Tag: Dell

Dell flogs his software arm to the House of Elliott

elliotTin box-shifter Michael Dell is about to flog his software division to buyout firm Francisco and the private equity arm of activist hedge fund Elliott Management.

Dell needs to get rid of its software assets so that it can buy data storage company EMC for $67 billion. EMC owns a controlling stake in VMware and other software assets, so Dell does not need its own.

One of the things that Dell wants to off-load is Quest Software, which helps with information technology management and SonicWall, an e-mail encryption and data security provider. It is keeping Boomi, which is cloud-based software integration software.

The deal is expected to be formally announced this week, although it is possible that the whole thing could go tits up and never happen. Neither Dell nor Francisco are commenting.

Dell’s software division is not particularly profitable and Dell needs as much cash as he can get his paws on to reduce the debt he took on when took the outfit private.

 

Dell returns to PC World

michael-dell-2Dell is back flogging its grey boxes at PC World after a three year hiatus.

Apparently Dell has reformed its relationship with Dixons Carphone, owner of the Currys and PC World.

Dell has been  ramping up its retail presence and signed a deal with John Lewis to give it more of a presence on the high street. IT also improved its  distribution links to Ensure.

What this means is that Curry PC world will flog the Dell XPS, Inspiron and Alienware ranges as well as some monitors. These are normally sold online using Dell’s famous direct model.  It looks like the PC World move is designed to maximise the back to school buying period.

Alienware is already well known in gaming circles and it will now be given a chance to grow the brand in the largest high-street computing retailer.

Dell UK general manager, retail, consumer and small business, Jamil Nathoo said that having a significant player in the retail industry this relationship is key in giving customers the choice that they’re asking for.

“We’re excited to continue bringing innovative and high-performing technology to consumers on the high street,”  he said.

IDC names the top storage types

storageThe former maker of expensive printer ink HPE is doing rather well in the storeage league tables.

Beancounters at IDC have looked at their quarterly enterprise storage numbers and found HPE is the top of a declining market.

The overall enterprise storage market was worth $8.2 billion in the first 2016 quarter, down seven per cent on a year ago.

HPE did share its top place with EMC but HPE nominally ahead at $1.42 billion, up 11 per cent year-on-year, with EMC making $1.35 billion n, down 11.8 per cent year-on-year.

Dell was third with $845.5 million, down 5.8 per cent year-on-year, and NetApp fourth with $645.5 million, down 15.6 per cent.

Thinks are set to change when Dell merges with EMC. If you add those two outfits figures together you end up with revenues of $2.27 billion, almost double HPE’s revenues for the quarter and more than three times NetApp’s revenues.

IDC’s Liz Conner, research manager, Storage Systems said: “Spending on server-based storage was up, spending on traditional external arrays continues to decline, while the nature of hyperscale business leads it to fluctuate heavily with that market segment seeing a heavy decline in 1Q16.”

 

Kicking Pat Gelsinger won’t quit

47187130.cmsThe word on the street has been that Pat “Kicking” Gelsinger is about to clean out his desk at VMware once the EMC/Dell merger concludes.

However Gelsinger apparently has his feet nailed underneath the desk to prevent easy removal, even if it has curtailed his kicking antics for now.

Speaking at the Jefferies Technology Conference Gelsinger  told the assorted Jeffs  that he denied that he was off to pastures new: “I categorically deny it, EMC categorically denies it, and Dell categorically denies it, so there is absolutely no merit or substance to the rumour whatsoever. My intention is to stay here and Michael Dell’s intention is that I stay here.”

Gelsinger met with Dell earlier this week at VMware’s internal R&D conference when his PR team sent him a text about the report of his departure. Gelsinger said he showed his phone to Dell, asked him “Is there something I don’t know and we got a laugh about it”.

Of course Dell could have been laughing in the same way that Game of Thrones villains do before they stick a knife into someone’s liver, but we don’t think Pat is due to go to any weddings.

Gelsinger added that recent exits from VMware were a sign of execs reaching new stages in their lives, rather than tiring of VMware. Some have teenaged kids. Others have closed 100 quarters in a row at public companies and want new horizons. Gelsinger also said VMware’s replacement executives were “experienced and hungry” so clearly they have not found the VMware canteen yet.

 

 

Companies reject cloud for fog

Fog.PNGEnterprise CIOs are starting to twig that the cloud is not all it is cracked up to be and are looking at a new buzzword – the Fog –  instead.

One of the problems with the cloud is that many of the services and apps, and data used in critical decision-making are better kept on premise or in smaller enterprise data centres. Cloud goes against the demand for mobility too as the data needs to be kept closer to the machine.

