Hewlett Packard Enterprise Senior Vice President and General Manager Manish Goel Tuesday characterized Dell-EMC as "two declining" companies struggling to make it in the full-stack converged composable infrastructure era.
"If you take two declining companies and put them together, they still remain two declining companies that will decline faster together," said Goel in an interview with CRN at the HPE Discover conference in Las Vegas. "There is just going to be a ton of uncertainty [as they merge]. Regardless of any strategy, any execution, one thing is undeniable: All the focus of Dell-EMC for the next 18 to 24 months will be inward, not on their customers, not on their partners."
Goel's comments come amid an all-out HPE recruiting blitz aimed at bringing Dell-EMC partners into the HPE fold. As part of that drive, HPE has invited several hundred Dell-EMC partners to private meetings at Discover aimed at getting those partners to sell the HPE product portfolio.
The HPE program, which internally is called Smart Choice, includes special accommodations so partners can move into the HPE channel program at the same level they are at with Dell-EMC.
Goel pointed to EMC's decision to merge with Dell as the biggest proof point that the days of pure-play vendors like EMC and Cisco are coming to an end.
"You don't need another proof point than to say the No. 1 storage player EMC realized they couldn't make it alone so they sold themselves to a commodity compute vendor," said Goel. "If you need a proof point that the world is moving to full stack and pure-play guys aren't going to make it, you just have to look at that transaction."
HPE executives are drawing a sharp contrast at Discover between HPE's decision to slim down and drive more innovation as a smaller and more nimble company, while Dell is moving to get bigger and taking on debt.
"We are focused," said Goel, referring to HPE's decision to split last November from the HP Inc. PC and printing business. "We have done all the hard work. We have gone through a separation. We are very clear on our intent. We are very clear on our strategy, and we are focused on our customers and partners."
Goel said dramatic HPE advances in the full-stack converged infrastructure era like Synergy Composable infrastructure and StoreServe's common data fabric provide a huge competitive advantage against Dell- EMC and other vendors struggling to keep up with a fast-moving and agile HPE.
"When these kind of transitions are taking place, you cannot lose a beat," he said. "We are focused. We are not going to lose a beat. Cisco is trying to figure out what they want to be when they grow up. Dell and EMC are busy integrating two giant companies, and we are focused."