Dell to Buy EMC for $67B; Sharpen Focus on Large Enterprises and High-End Computing

October 12, 2015

Dell will buy the storage provider EMC (NYSE: EMC) in a deal worth about $67 billion, reports The New York Times today (Dell Announces Purchase of EMC for $67 Billion). Dell and the investment firm Silver Lake, its financial backer, are betting that a huge acquisition will help one of the best-known names in the industry keep up with the rapidly changing technology industry.

“Under the terms of the deal, Dell will pay $33.15 per EMC share, which includes cash plus tracking stock linked to part of EMC’s economic interest in VMware, a publicly traded business. The Dell founder and chief executive, Michael S. Dell will lead the combined company as chairman and chief executive.

emc120x60“For the last two years, since taking the company private, Mr. Dell and Silver Lake have been trying to help it adapt to a changed tech landscape. Buying EMC brings Dell one of the biggest names in computer data storage, adding to existing offerings like network servers, corporate software and mobile devices,” according to the NYT report.

Addison Snell, CEO of analyst firm Intersect360 Research said, “With the number-one market share company for HPC servers purchasing the number-one market share company for HPC storage, of course this deal has ramification for HPC users. For Dell it is a chance to drive an end-to-end high-performance data strategy, which has been an area they have sought to improve. For EMC, it is a chance to consolidate separate lines into a cohesive high-performance strategy — right now, Isilon and XtremIO are isolated businesses. And with virtualization now on the rise in HPC environments, Dell will want to see if VMware can be a valuable component.”

The Wall Street Journal reports the deal “cements Dell’s transition from a consumer-oriented company to one focused on technology for large companies (Dell to Buy EMC for $67 Billion)…[in the] biggest technology-industry takeover ever.” Formal announcement of the deal follows widespread reports last week of the imminent merger.

Talking about the change, EMC CEO Joseph Tucci is quoted in a Boston Globe report: “I’m tremendously proud of everything we’ve built at EMC – from humble beginnings as a Boston-based startup to a global, world-class technology company with an unyielding dedication to our customers…But the waves of change we now see in our industry are unprecedented and, to navigate this change, we must create a new company for a new era.’’

There is fascinating banter going on at CrowdChat offering a swath of opinion ranging from IBM will win big time, at least short term, to growing competition from others in the ‘VM’ space, to praise for expanded offerings from Dell. It’s worth checking out: https://www.crowdchat.net/post/363771.

One analyst told EnterpriseTech, HPCwire’s sister publication, that the deal is likely to bring out competitors in full force. “Near term, I would be surprised if some of the Dell and EMC competitors were not out in full force with FUD and MUD trying to disrupt and create barriers to either Dell or EMC closing near-term business, both the Dell and EMC sales teams need to get in front of their customers, partners and prospects to remove those FUD and MUD barriers to avoid becoming part of a revenue prevention department,” said Greg Schulz, Sr. Advisory Analyst, Server and StorageIO Group.

On the plus side Schulz said, “For Dell high-end computing customers, this opens up some interesting scenarios as they will now have access to technologies such as EMC Isilon for data lakes using HDFS and NAS, or XtremIO for block based fast flash SSD storage clusters, or the new all flash DSSD for rack scale shared PCIe SSD among others. Keep in mind that EMC acquired DG back in the late 90s who had servers and storage (e.g. the Clarrion that became todays VNX which Dell used to OEM). EMC still has strong server DNA as they use a lot of them across their products.”

In the official announcement, Michael Dell asserted, “Our new company will be exceptionally well-positioned for growth in the most strategic areas of next generation IT including digital transformation, software-defined datacenter, converged infrastructure, hybrid cloud, mobile and security.”

Tucci estimated the combined, privately held company would have revenues totaling $80 billion and a more competitive position in the servers, storage and virtualization markets along with software-defined datacenters, hybrid cloud, converged infrastructure and the security sectors.

Tucci added that the merger would create “revenue synergies” between Dell and VMware he claimed could top $1 billion over the next several years. Patrick Gelsinger would remain as VMware’s CEO. Tucci added that the combined company would continue its partnership with Cisco Systems in networking, Cisco’s Unified Computing System and its vBlock cloud platform. “This is a bittersweet announcement for me,” added Tucci, who heads toward retirement after the deal closes.

“This deal is about accelerating growth opportunities and market expansion, and not about cost savings,” Gelsinger stressed during a conference call. The company expects to report quarterly revenue of $1.7 billion, up 10 percent year-on-year.

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