Now Cisco, Dell, Microsoft, Intel and ARM, as well as researchers at Princeton University, are betting that the future of enterprise computing will be a hybrid model where information, applications and services are split between the cloud and the fog. Cisco came up with the name “fog computing” you can probably tell.

Cloud based data centres are huge and are working ok for now. But when, and if the IoT appears on the scene things are going to get messy.

When everything from cars and drones to video cameras and home appliances are transmitting enormous amounts of data from trillions of sensors, network traffic will grow exponentially. Real-time services that require split-second response times or location-awareness for accurate decision-making will need to be deployed closer to the edge to be useful, something which would cause the cloud to break.

The only thing which will save the cloud really is increased technology,  or coming up with a hybrid approach to data. That will enable distributed fog networks in enterprise data centres, around cities, in vehicles, in homes and neighbourhoods, and even on your person via wearable devices and sensors.

If this sounds like the old “distributed computing” over “Centralised computing” debate which happened as the Internet was starting to arrive, it pretty much is. What Cisco is suggesting is incredibly complex networks.

Dell’s EMC debt rising

emcTin-box shifter Michael Dell always knew that his outfit’s debt was going to be a bit high after buying EMC, but it is starting to look like it is getting heavier.

Dell’s debt was high after the company went private, but now it seems that the Wall St bond market will need higher interest payments to fund the deal. While there is still enough cash in the kitty to get hold of EMC, it means that there could be a fire sale of overlapping business soon after the sale takes place.

All this is because the weak quarterly results at Intel and the poorly received debt sale by disk-drive maker Western Digital are pushing up the costs of Dell’s coming debt issuance. Basically the bankers are a bit nervy about investing in hardware at the moment.

Dell’s ability to raise money through selling off some businesses is also suffering. His SecureWorks IPO is now priced at $14/share instead of the original $15.50 – $17.50 range, reducing the likely inflow of cash to Dell, and thus reducing its future debt needs less than it must have hoped.

All this could add tens of millions of dollars to Dell’s annual interest expense, something that Dell needs like a hole in the head. It is thought that to deal with the problem, Dell is going to have to flog anything not nailed down in the two companies. There are overlaps between the two companies which can be safely flogged off, but it is more likely that more cuts will have to be made.  It is expected that there will be large numbers of former EMC or Dell staff looking for jobs when the agreement goes through.

Dell starts IoT partner programme

michael-dell-2Tin Box shifter Michael Dell has started an IoT solutions partner programme designed to make it easier for partners to identify themselves as specialists in this area.

The vendor is contacting providers to encourage them to use its technology in their offerings to provide more features, including security and data analytics.

Dell has been listing the tech it provides for intelligent gateways, embedded PCs, security, manageability tools, data center and cloud infrastructure and data analytic tools. It also is building ‘use case blueprints’ that will make it easier for partners to deploy IoT gear.

The IoT partner programme has three tiers – executive, associate and registered.

Registered partners might be doing enough to get the public backing of Dell but do not have enough experience to get the sort of recommendation other tiers. Associates can deliver more differentiated and proven solutions when compared to the registered level. Executives are those that have a stand out proposition and are seen as ‘best in class’ with a proven ability to deliver.

The IoT partner programme includes working with firms including GE, SAP, Software AG, Microsoft, OSIsoft and others.

Dell also stressed that it would continue to build relationships with systems integrators that have vertical expertise.

 

Dell’s SecureWorks should get a $1.42 billion IPO

michael-dell-2Dell’s cyber security unit, SecureWorks, could be valued at up to $1.42 billion in its initial public offering, the first major US listing of a technology company this year.

SecureWorks said its offering was expected to be priced at $15.50-$17.50 per Class A share, raising as much as $157.5 million.

It is not the greatest time for SecureWorks to launch. IPO values plunged to a seven-year low in the first quarter, more than halving from a year earlier to $106.6 billion, as worries over slowing economic growth kept investors wary.

However as far as shareholders in SecureWorks are concerned, from such a low base, things can only get better.

Several cyber security firms such as FireEye, Rapid7 and Mimecast have gone public to take advantage of growing investor interest in them after a spate of hacking attacks on companies including major banks and retailers.

However, shares of Rapid7 and FireEye are now trading way below their IPO prices. Mimecast, which jumped 20 percent on its listing day, has also slipped below its offering price.

The Wall Street Journal first reported in October that Dell, the third-largest personal computer maker, had filed confidentially for listing SecureWorks, which it bought for $612 million in 2011.

Founded in 1999, SecureWorks has 4,200 clients in 59 countries.

 

EMC ponders selling Documentum

emcEMC is looking to sell its Documentum software unit in a move that parallels Dell’s efforts to sell off assets ahead of the companies’ pending merger.

According to Bloomberg, EMC had agreed to a Dell plan to shop the Documentum software business to prospective private equity buyers as part of an effort to offset the cost of acquiring EMC. However it is equally possible that EMC wants the cash to buy something nice.

