Reflecting on the Dell TechSummit EMEA 2016

Over the past week, I have spent 3 days in Barcelona at the Dell Internal and Channel Partners Technical Summit. The Tech Summit represents an opportunity for all of Dell's Technical sales force (Channel and Direct) to be united in learning the length and breadth of Dell's portfolio and understanding the direction of the industry alongside Dell's strategy. Over the three days, we got to hear from leaders within Dell, who were fully articulating the trends they are seeing within the industry. Alongside visionary presentations about the future as Dell transforms from Dell Inc into the tech powerhouse of Dell Technologies, when it is joined by EMC. 
In Michael Dell's words, it's time to "Go Big or Go Home"
It is without doubt , that the industry we work within is currently going through a catatonic transformation, with the cloud leading a new breed of companies differentiating themselves by the use of technology. This means that your business needs to embrace change and must undergo a digital transformation, failing to do so will mean that new companies, born in the cloud will be more agile, more relevant and ultimately meet the needs of your customers better than you are able to.

The short term future is definitely one of hybrid infrastructure, with workloads still very much being consumed on site as well as the cloud for many years to come. However, to allow us to achieve the goals of the born in the cloud companies this infrastructure needs to change, it needs to be flexible, easy to install, manage and maintain. We are seeing customers embrace these technologies already today with the likes of hyper-converged infrastructure now seeing significant growth whilst shared storage sales are starting to plato. Undoubtedly the server is still very much the king, in this cloud era we are still seeing growth in server sales. Whether you are deploying servers in the cloud or hyperconverged infrastructure on premise, X86 servers are the main building block. This obviously suits Dell very well. 

With the Dell EMC merger, we are going to see the world's largest enterprise technology powerhouse, offering the complete breadth of solutions across, Compute, Storage, Network, Servers and Cloud. The merger of these companies is going to be complex,  I am sure it won't be without issue, but as a private company and not having to report to the shareholders they will be able to do what is right for them to grow for the future. At the Dell Tech Summit, we saw the start of this coming together, with EMC employees presenting to the Dell and Channel team for the first time ever. I personally learnt about VxRail, VxRack, and EMC Unity. In my opinion, Dell have been very successful in integrating companies they have acquired in the past, we have obviously seen this with EqualLogic, Compellent, Force10 and more, I think this will certainly help Dell in this process but we have obviously never seen anything at this scale every before. 
As ever I have come away from the conference excited for the future, wanting to learn much more about the technology and looking forward to talking to my customers about what I have learned. It was fantastic to be invited onto the stage with Dell Channel VP Michael Collins to give my opinion on being a Dell Partner, the future, the technology and the Dell Community. 

My main technical take away's from the event were as follows. 
•    Dell XC - Nutanix, With the growth in this area it's time for me to reevaluate and learn more
•    EMX VxRail: As this matures how does it fit my customers, VSAN is quite immature at present but no doubt the next release it going to take it up a level, when packaged as VxRail a lot more functionality and benefits exist
•    EMC Unity is undoubtedly a step forward to is VNX relative, the ease of use and simplicity appealed to me and I liked the fact there is a free virtual version available. I will be interested to see how the midmarket Dell and EMC technologies come together
•    Dell Networking definitely have a differentiator in open networking and the flexibility it brings, I can see that Dell have got in very early with this technology and are about to stand out from the competition in this space