Senior executives at former EMC Federation firms VMware, Virtustream and Pivotal have spoken out about how they believe their futures will look under Dell Technologies, citing farther reach and more balance-sheet support as some of the pros of the union.
In the past, the trio were Federation companies of EMC, but since the deal for Dell to buy EMC closed six weeks ago, they - and some of Dell's offshoots - all came together under the Dell Technologies umbrella. The companies falling under the new brand are: Dell (PC and client business); Dell EMC (enterprise); VMware; Pivotal; SecureWorks; and Virtustream. The Federation branding appears to have been dropped, with executives opting to refer to the companies as a family instead.
Senior representatives of VMware, Pivotal and Virtustream spoke to partners At Dell EMC World in Austin about the opportunities they see under Dell.
VMware's senior vice president Brandon Sweeney admitted that the firm does not have a large footprint in China, India and other parts of Asia "like it should", but said this could be improved under Dell.
During his addresses, Michael Dell has been keen to stress the importance of VMware, referring to the EMC buy as the combination of Dell with EMC and VMware, not just parent company EMC.
Although the firm will continue to be a public company as it was before, Sweeney said some changes will be made, including potentially tweaking its partner programme.
"We are a strategically aligned business unit and we are eager to partner much more closely with Dell and EMC and do the right thing," he said. "There is a tremendous opportunity for everyone in this room to help us better align around our go-to-market motion which makes it really simple for everyone to drive customer solutions.
"First and foremost, we'll have to figure out how to align our programmes over time. I think John [Byrne, Dell EMC channel chief] did a great job of talking about the things to come and it was great to have John and Marius [Haas, Dell EMC's enterprise president] at our Partner Advisory Council last week talking about the opportunities, concerns in the channel, and things we can work on together.
"If you step back and think about the whole Dell Technologies portfolio, there's a tremendous opportunity to leverage everything VMware has combined with joint blueprints for customers. That's what they want. They don't want to buy a one-off vSphere; they want to buy it with the right compute and the right professional services from the partners here. They want to work out their cloud journey - Virtusteam, there's a huge opportunity to work more closely together, and with Pivotal. Pat [Gelsinger - CEO of VMware] has been very clear and direct: we will figure out how to execute better. We have the Dell execution team, as they are so named, and around the globe we will hire incremental folks to help drive better interaction with partners. It will make it easier to do business with us."
Virtusteam was founded in 2009 and is an enterprise cloud and software provider. It has more than 2,000 global staff and operates in 10 countries worldwide. It joined the EMC Federation in 2015, and Dell Technologies last month as part of the wider firm's acquisition.
Its co-founder Rodney Rogers told partners that the firm will get the best of both worlds under Dell - retaining its start-up mentality while enjoying the further reach the Dell brand can afford it.
"The way this structure works for us, and the reason it is frankly awesome... is we're allowed to continue what we're doing from a product development perspective," he said. "We have our own road map and resources we apply towards developing our software. Yet we have the backdrop and the strength of the greater organisation to call on - it gives us a lot of balance-sheet support and a lot of reach into the marketplace. There's not a Fortune 500 CIO we can't get a meeting with today. That has been an extraordinary experience to marry the innovation and agility - the things you have as a young company - with the strength and reach of this overall group of companies represents."
Pivotal is a joint venture which was set up in 2013 between EMC, VMware and General Electric. Its senior vice president for products James Watters said what his firm offers partners and customers is unique.
"It's interesting to me to see who can continue to stand and innovate in the space we are in," he said. "HP have done a nice job trying to compete but just today they said 'hey, we're tapping out of our CloudStack business' - the Helion business - and saying we don't have the R&D assets to go out there and innovate like Pivotal does.
"I think the thing Michael [Dell] really has in his unified company is an unbelievable 'last-person standing' [status] in this space. I think it's incumbent on us to be the dominant player in that space now because there's no other company with those assets. It's Amazon and it's Dell - they're the players that are left."
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