Dell currently may be most familiar to TeleRead readers these days for some rather nice Android and Windows tablets. But Dell has now brought off one of the biggest deals in the the history of tech. And its $67 billion acquisition of EMC Corporation is bound to influence more than Dell’s device lineup. It also gives some strong pointers about the way the whole tech ecosystem is going.
Michael Dell, no less, says in the deal announcement that: “Our new company will be exceptionally well-positioned for growth in the most strategic areas of next generation IT including digital transformation, software-defined data center, converged infrastructure, hybrid cloud, mobile and security.” So there is your snapshot of one perspective on where tech is headed. Mobile devices and cloud storage are obviously still major priorities.
In particular, though, the announcement gives a lot of emphasis to EMC daughter company VMWare, which “virtualizes computing, from the data center to the cloud to mobile devices.” One of VMWare’s favorite taglines is: “One CLOUD. Any APPLICATION. Any DEVICE.” And VMWare’s Business Mobility division is all about enabling consistent business experiences across many different mobile devices. “From the constant proliferation of mobile devices, to new mobile form factors, few trends will make as big an impact on business operations,” VMWare claims. The company quotes its work for Delta Airlines as just one example. “On Delta Airlines, tablets replace huge manuals and charts, and POS devices enable personalized service.” There’s one ereader implementation right out of the box … or tablet.
Commentators certainly see VMWare as the jewel in the EMC crown. The New York Times remarked of the deal: “The bulk of [EMC’s] value is now in its 81 percent stake in VMware, the hugely popular maker of virtualization software that emulates different operating systems. That company has a market value of about $33 billion, valuing EMC’s stake at about $27 billion.”
The new Dell/EMC merged entity is going to be delivering services and platforms across many more digital devices and gadgets in future, clearly. It’s also prioritizing smooth integration across multiple OSs as well as multiple form factors. Think the Kindle ereading app’s integration across online/cloud-based, desktop, Android or OS, and Kindle reader variants, or Microsoft Continuum, and that’s the kind of experience that Dell/EMC, and its many tech peers and rivals, will likely be looking to deliver and develop in future.
Oh, and personal computers? Devices? Well, Dell may stay in the game. But it’s clearly shelling out to buy new gadgets with this deal. Hardware is likely to stay a highly commoditized, low-margin proposition for almost all vendors except the likes of Apple Microsoft and Amazon, who load very different economics onto their respective hardware platforms. Evidently, the future is up there in the cloud/s.