Michael Dell has revealed that secret, code-named meetings held in "weird places" took place between Dell and EMC as early as 2009 as the duo planned to merge, but said the global financial crisis meant they had to push pause.
Speaking to partners at the inaugural Dell EMC World event in Austin this week, Dell said that the alliance the duo struck up in 2001 was where the journey began.
"That collaboration was multi-faceted," he said. "EMC became our largest OEM customer and Dell servers were designed into 26 different EMC systems during a decade-long period.
"We sold billions of dollars of Dell EMC storage and we learned a lot about manufacturing, supply chain, R&D, go-to-market, sales, finance and everything about how these companies can work together to the point that Joe Tucci and I, in 2009 - seven years ago - hired the top consultants in the world. We hired one and EMC hired another one - Bain and McKinsey, if you're curious - and they did reams of work to explore combining the companies. Revenue synergies, cost synergies, new innovation, how would it work? It even got to the point where we had secret meetings with the boards of directors of both companies with code names in weird places.
"But because of the financial crisis and that sort of thing, we decided not to go ahead."
But four years later, after taking the company private, Michael Dell said he decided to revisit the plans.
"We don't have plans to do things in the future, we're doing it. The planning is done and we are executing."
"So less than a year later, after the go private, I called Joe Tucci - this is in August 2014 - and said ‘hey Joe, why don't we re-examine what we talked about in 2009?' He said 'okay', so we got to work again to refresh all the analysis and we worked for over a year to figure out how would it work and what are the opportunities. At the end of it we decided to go ahead. That was last year, one year and six days ago. This has been a long time in the making.
"The point of this story is that when you... see what we are unleashing, you'll know this has been a decade-and-a-half in the making. We don't have plans to do things in the future; we're doing it. The planning is done and we are executing."
During his address, the floor was opened to partners for questions, one of which asked Dell if - in light of his comments about the company being an end-to-end provider - what its plans are regarding smartphones. The question prompted a blunt response.
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