Few EMC partners sell Documentum. EMC partners work at the infrastructure level, rather than the application level with document management. Documentum software tracks corporate documents. EMC acquired the company in 2003 for about $1.7 billion.

Dell expects its acquisition of EMC to close between May and October. Dell has been flogging off assets to offset the cost of the transaction. The acquisition deal is worth around $60 billion. Dell intends to take on as much as $49.5 billion in debt in order to complete it.

It has flogged off Perot Systems business to NTT Data of Japan for about $3.1 billion and is trying to find a buyer for SonicWall security business and Quest software.  This should get it $4 billion.

 

Thin clients are thin on the ground

skeleton-woman-615While thin client set ups have been touted as the “next big thing” for nearly two decades, it would appear that no-one can make cash from them.

Bean counters at IDC said that the market leaders HP and Dell suffered double-digit shipment drops last year. Apparently companies are walking away from, or cancelling their thin-client projects. Ironically mostly before the poor economic climate, thin clients were touted as a cost-saving measure.

Thin client projects are being canned or postponed in the face of the faltering economic climate and reduced public budgets, IDC said as it warned that shipments in the sector shrank last year.

According to IDC, thin and terminal-client shipments fell 6.9 per cent to 5.08 million in 2015, with market leaders Dell and HP enduring double-digit drops.

To be fair it is not all doom. Thin-clients did better than PCs which fell 10.6 per cent last year.  IDC insists that the outlook for thin clients and virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) remains favourable, although people have been saying that since networking became a thing.

Jay Chou, research manager, worldwide enterprise client device trackers at IDC said that while there was a certain amount of slowdown expected as many organisations had just refreshed their systems a year or two ago, the extent of economic and currency-related issues had a definite impact in the budget and timeline of other projects which were supposed to be in the pipeline.

“Nonetheless, awareness around VDI continues to improve, and IDC does expect an improved outlook ahead, especially as companies begin to think about moving beyond Windows 7.”

While the PC market may be consolidating into the hands of fewer players, the same cannot be said of thin clients, where market leaders Dell and HP lost market share hand over fist during the year.

The US duo’s collective share of thin-client shipments fell from 55.1 to 50.6 per cent between 2014 and 2015, with Dell seeing shipments drop 13.8 per cent and HP suffering a 15 per cent fall, IDC said.

NComputing came third as its shipments rose 12.8 per cent to 518,000, IDC said.

Dell shuffles his leadership deck

Dell logoTin box shifter Michael Dell has emailed his company, to talk about the organisation’s leadership team after it acquires EMC.

What is telling is that the future does not include Joe Tucci who is EMC’s president and chairman and the bloke who took the company onto the cloud route.  Tucci had indicated he wanted to clean out his desk sooner rather than later and is expected to retire.

“This new organisational structure will be effective immediately following the completion of the transaction. I want to thank Joe Tucci for his insights and assistance,” Dell said.

Meanwhile Dell said there was strong progress on our plans to combine Dell and EMC … The transaction is on schedule under the original timetable and the original terms.”

The mail goes on to name the following new leadership team:

Jeremy Burton, Chief Marketing Officer, responsible for brand, events, marketing analytics, digital and communications.

Jeff Clarke, Vice Chairman and President, Operations and Client Solutions, responsible for Global Supply Chain and End User Computing organisations.

Howard Elias and Rory Read, Co-Chief Integration Officers, for the Dell|EMC integration.

David Goulden, President, Enterprise Systems Group, responsible for global infrastructure organization including servers, storage, networking, converged infrastructure and solutions.

Bill Scannell, President, Enterprise Sales, will report to Goulden and lead the global go-to-market organisation serving Enterprise customers.

Dell added: “I am also establishing an executive group, which will include the presidents of our business units and go-to-market organizations. The executive group will include: Pat Gelsinger, CEO, VMware; Mike Cote, President and CEO, SecureWorks; Rob Mee, CEO, Pivotal; and Rodney Rogers, CEO, Virtustream. This group will collaborate on innovative and differentiated solutions, optimize our operations to increase the speed and agility with which we serve our customers, and find ways to work together more efficiently and effectively as an organisation.”

Rodney Rogers, CEO of Virtustream, Amit Yoran who will be president of RSA, and Rohit Ghai, who scored the gig as president of the Enterprise Content Division.

Marius Haas will be president and chief commercial officer, responsible for the global go-to-market organisation serving Commercial customers.

Steven Price will lead HR and Karen Quintos will be “chief customer officer, “responsible for leading revenue and margin-enhancing programs, ensuring a consistent customer experience across multiple channels, and driving strategies to strengthen and build profitable customer relationships. Karen will also lead Corporate Citizenship, including social responsibility, entrepreneurship and diversity. John Swainson will remain at the helm of Dell Software, and Suresh Vaswani will keep his gig at the head of Dell Services.

