Tag: Dell

EMC UK bigwig defects to Pure Storage

swimming-ratIt seems that not all are happy with what is happening at EMC now that Dell is fairly certain to get his paws on the company.

Gary Matson began working at EMC in October as district manager after joining from Arrow.  Now he has left the company after four months to lead Pure Storage’s UK and Ireland (UKI) channel.

His new job  is as a sales professional with Distribution, Vendor, SI, and ISV experience  working with partners to deliver IT solutions.

Neither Pure Storage nor EMC were immediately available to confirm the move or comment, but Matson updated his LinkedIn profile this week.

For those who came in late,  Pure Storage and EMC are rivals and there is much bad blood between them. A number of EMC staff have defected to Pure Storage over the past year or so.

In fact his this time last year, EMC’s former UK boss James Petter cleaned out his desk and headed over to Pure Storage . EMC’s chief marketing officer Jonathan Martin left the company to take on the same job at Pure Storage.

Pure Storage is big on the channel. In a recent 10-Q filing published last month. It promised to continue to invest in the channel programme and boost its global channel network.  To be fair, so is Dell and EMC, but it is unclear why EMC is losing its talent to such a smaller outfit.

Dell may continue to spin off RSA

Dell logoRSA President Amit Yoran has hinted that the long-awaited spinoff of RSA as a separate, private company might still be happening.

In an email, Yoran said that Dell had spent a few hours this week at RSA, discussing the RSA business and where that fits into the Dell “egosystem”. For those who came in late, Dell is going to buy EMC, the parent company of RSA, for $67 billion.

Yoran said that creating growth in security is a business that Dell clearly understands, and the relationship between Dell and Secureworks was also “thoughtfully constructed to create leverage”.

Dell announced earlier this month that it plans an initial public offering of the Secureworks business.

“Michael is also aware of our transformation activities at RSA and very supportive. He is keen to continue learning more about RSA and come up with meaningful ways EMC, Dell and he can contribute to our success in the future. It’s all about creating leverage and accelerating our growth.”

Dell was adamant about the benefits of taking a company private in order to foster growth, Yoran added.

“Dell was also very articulate about the benefits of operating as a private company, including our ability to plan and execute on a longer time horizon without the blinding focus on 90 day reporting cycles. Having spent a vast majority of my career running private companies, I couldn’t agree more.”

He did not say that RSA was in talks to spin off as a private company, but EMC was in serious talks to spin off RSA into an independent company for months before the Dell acquisition. What Yoran is saying fits very much into that concept.

Dell mocks HPE’s composing efforts

Larry_Nickel_composing_in_2004HP Enterprises composing efforts were dubbed a minor effort which will soon b flat, by Dell.

HPE this week unveiled plans to release the new composable architecture early next year. It’s being called Synergy, and HPE CEO Meg Whitman claimed the product was revolutionary.

We were suspicious because it involved the non-word Synergy and the word composable which keeps getting underlined by our word processor as being made up.  Tech companies use the word synergy and made up words when they are describing a non-event and hope that managers will nod when they see the outfit is talking jargon.

Dell also slagged off HPE’s new “composable” Synergy architecture, saying the new infrastructure product is impractical, expensive and doomed to be one of the IT market’s “derelict big ideas”.

Writing in his Dell bog, Dell fellow Robert Hormuth attacked the idea of composable infrastructure and the fact that it is “being driven by a single company”.

Hormuth said punters don’t want their infrastructure composable. They want approaches that work across many vendors and many technologies.

“Organisations require solutions that are simple, inexpensive, agile and scalable over proprietary, monolithic and expensive,” he said.

He said that the HP idea was only supported by HP. It is not open so it lacks flexibility and choice. “We’re looking forward to the evolution of standards-based approaches for composable infrastructure – which will inevitably increase customer choices and leverage expertise by controlling cost. After all, the marketplace is littered with derelict big ideas that were pushed by a single enterprise technology vendor. Right now, composable infrastructure could be one of those big ideas.”

