Michael Dell Tries To Reassure VCE Partners, Customers As Dell's EMC Acquisition Looms

Michael Dell has posted a letter to VCE customers and partners to reassure them that the converged infrastructure company's relationship with Cisco will continue after Dell acquires EMC.

In a letter published on Dell's website Monday, Dell, the founder, chairman and CEO of his namesake company, compliments VCE's success and reiterates his commitment to the unit and its deep partnership with Dell rival Cisco Systems.

"After joining with Dell, VCE's close working relationship with Cisco will continue," Dell says. VCE's flagship Vblock converged infrastructure solution "will continue to follow Cisco's compute and networking roadmaps and EMC's storage roadmaps to bring the latest technologies to VCE customers."

[Related: CRN Exclusive: VCE President Says No Plan For Dell, Cisco UCS Is The Way To Go]

VCE "is a top strategic priority for EMC, and we share a desire to accelerate VCE's growth and maximize the value that VCE brings you," Dell notes in the letter. "We know that VCE is a centerpiece of EMC's 2016 plans, and we are extremely enthusiastic about VCE's future and our continued partnership with Cisco."

Stephen Monteros, vice president of business development at Sigmanet, an Ontario, Calif.-based Dell partner, said it's understandable why Dell would want to publicly reassure partners and customers.

"There's a lot of noise out there saying they're going to do this, or they're going to do that, so I'm sure he just wanted to reiterate the message," Monteros said.

"A lot of brain power was put into [VCE], so saying you were going to kill it is not a smart thing to do," Monteros said. He predicted that Dell would indeed push forward with VCE and Cisco, but that it would take on "a Dell flavor" as the company builds VCE products and solutions around Dell platforms.

This is the first time Dell has addressed the future of VCE, which was started as a joint venture between EMC and Cisco Systems. Cisco still owns about a 10 percent stake in VCE, and the relationship between the companies has evolved in recent months as both VCE and Cisco have moved to develop their own hyper-converged infrastructure.

Dell partners with startup Nutanix on hyper-converged infrastructure offerings.

Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins and EMC Information Infrastructure CEO David Goulden moved to reassure partners of the two companies' commitment to VCE shortly after Dell's proposal to acquire EMC was announced in mid-October.

More recently, EMC renamed VCE as its Converged Platforms Division and installed longtime engineering exec Chad Sakac as president. Sakac told CRN that EMC and Cisco would be crazy to mess with the VCE formula.


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