Tom Sweet will be CFO.

Dell adds security add-on service

michael-dell-2Tin box shifter Dell has announced an add-on service to its SonicWALL firewall product.

The cloud offering, called the SonicWALL Capture Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) Service analysies files and traffic for threats using three filter engines.

These engines are the VMRay third-generation Analyzer, Lastline Breach Detection platform and the Dell SonicWALL Sonic Sandbox.

Dell thinks that, combined, they deliver better protection against the growing prevalence of zero-day attacks which are designed to evade sandboxes like badly behaved kittens.

In addition to having multiple analysis engines, the solution has hypervisor-level analysis and full-system emulation.

Dell’s system sends suspicious files to the cloud for analysis and there is no limit on the file size so it can capture a lot of malware in its net. Once a threat has been detected, Dell sends remediation signatures through its existing solutions.

Dell thinks that it can block malware at the gateway, and provide a much more effective protection of the network.

The Dell SonicWALL Capture ATP Service solution is currently available as a beta and will be available for purchase “by mid-year 2016.”

EU gives Dell deal the thumbs up

Happy man portrait

Happy man portrait

Tin box shifter Michael Dell is going to be given unconditional EU antitrust approval for its $67 billion bid for data storage company EMC.

Dell unveiled the deal in October last year, the largest ever in the technology industry sector, and designed to enable Dell to better challenge rivals Cisco Systems Inc, IBM and HP in cloud computing, mobility and cyber security.

European Commission spokesman Ricardo Cardoso has so far said nothing, but leaks in Brussels [shurely that should be sprouts.ed] claim that the when the Commission gives its ruling on the deal by February 29 Dell will be a happy bunny.

 

Dell founder and Chief Executive Michael Dell took the company private three years ago with the help of private equity firm Silver Lake.

The computer maker has arranged a debt package for up to $49.5 billion to help finance the EMC deal, the second-largest M&A financing on record.

 

VMware share drop hurts Dell’s EMC bid

Michael DellTin box shifter Michael Dell is warning investors that the $14 billion drop in the market capitalisation of VMware is playing havoc with his attempt to get cash for EMC.

A Dell spokesman said the total value of the blockbuster acquisition has dropped by about $10 billion from its original $67 billion, to $57 billion.

In an SEC filing, Dell noted that “the market value” of the VMware tracking stock has “declined, thereby reducing the implied value of the stock portion of the merger consideration”.

On October 9, the last business day before the Dell-EMC announcement was made, VMware, 80 percent of which is owned by EMC, had a market capitalisation of $33.2 billion and a stock price of $78.65 a share. Now, its market cap is about $19.2 billion, and its stock price is hovering around $45.54.

A Dell spokesman said the EMC acquisition price of $24.05 per share was “locked, that doesn’t move, but because VMware has moved down, the value of the portion of the merger consideration linked with the tracker is going to be in that range of decline”. Whatever that means.

Dell plots more buy-outs

michael-dell-2Michael Dell has said that even more “significant” consolidation could be on the cards in the tech space, hinting that his firm could continue its shopping spree.

Dell is in the midst of a mega-deal to acquire EMC for $67 billion, which is expected to close some time between May and October.

Speaking at the company’s FY17 Field Readiness Seminar in the US, a transcript of which has been filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Michael Dell told staff that the EMC deal might not be a one-off in the industry.

“Customers need a trusted partner in this journey; in navigating this period of incredible change; and we will be the best partner for companies and organisations of all sizes,” he said.

“Customers face a real challenge in funding the digital transformation, and what they have to do is make the existing infrastructure more efficient to be able to fund the digital transformation, and we’re going to help them do exactly that. During this period, I also expect there to be significant consolidation. And we’re very well positioned to be a consolidator.”

Elsewhere at the FRS event, Dell (pictured) urged his staff not to pay attention to media reports suggesting the EMC deal could fall through, branding such articles “click bait”.

“You may have read a story that questions if this deal is going to happen. If you have, you’re wasting your time,” he said.

“The media business is under a lot of stress and their business model is sort of cratering. And what they do to survive in those tough times is they create something called click bait. They create an inflammatory headline – so and so was impregnated by aliens, or whatever, click on here to read about this story, see some ads, try to get some money. So don’t fall for that, OK?

“There’s going to be those kind of stories, just like there were during the privatisation. Do you all remember when we were going private there were all kinds of stories and they basically turned out to be nonsense? So don’t waste your time with that.”

He added that his company is “absolutely” going ahead with the deal according to the original timeline and terms “at full speed ahead”.