Michael Dell certainly has always thought big, but who knew he eventually would be the one to put together the single largest tech acquisition in the history of the world?
Dell announced on Oct. 12 that it would buy the vast EMC-VMware-RSA Security kingdom for $67 billion and change. eWEEK discussed this possibility four days ago in this story. The deal is expected to close next spring.
Note that this transaction wasn't consummated by guys named Ellison, Nadella, Chambers, Zuckerberg or Page or anybody from IBM, HP or Samsung, which comprises 25 percent of the gross national product of South Korea. No Japanese company could have put this together. And Mr. Dell did it with a trimmed-down, privately owned company not even based in Silicon Valley.
Dell Becomes No. 1 All-Around IT Provider
Some thoughts on the deal:
--Michael Dell has always wanted his company to be the No. 1 one-stop shop for enterprise technology buyers. Now he's got it. With this acquisition, Dell hereby becomes the world's largest and most complete vendor for IT goods and services in the world. HP? Nah. IBM? Hardly. Oracle? Nope. Cisco Systems? Nada. Samsung? Um, no. Nobody else can touch it.
--Dell immediately becomes the No. 1 provider in the world in storage hardware and software (by all major research analysts), with EMC's vast installed base, and virtualization software and services, with VMware. It’s No. 3, according to industry researcher IDC, in building and selling laptop, desktop and tablet PCs, ranking behind only Lenovo and HP.
--By the way, Dell will save a lot of future money -- millions of dollars -- on VMware licensing, since it is one of that company's biggest customers. Unless it decides to pay itself all that money, of course.
--With the deal, Dell now sells all aspects of enterprise tech: end point devices (laptops, desktop PCs, tablets; Wyse virtual desktop terminals); servers, storage, printing and imaging systems; networking (yes, Dell makes switches, though on a smaller scale than Cisco, HP and others), cloud and managed services; data center virtualization software; database tools and services; new-gen cloud-building architecture; security, content management, integration software and services -- the list is a long one.
Potential for the Deal is Great, but Stuff Could Happen
Plenty of people had lots to say Oct. 12 about the potential impact of this deal: how it affects the market, who won, who lost, and so on. My take? The potential is great, but we simply do not know. We never know how a deal, big or small, is really going to work out until things settle down, people come and go, and the new company gets into its new rhythms and routines.
The fact is that Dell Inc. will soon become the world's most formidable all-around tech company -- public or private. Whether the new ship turns out to be too large to steer into trends remains to be seen. Dell has a lot of smart people like Michael Dell working for it; they very likely have seen some of the bad mergers of the past and will try fervently to avoid those issues before they become major problems.
An important point: Dell Software, which was Quest Software until Dell acquired it in 2012, stands to become the de facto manager of an impressive set of products and services, to include Pivotal, RSA Security, VMware, Documentum, and a list of smaller divisions. Software eventually will be Dell's main driver going forward -- especially in the coming IoT age.