back to article Dell buying EMC: Is this the end times, or the road to salvation?

Dell bought EMC. The internet promptly lost its mind. Make no mistake, the Dell-EMC merger is a pretty big deal. Everyone has news, thoughts and analysis on the subject. While I feel The Register's coverage has been pretty neutral so far, the internet at large has posted rather a lot of doom and gloom. The most common phrase …

  1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "There are a limited number of shareholders, and they all know each other."

    It might be reasonable to assume they'd agreed a strategy beforehand.

  2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    The enemy is Amazon

    That is about what Walmart is thinknig at the moment as Amazon is apparently making huge inroads into their grocery business. Same day delivery and all that.

    Amazon seems to have a finger in a huge number of pies now. They could have more of a stranglehold on certainly US lives than anyone ever imagined very, very soon.

    how log will Apple remain the biggest company in the world? Not very if Amazon keep this up.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The enemy is Amazon

      Sure - but biggest or most profitable? Revenue is mugs game and shifting anything perishable in volume is a high risk, high wastage game. Sure they can push down some supply chain risk but still it's capital intensive.

  3. hidaraf

    IEM

    Yep it looks good.

    IF it begins being sold by IBM ,

    AND

    Purchased by the BIG Players , Then we will see something.

    BUT it goes against the incumbents, Gartner,Accenture, ...

    So it will take some time.

    May you live interesting times, they curse you with

    I will be out of the treadmill before that.

    .

  4. abb2u

    Best quote of the week: "You'll probably also be replaced by a script at some point." -- let me just add that you and I are probably going to be the ones that write that script. -- C ya!!! :-)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Job for life! Ha ha!

      I'm lining up my plans to exit this mental IT business at some point in the foreseeable future. My kids have no interest in it and I'm OK with that. IT to the next generation is simply a service to be used, like banking, it's just something that's there and just works. They fire up a browser and the internet just works.

      Inside the IT business, the management all over the world are happily signing up out-sourcers and automation software by the cart load, it'll bite them in the arse of course when they've put us all out to seed but by then it'll be too late. I'm quite happy to to continue to write myself out of a job for the time being, it's given me time and funds to build up an alternative career alongside my IT one.

      "It's the age of CV's

      Contract to contract

      And my stress levels rise

      This is a job for life

      (there are no jobs for life)

      I am forced to a decision

      I am forced to see the other side."

      - Killing Joke

  5. BigDataDave
    Facepalm

    Tower Records buys Blockbuster

    So Michael builds a successful business on an innovative business model. Then he hires finance advisors and outsources everything to the point the company does nothing of value and needs to be taken private to "restructure." Now he is following new financial advisors to buy a discounted enterprise giant to gain more revenue from a declining market by accumulating massive debt.

    Meanwhile the Cloud rolls on....

  6. Do Not Fold Spindle Mutilate

    Will Dell put the large dollars into R&D?

    Dell may be able to reduce costs by replacing specialized sales people with online orders. But if the money is not put toward products that work well together then the whole company will fail. I would hate to see Dell become another Computer Associates which bought companies and then soaked the customers for maintenance but provided no improved products.

    If Dell can make the commodity hardware work smoothly together in an enterprise cloud then Dell will be bigger and better than HP, and Amazon. VM is an engine that could drive many changes if given directions and money.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Will Dell put the large dollars into R&D?

      "Dell may be able to reduce costs by replacing specialized sales people with online orders."

      This may work for consumers buying PCs, but enterprise deals for Petabytes of storage, enterprise software etc. requires a very skilled sales organisation. Dell don't have anywhere near the capacity compared to EMC in this regard and if Michael does not understand this, the results could be devastating.

  7. HonestAbe

    The End Game

    Rather than "end times," I'd call this the "end game". As in chess, there are few pieces left on the board, position and materiel advantage rapidly magnifies, and the losing player often just resigns.

    Dell now seems well positioned to sweep up the last conventional IT by offering a complete solution, pushing the existing installed base toward it using their reliance on VMware and other Dell/EMC products, and enticing that installed base with an easy on-ramp into the cloud.

    I'm confident that other old-style tech and consulting firms will now start tipping over their kings and bowing out very quickly. I'm less confident that Dell and his investors will make great fortunes from being victors, given how much money they've spent to be the winner. and how Amazon and Microsoft are arranging to take all the margins in cloud. But Dell is rich enough already, I guess.

