Dell EMC is realigning its engineering teams to focus on four primary storage product lines as part of a broad restructuring aimed at accelerating product innovation, sources said.
The changes focus the Dell engineering teams squarely on a single product line for each market segment moving from low end to midrange to high end and a separate product for the unstructured file and object storage market, the sources said.
The $80 billion Round Rock, Texas digital transformation infrastructure behemoth is currently developing a new midrange product and a new unstructured file and object storage product as part of the restructuring, sources said.
For the high-end market, Dell will focus on its new all-flash PowerMax product unveiled this month, sources said. Dell's PowerVault product line will be the go to offering the entry level and SMB market, according to sources.
The sweeping changes mark the first major redrawing of the storage product roadmap since Dell's blockbuster acquisition of EMC in 2016 for $67 billion.
The storage charge is being led by 30-year Dell veteran Jeff Clarke, vice chairman, products and operations for Dell Technologies, who took over the company's Infrastructure Solutions Group in late 2017.
Partners said the new storage battle plan solves what has been one of the biggest obstacles in Dell EMC's battle to maintain storage dominance: namely a product line from the Dell EMC merger that had a lot of overlap, creating confusion for both partners and customers.
Kent MacDonald, senior vice president at Long View Systems, a Calgary, Canada-based solution provider and Dell EMC partner, ranked No. 87 on CRN's 2017 Solution Provider 500 list, said he expects the new storage product line to accelerate storage innovation at Dell EMC.
"With that streamlined, simplified product set, I think it just allows the innovation to be driven across that product portfolio which is challenging to do when you have five of six different product sets," said MacDonald. "Streamlining and putting the innovation around a smaller portfolio I think is what customers have always wanted."
MacDonald said the new strategy also clears up once and for all what are the top products that Dell is betting on for the future."When you have five models, you don't want to buy the one that's going to not be around in a year or two, or the one that isn't getting the innovation," he said. "This will be well-received by the partner community for our end users."
Even though Dell is redrawing the product road map, the company is not going to end of life any current products in the market today such as its SC, Unity, XtremIO, Isilon or ECS storage product lines, sources said. Dell declined to comment on the matter.
One top source with knowledge of the simplified storage road map said the restructuring is geared toward making it easier for partners to "sell and position" the Dell EMC storage portfolio.
"It's an opportunity to focus on a smaller set of offerings with four product lines that pull forward the best features, functions, use cases and workloads for today and into the future," the source said. "Dell EMC is pulling forward the best-of-breed capabilities across its four primary platforms for this next-generation strategy."
Clarke is one of the driving forces behind an all out storage sales charge investing more than $2 billion, hiring 1,200 new storage sales specialist and initiating for the first time channel storages sales quotas.
Over the last several months, the company has launched multiple storage sales incentives for partners, including its new MyRewards Program which provides up to 3x bonus payout and enhanced rebates around driving new business, storage refreshes and attaching Pro-Support Plus to storage sale. This week, Dell EMC announced that its Unity storage platform has reached $2 billion in cumulative bookings with more than 22,000 Dell EMC Unity systems having been shipped.