Category Archives: EMC

What did we learn from EMC’s data protection report?

a safe place to workEMC has recently released its Global Data Protection Index 2016 where it claims only 2% of the world would be considered ‘leaders’ in protecting their own assets, reports

Data has dominated the headlines in recent months as breaches have made customers question how well enterprise organizations can manage and protect data. Combined with transatlantic disagreements in the form of Safe Habour and law agencies access to personal data, the ability to remain secure and credible is now more of a priority for decision makers.

“Our customers are facing a rapidly evolving data protection landscape on a number of fronts, whether it’s to protect modern cloud computing environments or to shield against devastating cyber-attacks,” said David Goulden, CEO of EMC Information Infrastructure. “Our research shows that many businesses are unaware of the potential impact and are failing to plan for them, which is a threat in itself.”

EMC’s report outlined a number of challenges and statistics which claimed the majority of the industry are not in a place they should be with regard to data protection. While only 2% of the industry would be considered leaders in the data protection category, 52% are still evaluating the options available to them. Overall, 13% more businesses suffered data loss in the last twelve months, compared to the same period prior to that.

But what are the over-arching lessons we learned from the report?

Vendors: Less is more

A fair assumption for most people would be the more protection you take on, the more protected you are. This just seems logical. However, the study shows the more vendors you count in your stable, the more data you will leak.

The average data loss instance costs a company 2.36TB of data, which would be considered substantial, however it could be worse. The study showed organizations who used one vendor lost on average 0.83TB per incident, two vendors 2.04TB and three vendors 2.58TB. For those who used four or more vendors, an average of 5.47TB of data was lost per incident.

Common sense would dictate the more layers of security you have, the more secure you will be, however this is only the case if the systems are compatible with each other. It should be highlighted those who lost the larger data sets are likely to be the larger companies, with more data to lose, though the study does seem to suggest there needs to be a more co-ordinated approach to data protection.

And they are expensive…

Using same concept as before, the average cost of lost data was $900,000. For those who have one vendor, the cost was $636,361, for those with two, 789,193 and for those with three vendors the cost was just above the average at 911,030. When companies bring in four or more vendors, the average cost of data loss rises to 1.767 million.

China and Mexico are the best

While it may be surprising, considering many of the latest breakthroughs in the data world have come from Silicon Valley or Israel, China and Mexico are the two countries which would be considered furthest ahead of the trend for data protection.

EMC graded each country on how effective they are were implementing the right technologies and culture to prevent data loss within the organizations themselves. 17 countries featured ahead of the curve including usual suspects of the UK (13.5% ahead of the curve), US (8%), Japan (1%) and South Korea (9%), however China and Mexico led the charge being 20% and 17% respectively ahead.

While it may not be considered that unusual for China to have a strong handle on data within its own boarders, Mexico is a little more surprising (at least to us at The country itself has gone through somewhat of a technology revolution in recent years, growing in the last 20 years from a country where only 10% of people had mobile through to 68% this year, 70% of which are smartphones. Mexico is now the 11th largest economy in terms of purchasing power, with the millennials being the largest demographic. With the population becoming more affluent, and no longer constrained by the faults of pre-internet world, the trend should continue. Keep up the good work Mexico.

Human error is still a talking point

When looking at the causes of data loss, the results were widespread, though the causes which cannot be controlled were at the top of the list. Hardware failure, power loss and software failure accounted for 45%, 35% and 34% respectively.

That said the industry does now appear to be taking responsibility for the data itself. The study showed only 10% of the incidents of data loss was blamed on the vendor. A couple of weeks ago we spoke to Intel CTO Raj Samani who highlighted to us the attitude towards security (not just data protection) needs to shift, as there are no means to outsource risk. Minimizing risk is achievable, but irrelevant of what agreements are undertaken with vendors, the risk still remains with you. As fewer people are blaming the vendors, it would appear this responsibility is being realized.

Human error is another area which still remains high on the agenda, as the study showed it accounts for 20% of all instances of data loss. While some of these instances can be blamed on leaving a laptop in the pub or losing a phone on the train, there are examples where simple mistakes in the workplace are to blame. These will not be removed, as numerous day-to-day decisions are based off the back of intuition and gut-feel, and a necessity for certain aspects of the business.