  8. Zovanget

    You predicted it

    As soon as I heard about the merger I remembered Trevor's August article where he warns of the coming Infrastructure Endgame Machines. I guess he really called it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Pint

      Re: You predicted it

      Yes, the links pulled the threads together nicely. They also outlined where it all go horribly, horribly wrong. InfoSec is certainly one, I'd argue the most important one, that can go wrong. Where it could look prescient for the new Dell would be where there's a absolute InfoSec disaster, be it Amazon, Azure, or some other top-tier player the Dell had previously mitigated.

      NB: InfoSec has been a metacategory thing in my ontology here for years, incorporating hacks/antihacks, pentest, database, knowledge management especially log management, lots of different pieces actually, that bear on this problem domain. Not prescient on my part, just realizing that systems wide (reaching across all the configurable parts of all the business systems involved) isn't just one small piece. It's end-point + various whitelisting + PKI + ACL (domain specific, not just per user) + ....

      A fer-real-instance is using disparate hypervisor layers for production, not just hypervisor systems on a laptop. There's already malware that detects and does not run on virtual machines; real beat the security researcher stuff. The next step in the game is detect VM instance and hack the hypervisor. That's nation-state level scary right now but doctoral-thesis in a couple of years Real Soon Now, then malware everywhere a couple of months after. Layering hypervisors allows a detection and immediate mitigation. Another's stopping use of easily detected device profiles, then both together. It's an arms race people, thinking like that all the time is not optional. Containers are an additional dimension as well. Wile is isn't probably a top line sales issue, at least two players are doing some of this now. The rest follows nicely for "stop making yourselves an easy target."

  9. Howard Hanek
    Mushroom

    No, I Don't Think They Build Skynet

    .....but maybe, just maybe......they do.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: No, I Don't Think They Build Skynet

      Well, this Madwand intends to give it an incredible case of indigestion which announcements puts me near the top of their ToDoList. Their major issue is going to revolve around the fact that there are tens of millions of hitherto unknown expressions or genes that will activate under the right/wrong circumstances, those created and maintained by the life-destroying circumstances of SkyNet.

      Create the circumstances, affirmatively sort for genes previously unexpressed, boom! "Life will find a way." Then again, it may not be humanity that successfully find a way. Rats, cats, never ever count out roaches, are more/just as likely. [If it's cats, will they have a Cargo-cult religion around can-openers in shrines in their "kitchens?"

  10. Wensleydale Cheese
    Unhappy

    National security and economy

    "Put simply: there are really good economic and national security reasons for every country in the world to nurture a cloud sector internally."

    Well said sir. Much has been spouted about the security concerns of hosting abroad but the economic side is also important.

    Consider what happens if your currency plummets against that of your cloud provider. Multiply that to a national scale and your country has a balance of payments problem to address.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A view from the inside.

    Love the conjecture but think about Dell for a moment. The company grew not because of amazing technology but because of direct selling, during the PC boom. Essentially Dell products were reference designs with a different badge, sold for less.

    Then in 2004 Michael Dell temporarily handed the reigns over before taking them back in 2007, and spent the next few years essentially driving the stock price down. Sure revenues went up hitting a ceiling around $60Bn. Sure the company produced cash, but value was in short supply.

    Then look at the history of acquisitions. Overpaid for Quest, failed to deliver and just slashed software group headcount. Bought and mishandled Compellent and EqualLogic. Completely messed up cloud through a lack of comittment and long term vision. Was an early entrant in the 5" smartphone and 7" tablet business with the Dell Streaks but failed with poor and cheap execution and again, a lack of comittment.

    Sure the company is starting to make nice laptops again, but look around. How many people with BYOD policies actually buy Dells?

    While the EMC acquisition could be good, particularly in a company that excells as selling boxes, there is much to be concerned about. EMC shareholders will be happy, as will Michael Dell as he IPOs off assets to help foot the bill. I suspect however the company's history of messing up execution will bite it in the ass, again.

    Michael will make some cash, but will it ever reach its potential? Not if he keeps following the advice of the folks that led him here in the first place.

    Stop slapping a Dell badge on a turd. Go produce good products, software and services and maybe the company can grow. Parts of EMC are used to having a decent R&D budget, don't slash that and loose patience. Stay the path and maybe, just maybe value can grow again. It would be nice to see that happen, but recent history makes it apear doubtfull.

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