Dell Counters HPE: Storage Products Will Be 'Supported Throughout Their Lifetime Period'


Michael Dell's right hand man, Jeff Clarke, says partners and customers shouldn't worry about Dell EMC ending support of current storage products through the company's new simplified storage product initiative.

Just days after Hewlett Packard Enterprise Chief Sales Officer Phil Davis slammed Dell EMC's storage product road map in a blog post, claiming the changes raise questions about which products will survive, Clarke said there won't be market disruption when new solutions are introduced.

"Despite what may be being said by others, our products on the roadmap today are supported throughout their lifetime period and we will provide a non-disruptive migration from the old product to the new product," said Clarke, vice chairman, products and operations for Dell, during the company's first fiscal quarter earnings call this week.

[Related: 8 Biggest Partner Takeaways From Dell's Q1 Earnings Report]

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CRN was first to report in May that Dell EMC is establishing a new simplified storage product lineup where engineering teams will now squarely focus on a single product line for each storage market segment from low end to midrange to high end and a product for the unstructured file and object storage market.

Clarke said partners and customers are asking, "Jeff, we can buy what we're buying today, and when Dell has the new thing ready, we can seamlessly migrate to the new thing?' [My answer is,] 'Yes sir, that's correct."

For the high-end market, Dell will focus on its new all-flash PowerMax product unveiled last month, while Dell's PowerVault line will be the go to offering for the entry level and SMB market.

"When I talked to customers and said, 'Would you rather buy four midrange products or one, and the right one, with all of our best IP?' The answer is overwhelmingly positive to the degree of 100 percent that, 'We'd prefer to buy one product that's the right product with all of the Dell EMC technology and IP in it,'" said Clarke.

Michael Girouard, executive vice president of enterprise sales for Teklinks, a Birmingham Ala.-based Dell EMC Gold partner, said the company's new storage strategy is needed and will work if implemented correctly through the channel.

"They have a lot of platforms that cross over one another. They really need to make some smart strategic moves about their decisions about their portfolio, rather than try to rationalize the overlaps," said Girouard. "Dell's Compellent [storage line] has a lot of overlap with some of the historical EMC stuff. If they bring those code streams together and R&D them so there's some seamless interfaces and stuff like that – that's pretty cool and good for us."

The $80 billion Round Rock, Texas-based infrastructure behemoth reported on Monday a double-digit increase in storage sales for its first fiscal quarter, which ended May 4, while also beating Wall Street's overall revenue estimates. Dell reported storage sales of $4.08 billion, an increase of 10 percent year over year. The company said it expected to see its first quarter of storage share gain since closing the blockbuster acquisition of EMC in 2016 for $58 billion.