Tag: Dell

EMC warns that a further channel push could be a bad thing

emcEMC is warning investors that leaning on the channel once it is acquired by Dell could seriously damage its health or at least wealth.

EMC  does about 60 percent of its business through the channel, and is worried that an increased reliance on channel partners “may negatively impact” gross margins.  It told  the US Securities and Exchange Commission:

“As we focus on new market opportunities and additional customers through our various distribution channels, including small-to-medium sized businesses, we may be required to provide different levels of service and support than we typically have provided in the past. We may have difficulty managing directly or indirectly through our channels these different service and support requirements and may be required to incur substantial costs to provide such services, which may adversely affect our business, results of operations or financial condition.”

EMC has traditionally focused on high-end enterprise customers while Dell, its soon-to-be parent company, used its renowned supply chain to become a leader in the consumer, small business and mid-market arenas.

For EMC’s second quarter ended June 30, perhaps its last as a stand-alone, publicly traded company, EMC’s revenue was essentially flat year-over-year at $6.03 billion while its profit jumped more than 21 percent to $630 million or 29 centers per share.

The Dell-EMC merger, which will result in the creation of Dell Technologies, is expected to close before the end of October.

EMC votes to become part of the glorious Dell empire

legionnairesEMC has approved Dell’s $60 billion offer to become part of the glorious Empire in the largest technology merger ever.

The newly combined entity, to be named Dell Technologies, aims to be a one-stop shop for information technology sold to businesses. OF course they all say that, but this will be pretty big.

It will consolidate diverse products and services under one umbrella, including personal computers, servers, storage and networking equipment.  The only thing which could stick a spanner in the works is regulatory approval from China.

EMC Chief Executive Joe Tucci said before the vote that the board evaluated numerous options and decided that the merger with Dell is the best outcome.

Once combined, the two companies plan to help customers move to cloud computing, which likely would be a hybrid approach that includes both cloud and on-premises operations.

The deal will also let Dell exploit EMC’s “converged infrastructure”, to sell computing, storage and networking equipment as an easy-to-install bundle.

The deal will give current EMC shareholders a tracking stock for VMware shares. Consequently, the privately held Dell will issue quarterly financial reports.

 

Today is D-Day for EMC

michael-dell-2Today is the day that EMC shareholders vote to merge with Dell, or tell Michael Dell to go sling his hook.

The merger was announced last October and will create a more-than $70 billion global IT powerhouse with significant strengths from PCs to security and the high-end data centre.

EMC had been under pressure from shareholders to be broken up so being swallowed whole came as a bit of a surprise. The company’s enterprise business will be run from EMC’s headquarters in Hopkinton – a place in America somewhere –  while the rest of the business will be run from Dell’s house in Texas.

There is no guarantee that Dell will manage to convince shareholders. However, the signs are that it will be rubber stamped. The deal has received the seal of approval from two independent proxy firms, ISS and Glass Lewis, and hasn’t been the subject of any public investor unrest. But nothing is certain.  Dell’s Empire has a debt loading which makes my credit card bill look very small potatoes.

Still the deal is worth $62.3 billion.

Shareholders are being asked to approve the merger, vote to give huge “go away”  payments to top EMC executives as a result of the merger. This is basically giving $90 million to EMC Chairman and CEO Joe Tucci; CFO Zane Rowe; EMC Infrastructure President David Goulden; Marketing Chief Jeremy Burton and COO Howard Elias. They will only get the money if they bugger off and never darken Dell’s door again.

Dell himself is quietly confident that everything will go through on time. He thinks that the merger will be completed by October.

Channel partners positive about European changes

emcChannel partners across Europe appear to be an optimistic lot, unless you are talking about HP, according to figures gathered by beancounters at Context.

In the outfit’s ChannelWatch, channel partners generally approved of their distributers and even liked the move by Dell to buy EMC. If they were unhappy about anything it was the splitting off of HP.

Jeremy Davies, Context CEO and co-founder said that resellers were clear on their opinions, especially when it comes to how they rate their distributors where overall the verdict has been good.

The reaction towards distribution in the UK was particularly positive, with 40 per cent thinking their partners were ‘excellent’. That was higher than elsewhere in Europe, which in the case of France and Portugal had the lowest levels hitting the top mark.

The Context survey found more partners thinking of adding Dell to their lists in the next six months. However, HP is not doing so well with two thirds of respondents claiming that the firms split might make them less inclined to take on products in the future.

Dell jacks up Brexit prices

michael-dell-2UK suppliers are already having to pay the cost for the UK’s Brexit referendum result – Michael Dell is already jacking up his prices by eight percent.

Dell increased UK prices across its portfolio by eight or nine percent, according to its partners. He is not the only one.  Canalys warned that US vendors will begin hiking the prices of its products feared the UK IT market could shrink by as much as 15 percent next year.

Dell tends to hedge everything against the dollar on a quarterly basis. It was expected that he would do it in August but it was brought forward.

Fortunately, all the suppliers are in the same boat and no one is going to get an advantage out of this. However, it does makes sales teams look a bit stupid if they quoted a price one morning and are having to jack up the prices a few days later.

The worry is that clients will start looking at their budgets again and wonder about suspending projects until things have settled down a bit.

In a statement, Dell said:

“Dell’s priority is always to provide great value to our customers and partners. We carefully consider price moves for our customers and partners, and have worked diligently over the past several months to postpone any increases pending the outcome of the EU referendum. In line with the rest of the industry, our component costs are priced in US dollars, and unfortunately, the recent strengthening of the US dollar versus the euro and other currencies in the EMEA region, following the UK’s decision to leave the European Union, will have a direct impact on the price we sell to our EMEA customers and partners.

“We understand that this is an uncertain time for many British businesses and we will continue to work closely with our customers and partners to provide great value products and services,” a spokesDell said.

Dell gives up on Android tablets

tabletDell has stopped selling Android devices as it moves to Windows 2-in-1 devices.

It has said that it is giving up on its Venue line of Android tablets, and will no longer offer the Android-based Wyse Cloud Connect, a thumb-size computer that can turn a display into a PC.

Dell has long said that the slate tablet market is over-saturated and declining. They appear to be being replaced by  2-in-1s which provide a more spiritual  blend of PC capabilities with tablet mobility.

Dell won’t be offering OS upgrades to Android-based Venue tablets already being used by customers.

Customers who own Android-based Venue products, Dell will continue to support currently active warranty and service contracts until they expire, but will not be pushing out future OS upgrades.

Dell now mostly has laptops and 2-in-1s with Windows on its books with a smattering of Chromebooks, which run Chrome OS. These can run Android apps through access to the Google Play Store but not Android.

If you don’t want Windows, Dell also sells XPS and Precision laptops with Ubuntu to developers, and thin clients with Linux, Windows Embedded and Wyse’s ThinOS operating systems.

Venue is a brand often placed on the chopping block by Dell.  It killed off Venue smartphones in 2012, but reintroduced the brand through the tablets. You can find Venue tablets with Windows but the product has not been upgraded in a while.

HP is also doing something similar. It now offers just a handful of Android tablets, mainly for businesses. Lenovo is offering fewer Android tablets and has expanded its Windows-based, 2-in-1 lineup.  So much for Steve Job’s “game changing” technology which was going to change the world.

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.