View from the Airport: Dell EMC World 2016

We've had the engagement and the wedding; now we get the marriage of Dell and EMC

This year's Dell EMC World was in some ways quite a nostalgic affair for me. Back when I was totally new to the tech journalism game, in 2012, I was sent to Austin to cover Dell World as my first big conference assignment in the USA.

How times have changed since then. From a publicly traded company that still had a firm hand in the hardware business, the newly formed Dell Technologies (Dell EMC's parent company) covers everything from security software and services to enterprise cloud and virtualisation, to servers, storage and hyperconverged infrastructure.

Looking back on my coverage from 2012, there was a lot of foreshadowing of what was to come, with CEO and founder Michael Dell talking about the need to move into software and systems management, while not abandoning its roots, and talking up how acquisitions such as Wyse (which Dell had just bought) were helping Dell broaden its portfolio and grow its business.

Four years later, it has done this and more. If last year's Dell World was the engagement party for Dell and EMC and EMC World in May was the wedding, then this week's show was very much the consummation.

For the first time, we've started to see the coming together of Dell and EMC technologies, the integration of PowerEdge into VxRail and VxRack being a notable example of this. This unification can also be seen in the new Dell EMC partner programme (read more about that here) and, indeed, there was a lot of news for the channel this week, as well as the expected go-to-market strategy. 

What next, then for Dell Technologies and, specifically, Dell EMC? Well we won't have to wait that long to find out. This was the last Dell World to be held in Austin - following the acquisition of EMC, the event has become too big for the city's conference centre. Instead, what was EMC World in Las Vegas will be the mega-company's new annual get together, with the next one scheduled for 8-11 May 2017.

While it has been nice to hear about the Dell EMC strategy (which also includes commitment to IoT and cloud), I'm hoping to have some more new product announcements in May. You need a strong foundation, for sure, and bringing together two businesses the size of Dell and the EMC Federation isn't easy, but if you don't start to move foward, people will begin to question the point of the merger at all.

Watch this space.

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