EMC Names New President of VCE Converged System Unit

Chad Sakac will run a business that is more tightly integrated into EMC and that will be renamed EMC Converged Platform Division.

VCE system

EMC is getting a tighter hold on its VCE converged infrastructure business, naming a new president and giving the unit a new name in the latest move by the storage giant as it prepares for its acquisition by Dell.

EMC officials this week announced that Chad Sakac, an 11-year EMC veteran who has overseen the company's Global Systems Engineering business for the past three years, will now add president of the converged infrastructure unit to his duties. Sakac also will continue to run the Global Systems Engineering business.

VCE will now be called the EMC Converged Platform Division.

Sakac is replacing Praveen Akkiraju, who had run VCE since 2012 and had grown the business to the point where it had a more than $2 billion run rate during the company's fiscal 2015. Akkiraju will remain with EMC as an adviser to David Goulden, CEO of EMC's Information Infrastructure unit. In his new role, Sakac will report directly to Goulden.

According to EMC officials, tightening the company's relationship with VCE will help the overall company simplify its technology roadmaps and development and make the company even more competitive in the converged and hyper-converged market, which also includes such tech heavyweights as Cisco Systems, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) and Oracle, and rising players like Nutanix and SimpliVity.

"Going forward, having the VCE team more deeply integrated within EMC allows us to leverage synergies, simplify our go-to-market and improve time to market for our customers," Goulden said in a statement. "EMC has never been better positioned to capture the huge opportunity that exists for converged infrastructure and solutions."

Sakac noted that in the past year, "VCE has evolved from having a single product to having one of the industry's broadest portfolios of converged infrastructure and solutions with blocks, racks and appliances. … Converged and hyperconverged infrastructure form fundamental, foundational platforms on which hybrid clouds, cloud-native applications and data lake analytics are built."

IDC analysts follow the converged infrastructure space, distinguishing between two market segments. Integrated platforms come with additional pre-integrated software and customized system engineering that are optimized for such jobs as application development software, databases, testing and integration tools. Integrated infrastructures are for more general-purpose distributed workloads with differing performance profiles. Both tend to have highly integrated compute, storage, networking, virtualization and software buildings blocks.

The overall integrated system space in the second quarter of 2015 grew 1.7 percent, to $2.4 billion. VCE was listed as the top vendor in the fast-growing integrated infrastructure space; EMC was tied with Hewlett-Packard for third.

VCE was launched in 2009 as a joint venture between EMC, VMware and Cisco. In late 2014, EMC bought out most of Cisco's stake in the company and made VCE one of the companies in the storage giant's federated business model, which also includes such businesses as VMware, RSA, Virtustream and Pivotal.

The tighter integration of VCE is among several moves by EMC since Dell announced in October 2015 that it was buying the company for $67 billion, making it the largest acquisition in tech industry history. Since the deal was announced, EMC officials not only have seen their own stock price take a hit, but VMware's stock has fallen even more. Neither was helped when EMC and VMware announced a plan soon after the Dell deal was unveiled to create a cloud joint venture based on Virtustream, of which both companies would own half. After pushback by investors of both EMC and VMware, that idea was scrapped.

Earlier this week, EMC announced it will make an unspecified number of job cuts in hopes of reducing annual expenses by $850 million. EMC officials have not said how many jobs will be lost, or from which businesses they will come.

Dell also has been trying to make moves to lessen the debt it will incur when the EMC deal closes later this year. The company is looking to sell such assets as its SonicWall network security and Quest software businesses, and reportedly has several companies interested in buying its service business that is based on its $3.9 billion acquisition of Perot Systems in 2009.