Hormuth, in his blog post, touted Dell’s Active System Manager architecture as more practical, affordable and flexible than composable infrastructure.

HPE Vice President Paul Miller told  CRN, “If you don’t have a composable infrastructure yet, then of course it is not practical for you to sell one. What is not practical about having a system that gives you fluid pools of compute, storage and fabric, that enables you to stand up infrastructure for a workload in three minutes or less?”

The new HPE architecture is being billed as the first ever designed to bridge traditional and cloud-native applications into fluid resource pools that can be deployed at “cloud speed.” That could eliminate the big advantage that Amazon Web Services has had over internal IT departments that have struggled to provision workloads instantly like AWS can.

Dell, EMC prepare for channel merger

Sarah Shields, DellEMC and Dell have gone into overdrive in the expectation that the two companies will merge.

Sarah Shields, general manager of Dell UK, said that both companies had put senior members in place to work on the integration plans. She said that EMC products are complementary to Dell’s.

“The integration is a bit of a no-brainer,” she said. She said there are some obvious synergies and she herself was looking at the EMC programmes already in place.

“From our point of view it’s business as usual and so far it’s looking very positive,” she said.

She said that Dell shifted its business model to include the channel eight years ago, and although she declined to give figures, said channel business accounted for 40 percent of the company’s revenues.

She said that while business worldwide had been challenging last years, Dell had continued to grow. She said that both channel revenues and units were both positive.

EMC staff “making stuff up” about Dell sale

pinocchioA furious EMC president of global sales Bill Scannell told his sales teams to stop making stuff up about the company’s coming merger with Dell.

According to Channelnomics  Scannell told his staff not to “veer from the script” after the $67 billion acquisition by Dell was announced earlier this month. He slammed some of his staff for saying the wrong thing to customers.

He said that he had seen a couple of things happening in the field where people are veering from the script and kind of making things up.

“That’s not healthy, that’s not going to allow us to make this a painless and very successful merger… Understand what you can and can’t say now prior to the closing, realising this could be another six to nine months before we get the regulatory approvals and the shareholders’ sign-off to do this merger.”

Scannell told his staff to focus on quarterly business and exceeding customers’ expectations. They needed to sure they understand what we’ve said publicly about this acquisition and that it is all is going to be great.

If the deal goes ahead, EMC will go private but VMware – in which it owns an 80 per cent stake – will remain a publicly listed company.  This means that EMC will not have to worry about shipping products at the end of the quarter to make the quarterly revenue numbers.

This is going to have huge impact on savings from inventory with EMC, Scannell said.

Dell-EMC deal will rock the channel boat

Dell logo* DELL has confirmed it will take over EMC for $67 billion.  VM Ware will continue as a publicly traded company.

It now looks almost certain that Dell will announce it is taking over EMC today – a move that will cause ripples right throughout their respective channels.

The deal, said to be worth over $50 billion, is expected to be concluded either today or tomorrow, although EMC, being a listed company, will have to be offered to other prospective suitors.

A prospective suitor this time last year was HP, but HP Inc and HP Enterprise aren’t that interested any more.

For Dell, there are clear advantages to the acquisition. It has been building up its channel portfolio for several years now and at last week’s Canalys Channels Forum, senior executives said that at least 70 percent of its business was now going through two tier distribution. The acquisition will also put Dell into the top league, along with IBM and HP one and two.

Dell has also had a pretty smooth path when it’s taken over other countries, managing to successfully integrate them in a comparatively short period.

Obviously, there will be some consolidation involved and doubtless some people will be made redundant as part of the proposed takeover. But sorting out the channel implications will require some deft and delicate moves on Dell’s behalf. Reports suggest that EMC’s VM Ware division may itself be subject to either a sale or some equity investment.

