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Michael Dell To Keynote EMC World

EMC said the chairman and CEO of Dell, which this year hopes to close its acquisition of EMC, will share the opening keynote spotlight at EMC World with EMC's Joe Tucci and David Goulden.

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A whole new kind of celebrity is keynoting at this year's EMC World as Michael Dell, whose company previously was one of EMC's greatest competitors but is later this year expected to own EMC, will make his first on-stage appearance at the annual conference.

Michael Dell, chairman and CEO of Dell Inc., is slated to be one of the three opening keynote speakers at EMC World 2016, set for May 2 to 5 in Las Vegas. The other two opening keynote speakers include EMC Chairman and CEO Joe Tucci and EMC Information Infrastructure CEO David Goulden.

The list of opening keynote speakers came from an email sent by EMC as part of the annual push to get attendees to register for EMC World.

[Related: What Will A Merged Dell-EMC Look Like?]

Dell last fall stunned the storage industry when it unveiled a $67 billion acquisition bid for EMC. The acquisition, slated to close later this year, will make Dell the IT industry's largest storage vendor.

Michael Dell, as head of the company that bears his name and as one of the lead investors through his own investment company, has spent a lot of time since October touting the advantages of Dell's acquisition of EMC to investors, customers and channel partners.

During his opening keynote at October's Dell World conference, Dell talked about how EMC's enterprise leadership combined with Dell's unmatched strength in the SMB market will combine to make an $80 billion-plus IT powerhouse.

"We believe that a Dell-EMC combination offers unique value that is good for Dell, good for EMC, and very good for you," Dell told the audience of customers and channel partners.

The combination will remain a private company to take advantage of the lack of Wall Street scrutiny to innovate, Dell said. "When we took Dell private, people asked if we will still make acquisitions," he said. "Well, go big or go home, baby. … EMC? $67 billion. Being master of your own destiny? Priceless."

Dell and EMC spokespeople were unable to provide further information about Michael Dell's planned EMC World keynote presentation by publication time.

Michael Dell's planned visit to EMC's top conference shows that it's all systems go for Dell's EMC acquisition, said Jamie Shepard, senior vice president for health care and strategy at Lumenate, a Dallas-based solution provider and longtime EMC partner.

"He probably wants to see his new baby," Shepard told CRN.


Despite concerns over how Dell will fund its EMC acquisition and about an ongoing string of layoffs at EMC, Shepard said he sees no real issues that might impact the acquisition or Michael Dell's presence at EMC World.

"There's layoffs and restructuring going on now, but it will all be done by then," he said.

Shepard said this won't be the first time Dell the company has been at EMC World given Dell's decade-plus status as a top reseller of EMC technology before the two went through a nasty divorce in October 2011.

Shepard said with the current restructuring going on at EMC that he is looking forward to EMC World to see changes at EMC that would impact the channel.

He cited as an example Wednesday's news that Chad Sakac was promoted to the post of the EMC Converged Platforms Division, formerly known as VCE.

"We're watching, not so much who will be laid off, but who will go where," he said. "The Converged Platforms Division is on fire now with its focus on software-defined storage. That's why Chad's in there."

Michael Tanenhaus, principal at Mavenspire, an Annapolis, Md.-based solution provider and longtime Dell partner, said Michael Dell's appearance at EMC World is no surprise.

"Dell is already acting as if it owns EMC," Tanenhaus told CRN. "Dell people are talking like it's done already. Michael Dell's appearance at EMC World is a no-brainer. Who else would be a keynote speaker than the coming owner?"

Tanenhaus said EMC World might end up looking like Dell World Spring. "It will be interesting to see if EMC will allow Dell to have a big presence in the EMC World pavilion," he said.

Tanenhaus said he has never attended EMC World, but may do so this year.

"After you asked me about this, I thought I might just be crazy enough to go," he said. "After the acquisition closes, I'll be selling the EMC line anyway. It's a good chance to meet everyone."

PUBLISHED JAN. 7, 2015

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