Dell EMC structures combine strengths, building on Irish base
10 April 2017 | 0
The Dell EMC merger has settled down into a well organised machine that capitalises on the traditional strengths of both entities, becoming more than the sum of its parts.
That was the broad message from Dayne Turbitt, senior vice president, UK and Ireland Enterprise Sales, Dell EMC, and Catherine Doyle, enterprise sales director, Dell EMC Ireland, speaking recently to TechPro.
Under the new organisation, Turbitt said that the Ireland and UK business is segmented primarily between enterprise and commercial. Turbitt runs the enterprise business, with Doyle as lead for Ireland. Commercial is run from the UK by Claire Vyvyan, with Aisling Keegan, vice president and general manager, Dell EMC Ireland, as the lead here.
Irish activities for Dell EMC, is described as strategic global hub for sales, services, centres of excellence, operations, IT, manufacturing, finance and solutions development. There are some 5,000 personnel here, across Dublin, Limerick and Cork, which each have global as well as locally focused teams.
Centres of excellence
The centres of excellence are led from Cork, while the solutions centre is based in Limerick. The European HQ for Dell Financial Services, known as the Dell Bank, which is fully regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland, is based in Cherrywood, County Dublin.
The Irish operations also serve as an important base for Dell EMC IoT division, which is focused on bringing together end-to-end IoT solutions that span hardware, software and services. Limerick hosts a dedicated IoT centre serving customers across EMEA.
Turbitt said the main integration really only started around 6 February, when the Dell’s financial year finally closed, as EMC’s financial year had closed in December.
“It is pretty new for us, but it is very positive and customers are so far, enjoying it,” said Turbitt.
Turbitt said that organisationally, the merger was notably for its complementary nature, with few areas of friction.
“What was great about the merger was the ‘non-overlap’,” he said, “is probably the best way to describe it.”
“From a go to market perspective, Dell was always very strong in the US in public sector, and then small and medium business. EMC was always strong in enterprise, banking, financials and telcos, etc.”
“When we pushed the two sales teams together, there was a natural overlap on where we had strong relationships. EMC was strong in enterprise, Dell was strong in commercial, and that’s done really well for us. The idea of the synergies was, how do we take our relationships in enterprise and bring the new product set in, and then the same thing in commercial and public.”
“That is how we have organised, from a go to market perspective.”
Turbitt said the structure for UK and Ireland is quite simple, works well and replicated across most of Europe.
“This meant we could combine the salesforces, and combine them to have 1 + 1 =2, instead of 1=1, due to conflicts.”
In the enterprise division, Turbitt said that EMC has taken in Dell colleagues, and made them a specialty organisation to augment the core sales ring.
“We service our customers with an account manager that carries the end to end portfolio and then, much like what we’ve always had historically at EMC, we have sales organisations that specialise on product sets. So, the Dell team is now what we call the compute and client specialist and they focus on x86 compute type, converged and client business, supporting our account management team.”
Despite speculation on competing product lines between Dell and EMC, particularly in the mid-market storage segment, Turbitt said that the experience here was pretty similar, with “very little overlap”.
“Compellent and mid-range storage is probably the highest area of overlap, and we have clients to consider in how to integrate those two product lines. For now, we have just released two new versions of both VNX and Compellent, so our strategy is to allow our customers to make their choice and whatever we decide in the future we will take our customers along —as we always do.”
“However,” he added, “it gives us tremendous opportunity in the x86 space, which from an enterprise perspective, we have never really participated in. And we are starting to see significant interest from our customers, especially in hyperconverged. Our market share in hyperconverged has rocketed.”
Dell and EMC have a particular advantage in the converged space, from the early days of VCE. However, with the advent of other players, such as Nutanix, the game has changed. Turbitt describes Nutanix as “a very elegant solution”.
But outside of its key area in remote office/branch office (ROBO), some converged infrastructure had issues scaling and so Dell EMC has its own portfolio in VxRail and VxRack.
“At scale, that applied solution has a challenge,” said Turbitt, “because you need to resolve the networking. But for 2-4,000 VMs, it is an elegant solution.”
“We created a product called VxRail with VMware, to complete in that space, and Vx Rack. The difference between the two is the ability to scale.”
“VX Rail, each one running about 2,000 VMs, and you can stack four or six of them together, and they will operate until you need to consider any network redesign.”
“If you are bigger than that,” said Turbitt, “you need VxRack, because the networking design is done and it can scale to a thousand nodes. So, if you are a large telco, we recommend the rack solution. If you are an enterprise, you can run what you did traditionally with a group of servers and storage on VxRail, perfectly.”
Turbitt said that VxRail is growing in enterprise, VxRack is growing in service providers and telcos.
“While some say that you can do everything with one box, we don’t believe that,” said Turbitt, somewhat in response to criticism for having too broad a portfolio.
“Depending on the workload, you choose the tool,” he said.
He said that the approach is for the customer to specify which hypervisor they prefer or are already using. Then, an appropriate and optimised infrastructure can be built to meet current scale demands, with future expansion capabilities built in.
This gives the best platform on which facilitate the goal of IT as a service, underpinning digital transformation efforts, said Catherine Doyle.
“If you think about where our customers want to get to,” said Doyle, “that as-a-service experience, for the best possible cost, we try to work out how we can best serve our customers’ application stack and their future, and build around that to create that as a service. Give them total, open flexibility in relation to whichever cloud they want to use, be the broker of service.”
“So if they want to burst out into the cloud, whatever public cloud they want, or if they want to break out into VirtuStream [the service for cloud hosting of enterprise applications], etc, we have a structure to enable them to do that.”
“That’s the mindset we bring to a customer,” said Doyle.
“Ultimately, that’s what they want to do. You want to deliver an as-a-service, fully automated environment, whereby you can automatically provision, automatically de-provision, etc, and you are not necessarily locked into delivering it off your own premises.”