Dell's pending acquisition of EMC will finally show how the company as moved past the perception of Dell the PC company to Dell the enterprise company.
Dell also will move quickly to take advantage of that acquisition, which is slated to close sometime in September or October, to bring the power of EMC technology to bear on its data center business.
That's the message from Moe Khan, director of Dell's customer solution centers, who told an audience of solution providers at this week's XChange 2016 conference that no vendors can thrive in the data center without the right mix of products and solutions.
XChange 2016 is hosted by The Channel Company, parent of CRN.
While Dell does a lot more than PCs, the company from CEO Michael Dell on down still embraces its pedigree as a major PC vendor, Khan said. "Michael's goal is to make Dell an end-to-end enterprise solutions company," he said.
One huge challenge to that legacy perception is Dell's investment in its Dell solution centers. These solution centers are open to channel partners and customers at no cost to help develop enterprise infrastructures, Kahn said.
"You need help with VDI [virtual desktop infrastructure] or migrating 10,000 customers, we do it," he said. "There's zero cost for the service."
Dell will struggle with the perception as a workspace company, said Peter Stamos, president and CEO of Ping HD, a Denver-based solution provider and designer of digital signage solutions evaluating Dell as a possible partner.
"It will be hard to break that stereotype," Stamos told CRN. "Over the years, Dell has even lost its No. 1 PC share to Lenovo."
However, Stamos said, he likes how Dell has moved to set up product support and service with no charge on the front end. "If you are building a cloud or virtual services network and can get enterprise support when you buy their gear, that's a huge plus," he said. "Investing in the front end will draw partners to Dell."