Dell kisses and makes up to the channel

Dell logoDell’s chief commercial officer, Marius Haas, tipped up at the Canalys Channel Forum today to talk about how it’s vastly extended its channel programmes worldwide.He faced the channel audience like Lenovo’s executives did before.

Haas said that 70 percent of enterprise customers prefer to work through the channel. Of course, at one time, practically all sales were direct. Forty percent of its share is now through the channel and it’s invested $125 million in programmes.

In some countries 100 percent of its business is through the channel, Haas said.

Dell going private has been a catalyst for change, Haas said. It doesn’t have to bother thinking about shareholders now, just customers. Dell now has five and 10 year plans and is thinking long term.

Haas said Dell had made great progress with enterprise customers and talking to distributors about how to win more customers.

Dell now has a two tier distribution model because it gives an opportunity to be more aggressive in terms of customer wins.

Customers he said, aren’t looking for more vendors and would like one vendor to supply software, services and hardware, Haas said. “It’s a holistic conversation,” he said. “In the thin client business it starts with end user experience but very quickly moves to the apps the customer would be running, and what’s the storage system, and what’s the software to manage it.”

Haas said that he wants both direct and indirect business to grow. Channel business is growing faster than direct sales, he said.

Dell has hired senior executives who have channel in their bloodstreams. “Dell is committed to the channel,” he said. Dell will create more opportunities and generate demand for the channel.

Cloud no panacea as Citrix tries to sell itself

grandpa_simpson_yelling_at_cloudIt would appear that tacking “cloud” onto your product list is not proving to be a panacea for IT company woes.

Citrix, a US cloud computing company, is making a final attempt to sell itself as a whole before it embarks on asset sales, according to people familiar with the matter.

Citrix, which had attracted the interest of private equity investors before it agreed in July to give a man called Elliott a seat on its board of directors, is having new conversations with buyout firms.

Apparently the outfit is looking to hardware makers like Dell who might want to create a product and cloud package.

Citrix announced in July it would explore strategic alternatives for its GoTo family of products, including videoconferencing and desktop sharing service GoToMeeting. However, a sale process for these assets has not started yet because Citrix wants to see if it can still sell itself at a satisfactory valuation, according to the sources.

If Citrix does not sell itself it will sell or spin off its GoTo products, and other methods to asset strip itself.

Citrix provides communications software and networking solutions for businesses. It reported net income of $251.7 million in 2014, down from $339.5 million in 2013.

Earlier this year, Elliott called on Citrix to sell some units, cut costs and buy back shares to make up for six years of underperformance. In addition to the GoTo business, Elliott has called for Citrix to explore the sale of NetScaler, which helps speed up Web-based applications.

Elliott clinched a deal with Citrix in July that gave Jesse Cohn, one of its senior partners, a seat on the company’s board. Citrix also said it would start a search for an independent board member, mutually agreeable to Citrix and Elliott.

It also said at the time that Chief Executive Mark Templeton was retiring and that it would search for a new CEO.

Earlier this month, Citrix said it would repurchase up to an additional $500 million of its common stock.

 

 

 

Microsoft delivers Surface through Dell

surface-pro-2Software giant Microsoft has unveiled a partnership to allow businesses to buy  Surface Pro tablets and Surface accessories through Dell’s enterprise sales division.

Starting next month, it is part of a cunning plan, which will involve Microsoft working with other companies like HP and Accenture on promoting its tablets for business use. In fact the idea seems similar to the one drafted up between Apple and IBM, only it is more likely to work as Microsoft and the others have more experience in the business market.

Dell will also make Microsoft’s tablets available through its online enterprise sales website later this year. Companies that purchase Surface Pro tablets through this partnership can also purchase Dell services, such as up to four years of a hardware warranty, ProSupport with Accidental Damage Service, and Configuration and Deployment Services.

