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“.