In this ESG360 Video, ESG's Mark Peters and Steve Duplessie discuss their expectations for the upcoming Dell Technologies World 2018 event.
Read the related ESG Blog: Thoughts Ahead of Dell Technologies World (Video)
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Mark: I think sometimes, as we all grow older, we can bemoan the passing of time, but one thing time does give you, whether you're looking backwards or forwards, I think, is more perspective. So I thought I'd take this opportunity of being with my slightly younger boss here to talk about, Steve, in just a few weeks from now, we have Dell Technologies World, DTW is I'm sure the new acronym will be.
Steve: Must be.
Mark: And we've been to a lot of these events over the years. So I thought we'll just spend a couple of minutes chewing over what we are expecting, perhaps what's changed over the years, and what we're fearing or hoping from this event. Let's start with the historical perspective, since we're both, you know, dealing with this passage of time. What have you seen changed, just briefly, with, I'll say, both EMC world and the Dell Worlds that you have attended? I think there'd be fewer of those. And then we'll talk about what we're looking forward to and expecting for the next one.
Steve: Sure. Well, 15 years ago, it was more of an EMC conference than whatever. There was 1,000 people there. I think that was a huge deal. And it used to always be, all the companies would show up in a specific industry show, and then you pick and choose who you wanted to go hang out with. And now, the individual vendors became their own shows. They're so massive that they don't bother with any of the industry, per se, except for ecosystems kind of partners. So that's probably the biggest change. So I think the good and the bad of it is the...specifically on the Dell EMC show, it's massive and everybody's there that you'd ever wanna talk to, and the bad is it's massive and everybody's there that you do or don't wanna talk to. And so it's difficult for folks like us to try and navigate our way through. I think that it's awesome for customers if their sort of subject matter experts, they can go find the pieces and the information that they care about specifically.
Mark: But it's interesting because the bigger they get...it's always struck me as interesting, these big shows. And you're right, they're very big and the expo is huge. Well, there's lots of partners and other organizations there. And it's almost like you can get the most benefit if you know whom you want to see on the expo floor and in the whole sessions.
Steve: You gotta plan.
Mark: And you need to plan. But if you know all that already, then you could have probably done that in a different way. So it's kind of become a strange thing. Which brings me to what I really wanted to ask you, is what are you expecting from what we'll see in a few weeks from now?
Steve: So I don't really know is the answer. There's been so many moving parts and so many changes really at the speed of light. These are two giant companies that got together and have morphed and changed over the course of the last 36 months, pretty radically in most areas. Whenever there are leadership changes, there are philosophical changes, there are go-to-market changes, there are product directional changes, so it'll be interesting to see how they come forth and say, "Hey, here's what we're gonna do. Here's our next horizon," and whether that's one year or five years.
Mark: And is that horizon point do you think most important? Because asking two questions which are about two sides of the same coin, is, you know, what are you fearful of and what are you hopeful for. And what I mean by that is I've been to these events where it seems to be a competitive "How many announcements can we make? How many press releases can we put out?" Which has its value. I suppose it shows you're very active, you're doing a lot. The flip side is you go to some events where the entire aim is to, if you like, put one thought into people's psyche about what a company is. Thoughts on which is better?
Steve: I don't know which is better. I think, at this stage of the game, the combined Dell EMC really does need to put forward kind of a, "This is our overall strategic vision," over whatever period of time. Five years is forever in this business, but for some extended period of time, "This is what we think. This is how we're gonna operate. This is what you can expect." Because I think the IT buyer, in general, in the line of business and everybody associated in this industry, needs to hear that from them now. It's no longer a collection of 1,000 parts, right. It's, "What's my cohesive story moving forward?"
Mark: Well, it's interesting. When you are such a big player, such a huge base…it just sounds an odd thing to say in our industry, but you almost have a responsibility as well as commercial requirement, because so many people are relying on you and the various components within the Dell Technologies world, no pun intended.
Steve: Right. And I think your sub-point to that is, from a market perspective, we need to tell people what we're doing, because they don't know they can't buy. And at the end of the day, this is, believe it or not, still a commercial endeavor.
Mark: Yeah. Last question, do you read anything into, as you say, two big organizations that have been coming together over the last couple years, do you read anything into the change of name for the event? Is this... I mean, clearly, the EMC brand is not in the name of the event. Do we expect it'll just further and further shrink and become Dell?
Steve: So, yes, is my answer. I think it will. And as big and wonderful and such a large piece of the equation as EMC is, it's a piece, right, and they're still massive VMware pivotal, RSA, blah blah blah. You know, it goes on and on and on. And so it behooves them to tighten the family, and this is just a marketing means of doing so. So everybody will be represented, but I assume...and I don't think that means anybody's marginalized. I'm not marginalizing EMC, but, sooner or later, it's us not them kind of thing.
Mark: Right, yeah. Well, we're certainly moving to world where there are a smaller number of really big...I'm only gonna say behemoths because I like the world, but there really are a few big behemoths. And that's why...
Steve: We say behemoth in America.
Mark: I'll do that, behemoth. How is that?
Steve: Very well.
Mark: But, you know, that's why these really have become industry events not just individual company trade shows.
Steve: For sure. Well, it's self-serving because it is one behemoth that sits out there, but even that behemoth does not stand alone ever, right. Our industry is an ecosystem industry more than ever, and that'll continue. So while they want, you know, 99% of the world to buy all of their stuff, which I completely understand as a capitalist, the reality is that stuff, no matter what that they're selling, will be used in an ecosystem. And so we have, probably more so than ever, the coopetition type of thing just matters. You're an enemy over here, but you're my best friend over here, because, at the end of the day, customer needs you both.
Mark: Yep. Well, thank you for your thoughts. Thank you for the pronunciation help. And if you see either of us at DTW, come and say hello and see if we were right on any of these thoughts.