HP will also be selling Microsoft’s tablet through its enterprise sales force, and will be offering a set of Care Packs to help companies plan, configure, deploy and manage a Surface Pro 3 rollout. In addition, the company plans to release “mobility workflow transformation tools and services” next year.

Businesses already buy services and support from Dell for other computers and servers and it means that Dell and HP will sell Microsoft tablets alongside their own tablets and 2-in-1 convertible PCs.

Microsoft has dubbed all this the Surface Enterprise Initiative. The programme could improve adoption from enterprises that want to purchase their technology products from a partner that can also provide service and support for deploying devices.

John Byrne joins Dell

AMD's John ByrneDell has appointed a vice president of sales strategy and operations – and it’s charismatic Scotsman, John Byrne,  who has bagged the job.

John Byrne could well be described as an industry veteran and is well known to practically everyone in the UK channel business.

After a long stint at Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), John decided to take some time off with his family.

But you can’t keep a John Byrne down for long, and he said: “Great to work at a company led by an industry legend like Michael Dell.”

ChannelEye sends our best wishes to him.

Data centre evolves from snooze to news warns Gartner

darwinBeancounters at Gartner said that thedData centre industry is about to see some rapid change after 15 years of more or less being a snooze.

In its 2015 Magic Quadrant for Data Center Networking report Big G said that emerging innovations like software-defined networking (SDN) and disaggregation switching, and  data centre networking was shaking up the industry.

Unlike in the past, vendor differentiation is shifting toward software — including management, automation and orchestration — compared with hardware.

Gartner Research Director Andrew Lerner, who co-wrote the report said most of the suppliers were the same names as they everywere.  But positions have have changed within the industry.  Arista Networks becoming a Leader and Dell is being more progressive.

The report found that the adoption of and interest in white-box switches over the past year have increased significantly within hyperscale data centres.

Dell twigged to the fact that a white-box or branded white-box was the key and  then Juniper followed, then HP.

There is now a demand for a denser, more highly virtualised data centre to improve agility within networks. Organizations want less proprietary, closed systems than have typically filled the space.

The market leader is still Cisco and has the largest  installed base of any vendor in the quadrant, Cisco is by far the global leader in port shipments and revenue.

Gartner’s report slams Cisco for overlapping, conflicting architectures as well as one of the priciest solutions on the market.

Cisco’s flagship Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) is “less open” than some SDN products, said Lerner, but “if you’re looking for an open solution, they do have a broad portfolio.”

Arista is the fastest-growing vendor in the space and is one of only two companies – including Cisco – that Gartner refers to as Leaders.

Arista has taken a open and agnostic approach that’s cost-effective, so it’s a very compelling story for company’s the report said.”

HP is not doing that badly either. The No. 2 player in the market has a strong global reach, a broad portfolio and open SDN. HP was rated the most open vendor, according to Gartner research surveys.

What is keeping the computer giant from being a leader in the market is its failure to execute sales from a channel perspective.

“From a portfolio perspective, they can go toe-to-toe with anybody. … They have the HP brand and the global distribution channel, so on paper, they should be a fierce competitor,” said Lerner. “The reality is, we don’t see the HP distribution channel putting the HP data center networking portfolio in front of customers with the same degree of fervor as, say, a Cisco or even an Arista.”

Dell was the most innovative vendor in the marketplace over the past year, with more than 24,000 networking customers, jumping from a niche player in 2014 to a visionary this year.

Dell was the first mainstream vendor to support a disaggregation switching solution that allowed organizations to run third-party networking software on Dell hardware.

VMware was the only vendor that made the quadrant that doesn’t provide hardware in the data centre. The company’s flagship NSX SDN overlay product garners a high degree of interest and has a proven track record of reliability with customers.

VMware’s suffers from an immature channel and sales coverage  which is triggering its growth.

 

Dell deal headed for court

michael-dell-2Dell’s decision to go private is headed to court as head funds work out a way to screw more money from the tin box shifter.

