When EMC World 2016 kicks off in Las Vegas on May 2, CEO Joe Tucci will share the stage with Michael Dell. And the stage could literally be set for Dell (the company) to finalize its $67 billion takeover of EMC.
Admittedly, the deal likely won't be official for a few more months. But signs of progress toward that goal continue to emerge. Indeed, Dell and EMC first announced the deal in October 2015. Although the deal faced some financing hurdles, both parties have always insisted that the Dell-EMC business combination would become official somewhere between May and October 2016.
Key Moves to Watch, Key Names to Know
Here's what to expect on Monday, May 2...
- Virtustream Cloud: Watch for cloud-oriented news potentially involving Dell, EMC and Virtustream. Virtustream, part of the EMC Federation of companies, positions itself as an enterprise-class cloud software and service provider. The company specializes in enterprise-class IaaS for security and compliance-minded customers.
- In the spotlight: Key executives in the spotlight will include Dell; Tucci; EMC Information Infrastructure CEO David Goulden; and Virtustream CEO Rodney Rogers.
Integrating the Companies: Dell Chief Integration Officer Rory Read an EMC's Howard Elias will offer an update on the Dell-EMC business integration strategy. Read is the former CEO of AMD, and the former head of North America for Lenovo. He's a very channel-friendly guy, so it's a safe bet the Dell-EMC alignment will include channel at multiple levels.
- Who's Missing?: Curiously, I don't see VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger listed as a guest speaker. Hmmm... Nor do I see any major keynote session(s) involving RSA. Both VMware and RSA are part of the EMC Federation.
And on Tuesday, May 3...
- Converged Infrastructure: Watch for EMC to offer multiple updates on its converged infrastructure strategy and the evolution of VCE (now called EMC Converged Platforms Division).
- Flash Storage: EMC will declare 2016 as the year of all flash for primary storage... with key product updates expected...
And on Wednesday, May 4...
- More updates on converged infrastructure plus a heavy emphasis on EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa), Asia Pacific and Japan, Latin America and more.
What Dell Needs to Say
Still, the brightest spotlight will be on Michael Dell and Joe Tucci on May 2. Together, the duo must assure partners and customers that the business combination makes sense, is on track, and will actually unlock new innovations.
So far, the Dell-EMC pitch has been pretty effective. Proactive communications and numerous SEC filings have offered updates on the march toward a merger.
Still, effective planning doesn't guarantee success. Skeptics can point to Dell's decision to exit certain businesses in recent months -- including the Perot Systems business. There also have been rumors about Dell potentially selling Quest Software and/or SonicWall. And EMC has been rumored to be selling Documentum.
Amid all that chatter, doubters could wonder why a Dell-EMC combo is so good when Michael Dell reversed course on Perot and may be reversing course elsewhere.
Ultimately, both Dell and EMC have been struggling to grow on their own. Michael Dell needs to explain exactly how the business combination will unlock new growth opportunities that each business couldn't find on is own.