EMC World 2016: Is Dell EMC Your Next and Only IoT Vendor?

B. Shimmin

B. Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

  • What will happen once the dust settles from the pending Dell and EMC merger? What market opportunities should Michael Dell pursue with a toolkit that spans Dell, EMC II, VMware, Pivotal, SecureWorks, Virtustream, and RSA?
  • One possible idea put forth by EMC during its annual EMC World conference in Las Vegas concerned a nearly end-to-end IoT solution combining cloud, security, servers, storage, and analytics.

Seeing Michael Dell take the stage alongside Joe Tucci at EMC’s annual EMC World user conference in Las Vegas this week was unexpected but somehow appropriate, given the pending merger of Dell and EMC. Once completed, the merger will give rise to a single entity branded Dell Technologies, which will house and combine a shockingly broad swath of companies including not just Dell and EMC, but also VMware, Pivotal, SecureWorks, Virtustream, and RSA.

How will this new, global juggernaut behave post-merger? Will it simply ply Dell’s established global PC and server sales channel in order to push EMC storage gear into SMB and mid-market enterprises? Will it seek to disrupt established markets such as at-scale public cloud services (e.g., Amazon, Google, and Microsoft)? Or, will it seek out new market opportunities that are just beginning to take shape, opportunities such as, let’s say, the Internet of Things (IoT)?

I’m confident that all three scenarios (exploit, disrupt, explore) will play out to one degree or another post-merger. If EMC has shown us anything since it came into being as a meager office furniture reseller back in 1979, it’s that the company knows how to diversify and explore. It knows how to innovate through both R&D and acquisition. And it knows how and when to partner and spin off advantageous opportunities as independent entities (e.g., Cloud Foundry).

And it is for that reason that I think the combined entity known as Dell Technologies and its sub-brand, Dell EMC (which will focus solely on the enterprise), have the potential to tackle the huge but hugely complex (let’s just say amorphous) opportunity that is IoT. Each of the sub-brand vendors listed above already addresses, either implicitly or explicitly, select aspects of IoT. Where there’s IoT, there’s a need for both scale-out and processing speed. That’s EMC itself. How about data integration and data security? That’s Dell, VMware, and RSA. How about cloud federation and app development/hosting? That’s Virtustream and Pivotal.

Certainly, when compared with the kind of engineering effort put forth by single entities such as Oracle, Cisco, Microsoft, and IBM, the IoT solution that might emerge from Dell EMC will look nothing like a single, well-integrated, and comprehensive IoT suite. It certainly won’t come wrapped as a packaged use case for a given vertical market such as wind turbine fleet optimization. But, maybe that’s okay. Maybe the real selling point of an explicit Dell EMC IoT solution won’t be an IoT solution itself but instead an underlying infrastructure (whether cloud or on-premises) that both understands and can accommodate the massive scale, security, integration, and performance requirements found within IoT deployments. Maybe a company that is itself made up of many parts and pieces is perfectly equipped to implicitly support and enable the many parts and pieces that make up IoT. We shall see.

About Brad Shimmin
As Principal Analyst for Collaboration and Conferencing at Current Analysis, Brad analyzes the rapidly expanding use of collaboration software and services as a means of improving business agility, fostering employee optimization and driving business opportunities.

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