According to Channel News Asia , Dell has become the latest victim of a process called “appraisal” where hedge funds use the threat of a court room to squeeze more money from buyouts.

The plan strategy, known as “appraisal,”involves an investor who opposes a buyout price asking a judge to determine the fair value for the stock. Dubbed “dissenter’s rights” and is meant to protect investors from underpriced buyouts, but some Wall Street dealmakers say hedge funds use it as a hold-up strategy to squeeze extra cash from mergers.

In this case the investor, T Rowe Price, is seeking a higher price for its Dell stock than the US$13.75 per share offered in the US$26 billion buyout led by Michael Dell and Silver Lake Partners.

T Rowe Price’s case began in February 2014 when the company asked Delaware judge Travis Laster to appraise its roughly 27 million Dell shares, according to court records. It said it had notified Dell and had not voted its stock for the deal, satisfying the legal requirements for appraisal.

But in August T Rowe Price reported to securities regulators in August that it voted for the deal across its funds.

Dell’s lawyer said that the computer maker would soon begin “aggressive, limited discovery” into the fund manager’s vote and will probably ask the court to throw out T Rowe Price’s appraisal claim.

But T Rowe Price is one of scores of Dell holders to seek appraisal claims, covering more than 38 million shares in total, according to court records.

Dell signs up Tech Data

Dell logoTech Data will distribute a number of products from Dell in the UK and Ireland.

Dell, which in times past was positively averse to the channel, has changed its tune completely in the last few years

The company said the extended relationship with Tech Data underlines its “continued investment” in the channel.

Tech Data is one of the largest distributors of technology products in the world, with sales of close to $28 billion and a network of 115,000 resellers worldwide.

Andy Gass, MD at Tech Data, said in a prepared statement: “Dell has made a strong commitment to the indirect channel by opening its full product range to us.”

And Tim Griffin, CEO of Dell UK said: “Over the past few years, Dell’s Partner Direct programme has grown exponentially and the channel is now, more than ever, an essential element in Dell’s overall business strategy. Partners like Tech Data are pivotal to our success.”

 

Dell puts more beef into the channel

Dell logoThere was a time when putting the word Dell next to the word channel would produce sheer disbelief in a reader.

But those times are no more.

Today Dell said it has bolstered its channel team as well as announcing incentives and rebates for its channel partners.

The company said it has introduced a programme called “AllStars”, intended for its networking channel to do more business with the companies. Its partners get customer support and initiatives like training. The programme also gives premier and preferred partners in Europe access to C-level sales and marketing councils.

It also said that it has introduced the Vostro 15 3000 business networks aimed at SMEs and giving channel partners incentivies.

Dell has also appointed our old mate Sarah Shields as UK sales executive director and general manager for the UK. Sarah will look after a number of different routes to market.

Sarah said: “Our partners continue to pivotal… I look forward to continuing to build Dell’s offering to ensure that it meets the need of our partners across the UK.”

And Ralf Jordan has been appointed as executive director of EMEA broadline distribution.

 

Dell hires ex-AMD man

AMD, SunnyvaleHardware and software vendor Dell said it has hired two people to key positions in its enterprise sales and technology departments.

Rory Read, who was the CEO of Advanced Micro Devices, will be the chief operating offier and president of worldwide commercial sales. He will have overall responsibility for market initiation and all channel sales planning

Paul Perez formerly worked at Cisco where he was VP and genera manager of the firm’s computing systems product group. In his role at Dell, Perez will be the chief technical advisor for its enterprise solutions group.

Perez starts at Dell’s HQ today, while Read will join the company on April 6th next.

Both will report to Marius Haas,who is the chief commercial officer at Dell.

Michael Dell was wheeled out to welcome Read and Perez to the good ship Dell. He said they will add enterprise IT expertise and depth to Dell’s management team.

Read said: “Dell is one of the most exciting companies in the industry right.” He said Dell is the only credible end to end IT company.