Michael Dell: 'Much, Much More To Come' On Dell EMC VMware Integration


Dell Technologies CEO Michael Dell Monday told CRN that customers are demanding ever tighter ties between Dell EMC infrastructure and VMware with "much, much more" integration to come in the future.

"We have a long history here of integrating the technologies closer together," said Dell in an interview with CRN, just one week after Dell Technologies reported triple digit growth for its VxRail and VxRack hyper-converged systems which leverage VMware software. "This is what customers have been asking us to do. It is what we are doing. It is working extremely well. There is much, much more to come here."

Dell stressed that VMware is still an "open ecosystem," but that as the "leading infrastructure company in the world and both companies being part of the same family" Dell Technologies is "integrating extremely closely" with VMware.

[Related: CRN Exclusive - Michael Dell On Integrating 'Extremely Closely' With VMware And Public Cloud Cost 'Rationalization']

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"Again, this is what customers want," said Dell. "Our teams are deeply connected at a technical level. You are seeing more and more joint product development with Dell EMC being the best way to express VMware software in hardware and increasingly delivering appliances and solutions that are completely integrated."

VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger last month also singled out the Dell Technologies integration as a key growth driver with 70 percent growth in vSAN with strong performance from VxRail. "We do see that this is an area of particular strength for our Dell synergies and Dell VxRail is going extremely well and they also are effectively being a partner for us on vSAN and vSAN-ready nodes." Gelsinger told analysts earlier this month, "So, across the board, Dell is an effective channel for us in vSAN in our hyperconverged offerings as a whole."

In a 13-D filing with investors last month, Dell Technologies, which owns roughly 82 percent of VMware, said that it was soliciting input from holders of its DVMT VMware tracking stock to gauge their opinion on if they would rather have complete shares of Dell.

Josh Lee, director of sales at Nanuet, New York-based ViruIT Systems, a Dell EMC Titanium and VMware partner, said he expects Dell hyper-converged sales to double this year compared to 2017 due to better synergies between the two vendors.

"We're not only seeing better integration from a product set standpoint for both companies, but we're also seeing better strategic alignments from the Dell EMC and VMware sales organizations. So we're getting better access and better logical access to resources that cover common accounts," said Lee. "We're able to get a hyper-converged specialist at VMware as well as a hyper-converged specialist at Dell EMC that are both aligned strategically to the same vertical and same set of customers that we can access as a partner and cross sell with both teams."

Bob Venero, CEO of Holbrook, N.Y.-based solution provider Future Tech, a Dell EMC Titanium partner, said the tight integration between Dell EMC and VMware has benefitted both customers and partners.

Since Dell has been aligning more closely with VMware, Future Tech's VxRail and VxRack sales are growing at a double digit clip, said Venero. "Future Tech had struggled partnering with VMware until Dell began tightly integrating and aligning with VMware," he said. "Now we have moved up a tier with VMware and we are looking at moving to the top VMware tier."

Venero said enterprise customers are "applauding" what Dell has accomplished with the tighter integration between Dell EMC and VMware. "It creates a unified stack from a technology perspective," he said.