some end user decision maker research and found out that 75% of the respondents felt that the combined company would be stronger and better able to provide technology and innovation going forward, and a full 60% of those respondents indicated that they would probably increase their purchases.
My colleague at ESG, Scott Sinclair delivered that information as part of a presentation to a large and enthusiastic partner audience at Global Partner Summit here at EMC World 2016. And I had a chance later to talk to a number of solutions providers who have been long-term EMC partners and are looking forward to continued relationship. The announcement yesterday at the summit was that the companies would maintain two separate programs for the next three business quarters, and then merge them into one combined program hopefully to incorporate the combinations of the two. The caveat is that it will take some serious execution on the part or parts of the company and coordination to bring all those things together, and if there was a reservation on the parts of the partners, it was the ability to execute that and navigate through that carefully over the next 24 months or so.
Having said that, a lot of enthusiasm in the room here today, and partners looking forward to the benefits of the combined company.
Scott Sinclair: On the storage front here at EMC World, we have seen a tremendous amount of innovation across the breadth of portfolio. But I think one of the interesting things that stood out to me is when you look at innovations and announcements like Unity or their project Nitro, which is an all flash Isilon array. What you're seeing is EMC showing up what was their soft underbelly. Essentially the areas where competitors saw EMC as having a weakness, as being vulnerable, EMC is continuing to innovate in these areas that were once seen as prime targets, which is critical because if you think about it, as much as EMC would like to talk about this digital transformation that's moved to the third platform, at the end of the day it's those product sets that are driving the share of the revenue which is going to be critical as they transition over to Dell technologies.
Tony Palmer: I'm standing here in the EMC World Solutions pavilion in the midst of the modern data center, an array of big iron behind me. But I want to talk about something smaller. Smaller but packing a really huge punch. The DSSD D5 has the potential to be a very, very disruptive solution offered by EMC, and it really shows their vision and why they're a leader in storage using brand new technology. It's very early, very on the bleeding edge, but providing a very, very useful solution to customers, and definitely worth taking a look at.
Nik Rouda: I've been interested to see what they're going to do with some of the software assets, particularly in the area of big data and analytics. There's quite a bit to play with here in the Dell Software group. They have a lot of data management tools. There's statistics up for analytics. Of course, on the other side of the house Pivotal has quite a bit to bring to this space with GemFire, Greenplum, their Hadoop distribution.
And I'm trying to figure out how that all comes together. I had a chance to ask Micheal Dell and Joe Tucci about this during the Q&A, and interestingly they didn't have a clear answer for this part of the business yet. They pointed back to infrastructure supporting big data. They talked about cloud-native applications and faster development, but I really want to see what is the big data story. How are they going to put together the data lakes, the angle that's going to make this combined company more than the sum of its parts?
Mark Peters: So I deliberately wanted to close out this recap of EMC World by standing in the expo hall with all that stuff and the vendors behind us, because the most important thing we heard about this week was a thing called VCIO. It sounds like a new product, but it's not. As the two companies come together, Dell and EMC, they have this thing called VCIO, the Value Creation and Integration Office. Just think about that very deliberate naming for a second. If these two companies get the second part of that name right, the integration office, it's going to be a pretty impressive, broad IT systems company. But if they get the first part right, which is the value creation and integration, it could be really quite dramatic in the IT landscape.