Today Dell and EMC announced a new 5 year agreement to remain pals, hold hands and sell storage together.
The previous 5 year engagement of Dell and EMC has helped both Dell access EMC enterprise customers, and EMC expand into the SMB/SME space, Dell's traditional strong hold. With the renewal of the Dell - EMC agreement for the next 5 years, expect more of the same.
As it was 5 years ago, Dell is clearly avoiding the heavy investment necessary to develop enterprise class storage and is instead leveraging EMC capabilities in that space. As during the previous agreement, some storage product overlaps exist and are not likely to go away. EMC is the development muscle, Dell is the marketing muscle.
Dell's EqualLogic products and recently announce D2D products using Quantum's deduplication engine will overlap the low end of the EMC offerings - but these issues have existed in the past and were workable from a customer contact sharing point of view.
Will this relationship be more of the same or will both EMC and Dell collaborate on the implementation and offering of cloud based systems? I think the answer is yes as indicated in the announcement but who will take the top position when selling into large accounts is yet to be seen.
Is this relationship good for customers? Potentially for those interested in having a single vendor to deal with on purchasing decisions, but once the equipment lands in a data center, when the going gets tough each vendor will have to be dealt with. Certainly Dell's pressure to commoditize storage, reducing pricing to the bone is a good thing, but that's not new. In the past Dell had a very low touch model when it came to EMC products - little more than slapping on a logo and shipping it. I see no change there.
Watch for Clariion and EqualLogic sales folks arm wrestling in the parking lot over who's products get pitched to new accounts. Either way, no matter the outcome, both companies win.
Its just too bad that Dell is not up to doing their own thing in the enterprise storage space. I suppose in these economic times there's just not room for another player.
Posted by Gene Ruth