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A boy and his computer…and a $67 billion purchase


By Richard Arneson

Most people know the story. Everybody who hears it likes it. It’s the one about a University of Texas pre-med student who decided to start a computer company from his dorm room. He’d take a garden variety computer and, metaphorically speaking, put on high-end headers, a Flathead engine, a four-speed overdrive transmission and chrome mags. Yes, Michael Dell souped-up computers, re-sold them (a lot of them) and dropped his medical school plans. And now, thirty-five (35) years later, Dell has over a hundred forty thousand (140,000) employees globally and is certainly a juggernaut in the high tech industry.
Once known strictly as a PC vendor, Dell has—understatement alert!—branched out just a bit. That’s not to say they’ve let their PC focus fall by the wayside. In fact, they are the 3rd largest PC vendor—behind Lenovo and HP—with a market cap of over $70 billion. Now, of course, they’re known for much more thanks in part to their 2009 acquisition of Perot Systems, which helped make them an immediate player in the enterprise storage and networking solutions segment. Then along with PCs, storage and networking solutions, they added printers, servers, switches, cameras and HDTVs, to name a few, to their sales arsenal. And then came 2016.

If you thought the Perot Systems purchase was a biggie…

You’d have a hard time finding anybody, even the Wall Street types, who thinks Dell’s $67 billion purchase of EMC Corporation in 2016 was anything but a home run. And that’s rare…highly rare when you consider that most technology purchases or mergers have been labeled everything from “meh” to “disastrous”, and every negative adjective in between. Sure, Dell’s intentions were met with some naysayers at the time, but finding critics today will be tough.
After the EMC purchase, Dell was reorganized into Dell Technologies Capital, and its multiple divisions were consolidated into three (3) subsidiaries: Dell Client Solutions Group (consumers), Dell EMC (data management hardware and software) and VMware, which it’s a majority owner of due to its EMC purchase (Dell currently holds an eighty percent (80%) stake in the Palo Alto, CA-based software virtualization company). And a year after the acquisition, Dell EMC announced the formation of an IoT Division, which is being run by VMware CTO Ray O’Farrell. He revealed in August that they’ll be pumping over $1 billion into IoT Research & Development over the next three (3) years.

The Dell EMC Strategic Focus (in addition to IoT, of course)

Dell EMC’s Ready Solutions for AI

In August, Dell EMC introduced Ready Solutions for AI, which utilizes a building-block approach to help better meet customers’ AI needs as they evolve. Ready Solutions for AI includes machine and deep learning, servers, software, storage, networking and services optimized for AI workloads.

Data Management (servers, storage, analytics and cloud-based workloads)

The term Data Management can encompass, well, pretty much everything that’s IT-related. In Dell EMC’s case, their data management focus is composed of servers optimized for AI workloads (more specifically its PowerEdge C-Series servers, which are optimized for AI workloads) and network-attached storage platforms for backup and archiving, which are provided through Dell EMC Isilon and Elastic Cloud Storage.
Boomi, a company Dell purchased eight (8) years ago, specializes in cloud-based integration, API management and Master Data Management. They’re the analytics guys.
For cloud-based workloads, Dell EMC’s Pivotal Cloud Foundry and Virtustream Enterprise Cloud fit the bill. Pivotal Cloud Foundry, which was originally developed by VMware, is an open-source, multi-cloud application PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service). After the EMC purchase, Cloud Foundry was transferred to Pivotal Software, a joint venture between EMC, VMware and General Electric.
There will be a time, probably in the not-too-distant future, when hearing Dell without EMC will be like Exxon without Mobil. And, actually, that might be a great way to judge the success of high tech’s largest acquisition in history.

Have questions? These experts have the answers

GDT’s tenured, talented solutions architects, engineers and security analysts understand how to positively incorporate change by designing and deploying innovative solutions that help customers realize greater productivity, enhanced operations and more revenue. GDT utilizes key partnerships with best-of-breed technology companies, like Dell EMC, to help organizations transform their legacy environments into highly productive digital infrastructures and architectures. You can reach them at or at Engineering They’d love to hear from you.
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A Robust Solution for the entry-level storage customer
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