Dell EMC Reorganizes Its Hardware Divisions, Shifts XtremIO And DSSD Product Lines

Dell EMC has reorganized its hardware business to focus on specific products, a change from its previous distinctions of labeling core vs. emerging technologies.

Dell EMC's products will be divided into five divisions centered on servers, storage, data protection, networking and converged infrastructure, said David Goulden, president of Dell EMC.

As a result, Dell EMC's Core Technologies Division and Emerging Technologies Division, which were first formed in late 2013, are no longer, Goulden told CRN.

[Related: Former EMC Execs Depart Dell Technologies, Churchward Exits Dell To Become DataTorrent's CEO]

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Dell EMC also shifted a number of technologies within divisions, including moving the DSSD rack-scale storage solutions into the company's Server Division, as a way to better take advantage of the technologies, Goulden said.

Inklings of a change in Dell EMC's product business organization first surfaced last week when CRN reported that two a couple of top Dell EMC executives were leaving the company.

They included Guy Churchward, until recently the president of the Core Technologies Division at Dell EMC, and Chirantan "CJ" Desai, until recently president of the company's Emerging Technologies Division.

"If you think about it logically, servers, storage, data protection, networking and converged – that's how customers think about our products, how the industry outside-in looks at us," Goulden said. "And obviously, to get there means changing from the way that ex-EMC was organized before around storage and data protection, where we had the core technology group and the emerging technology group to simplify things, to go back to basic segmentation."

Outside of these five product-focused divisions, Dell EMC still has other organizations around its Virtustream cloud and RSA security businesses, Goulden said.

"Core technologies and emerging technologies made sense a couple years ago when we set them up because we were trying to build a bunch of new storage products that were in incubation mode," he said. "Those have all kind of gone mainstream and beyond. So it makes sense to now go back to a more industry-standard, if you like, definition, a logical definition, of the organizational infrastructure."

With the new reorganization comes some new leaders.

These include Jeff Boudreau, the new president of the Dell EMC Storage Division, who first joined EMC in 1998 and until this week served as senior vice president and general manager for enterprise and midrange systems.

Also new is Beth Phalen, president of Dell EMC Data Protection Division. Phalen started EMC in 1999, and was the senior vice president and general manager for Dell EMC's data protection and availability solutions.

Boudreau and Phalen in their new roles join Ashley Gorakhpurwalla, president of the Dell EMC Server Division; Chad Sakac, president of the Dell EMC Converged Platforms and Solutions Division; and Tom Burns, senior vice president and general manager of the Dell EMC Networking, Service Provider & Enterprise Infrastructure Division, as heads of the new reorganized divisions reporting to Goulden.

Dell EMC is also shifting a couple of its key products organizationally, Goulden said.

The company's XtremIO all-flash array, which has over the past few months been rumored to be disappearing from the market, is being kept as part of the new Dell EMC Storage Division, Goulden said. XtremIO, along with the Fluid File System, or FluidFS, scale-out file system, are both now being managed by Dan Inbar, senior vice president and general manager, out of the company's Israel office, he said. Inbar reports to Boudreau.

"We've got a really exciting roadmap for XtremIO," he said.

The DSSD rack-scale storage technology is being moved to the Dell EMC Server Division under Ashley Gorakhpurwalla, Goulden said.

"There's a real affinity between rack-scale flash [storage] and server technology," he said. "If you think about it, rack-scale flash is direct PCIe connection into server technologies. So the DSSD team … is alive and well. We're aligning it, from an org structure point of view, with Ashley so it's closer to the server group so they can build server-storage solutions based on DSSD, and also so it can get connected to the server go-to-market because most of the use cases for DSSD are attached to the high-end servers and are application-specific."

Goulden also confirmed that Bill Moore, who was president of DSSD when that company was acquired by EMC in 2014, will leave Dell EMC. Moore had already transitioned out of his work with DSSD to be a part of the EMC chief technology officer office. "Bill's not actually been active with our business for 12 months-plus," he said.

Solution providers contacted by CRN reacted favorably to the Dell EMC reorganization.

Paul Clifford, president of Davenport Group, a St. Paul-based solution provider and Dell EMC channel partner, said companies have been trying different ways to re-organize for decades.

"Management probably said, 'Go back and do things the way they were," Clifford told CRN. "It makes sense."

Whether it is better to separate products according to product lines of whether they are core or emerging comes down to a company's philosophy about its product lines, Clifford said.

"The management team's philosophy and manner is what's important," he said. "If communications are done well, either way will work."

The new reorganization around product lines sounds like it makes sense, said Scott Winslow, president of Winslow Technology Group, a Boston-based solution provider and Dell EMC channel partner.

"EMC never had a server business before," Winslow told CRN. "Now it does. They need to accommodate it. Dell has passed Hewlett-Packard Enterprise in the number of servers shipped worldwide to become the number-one supplier."

Winslow said his company, which became a Dell partner after Dell acquired its biggest vendor, Compellent, has had several meetings recently with Boudreau. Boudreau told partners that all the EMC, Dell Compellent, and Dell EqualLogic products are "his children," Winslow said.

"We had concerns that Dell would not give Compellent its fair due," he said. "Boudreau flew out to Minnesota to meet the Compellent team, and made great strides in understanding the portfolio. He's done a great job of assimilating the different storage lines."