Can two veteran giants re-invent themselves by joining forces? that’s what Dell thinks in acquiring EMC for the staggering amount of $67 billion, marking the largest tech acquisition of all times. You heard it right, Dell is trying to swallow the EMC serial acquirer which bought over 20 companies in the past 5 years alone, and in a variety of areas such as security, virtualization and of course storage, and has recently been trying to make sense in that mammoth as part of its EMC Federation.
What’s the purpose of that? I would take a look at the trends popping out of the press release:
The transaction… brings together strong capabilities in the fastest growing areas of the industry, including digital transformation, software-defined data center, hybrid cloud, converged infrastructure, mobile and security.
All the hot trends and buzzwords are there, the same new trends which made much of their respective traditional businesses irrelevant for the modern age.
Also, beyond technology, there was a cultural gap. The companies painfully discovered that the modern age is much less tolerant to vendor lock-in and black-box type of products, formats and protocols, and expects a more open approach. For example, EMC’s VMware which dominated the enterprise virtualization realm has become less relevant with cloud and containers. With this lesson learnt EMC teamed up with emerging open standards around containers, while VMware adopted OpenStack, the open-source cloud platform. Dell also made its move to team up with open standards around the Internet of Things.
It’s not trivial for such giants to join forces and re-invent themselves. I would expect seeing more modern approaches for their products and services, adopting more openness and collaborative mindset as a means to regain relevance, while focusing on expanding their offers to the new technologies.
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