DellEMC Forum 2017 – A contrast of worlds

The DellEMC Forum 2017 in Kuala Lumpur concluded yesterday. I was there to catch up with old friends, pick up gossips in the grapevine but most of all, to really see how the new DellEMC was doing.

From the news and sources for the past 1 year, everything looked fine and dandy. In fact, I was super impressed in the way the whole merger thing was going, because DellEMC was firing at all fronts.

And the DellEMC Forum started with some good energy. They brought out many of the storage, hyper-converged, software-defined solutions. On show, they had XtremIO, Scale IO, Isilon, and even a full hands-on lab booth at the corner end of the floor. DellEMC was also inclusive the SMB/SME segment, dedicating a separate pavilion for the SMB/SME solutions.

Amidst the glossy facade, things began to look different once I approached the booths to talk with the product specialists, or what EMC used to call them – TCs. TCs were Technical Consultants, and EMC TCs were some of the best in the industry.

In one of the display clusters, the XtremIO was side-by-side with the 14th generation DellEMC Servers. The XtremIO product specialist touted the values of the technology, and articulated the pros and cons, and best practices. In contrasts, the server product specialist was just passing on details on ports, power consumption and so on, pretty much what I could pick up from a brochure or datasheet.

I moved on to the Internet of Things and again, I encountered a similar situation. DellEMC were showcasing their IoT gateways, and the first product specialist who approached was likely coming from the Dell side of the company. He asked “What product are you looking for?

That struck me, and I really wasn’t about to reach out to learn from him. However, another product specialist next to us started to share the IoT gateway technology, and its connectivity to various interfaces such as Zigbee, RS-232, explaining where the technology and solution could fit in the whole scheme of things. He explained how partners could play into the IoT ecosystems and where they could play well, and how they could bring value to drive the IoT market. I spent half an hour enjoying that conversation, and picking up experiences from this product specialist.

That contrast between the Dell side and the EMC side was almost everywhere in the different display clusters. The Dell side was obviously very product centric and the product specialists probably memorized the speeds and feeds, while the EMC side was … well more enterprise-savvy, and knew how to hold an intelligent and informative conversation.

I did not attend the talks but I left the forum with a good feeling. Continuous amalgamation will bring better things for DellEMC, as both companies look to improve the exchange of values, culture, ideas and more.

The EMC folks whom I know well also gave me the good vibes, because they believe Michael Dell is driving the company to better days ahead. I agree too, because “The Force is Strong with this One“.

About cfheoh

I am a technology blogger with 20+ years of IT experience. I write heavily on technologies related to storage networking and data management because that is my area of interest and expertise. I introduce technologies with the objectives to get readers to *know the facts*, and use that knowledge to cut through the marketing hypes, FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) and other fancy stuff. Only then, there will be progress. I am involved in SNIA (Storage Networking Industry Association) and as of October 2013, I have been appointed as SNIA South Asia & SNIA Malaysia non-voting representation to SNIA Technical Council. I was previously the Chairman of SNIA Malaysia until Dec 2012. As of August 2015, I am returning to NetApp to be the Country Manager of Malaysia & Brunei. Given my present position, I am not obligated to write about my employer and its technology, but I am indeed subjected to Social Media Guidelines of the company. Therefore, I would like to make a disclaimer that what I write is my personal opinion, and mine alone. Therefore, I am responsible for what I say and write and this statement indemnify my employer from any damages.
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3 Responses to DellEMC Forum 2017 – A contrast of worlds

  1. Gobinathan says:

    Hi Chin Fah, I missed the forum yesterday because of a training. I didn’t know Dell EMC had their own IoT gateway technology though. Is it something worth looking at ? Thanks for the write-up again.

    • cfheoh says:

      Hi Gobi,

      Like many, DellEMC is just one of the components in the IoT ecosystem. I can’t really compare how good their offerings is but what I see is that they were willing to engage experience partners to build solutions with their IoT GW. I spoke to one partner from Korea, Innodep, who has build SmartCity/SmartBuilding solutions with the DellEMC solutions – include servers and storage etc.

      Sadly no Malaysian companies have embarked on such a journey. I am sure they are out there but they may not offer an end-to-end solution now.

      Let’s chat when we catch up.

      Cheers
      /Chin-Fah

      • Gobinathan says:

        Hi Chin Fah,
        This looks like a good opportunity in the IOT space. Yea, we can chat more on this when we catch up.

        Cheers.

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