An area which could be seen as a potential danger would be that of artificial intelligence. As AI advances as a concept, the more like humans they will become, and thus more capable of making decisions based in intuition. If this is to be taken as the ambition, surely an intuitive decision making machine would offer a security defect in the same way a human would. Admittedly the risk would be substantially smaller, but on the contrary, the machine would be making X times many more decision than the human.

All-in-all the report raises more questions than provides answers. While security has been pushed to the top of the agenda for numerous organizations, receiving additional investment and attention, it does not appear the same organizations are getting any better at protecting themselves. The fact 13% more organizations have been attacked in the last 12 month suggests it could be getting worse.

To finish, the study asked whether an individual felt their organization was well enough protected. Only 18% believe they are.

Dell sells software business for $2bn to fund EMC deal

Dell has announced Francisco Partners and Elliott Management have agreed to purchase its software business unit as the company moves towards deadline day for the EMC merger, reports

The deal, initially reported by Reuters, will include the Quest Software and SonicWALL assets reportedly for just over $2 billion. Both assets were acquired by Dell in recent years, for a combined total of $3.6 billion, and while this could be seen as a big loss for the company, details of what the transaction will include and what will remain in the Dell business have not been confirmed.

The acquisition represents two growing trends within the industry. Firstly, venture capitalists have been making some notable moves in recent weeks, possibly indicating confidence in backing cloud companies have returned. Vista Equity Partners bought Marketo for $1.8 billion last month, then this followed up with a deal for Ping Identity for $600 million. Thoma Bravo also bought Qlik for $3 billion and Providence Strategic Growth invested $130 million in Logic Monitor recently.

Secondly, Dell is starting to peel back layers of their business. For the most part, this shouldn’t be seen as a particular surprise; an acquisition the size of the one Dell is currently going through requires funding, and there is also likely to be a certain level of crossover between the two business units. Characterising sale of Quest Software and SonicWALL, as well as Dell Services in March, as panic sales could be tempting, though it could also be seen as logical.

Dell’s buy-out of EMC was initially announced in October last year for $67 billion, billed as one of the largest acquisitions in the history of the technology industry. At EMC World this year, the team took the chance to launch the new brand, Dell Technologies, but also outline the integration strategy of the two tech giants. Dell’s Chief Integration Officer Rory Read and EMC’s COO of the Global Enterprise Services business unit Howard Elias highlighted while a reduction in headcount and sales would be limited, it would not be entirely unavoidable; two companies as large as Dell and EMC are naturally going to have crossover.

The sales to Francisco Partners and Elliott Management could be seen as a means to raise capital for the acquisition, this is hardly surprising as it was highly unlikely $67 billion was going to be found down the back of the sofa. The team have not commented on the specifics of the agreement to date, however one thing it does highlight is sales are a necessity to funding one of the largest deals in the history of the technology industry.

EMC launches storage provisioning framework for containers

Empty road and containers in harbor at sunsetEMC has announced the launch of libStorage, an open source vendor and platform-agnostic storage framework released through the EMC {code} program.

Containers have been one of the biggest buzzwords to hit the IT industry through 2015 and 2016, complications surrounding unification of the individual containers has been a challenge for developers. While several container platforms may be running in an environment, each has its own language, requiring users to treat them as silos, though EMC believe libStorage is the solution.

The offering is claimed to provide orchestration through a common model and API, creating a centralized storage capabilities for a distributed, container-driven ecosystem. libStorage will create one storage language to speak with all container platforms and one common method of support.

“The benefits of container technology are widely recognized and gaining ground all the time,” Josh Bernstein, VP of Technology at EMC {code}. “That provides endless opportunity to optimize containers for IT’s most challenging use cases. Storage is a critical piece of any technology environment, and by focusing on storage within the context of open source, we’re able to offer users—and storage vendors—more functionality, choice and value from their container deployments.”

The offering, which is available on GitHub, will support Cloud Foundry, Apache Mesos, DC/OS, Docker and Kubernetes.

“DC/OS users—from startups to large enterprises—love the portable container-operations experience our technology offers, and it’s only natural they would desire a portable storage experience as well,” Tobias Knaup, CTO at Mesosphere. “libStorage promises just this, ensuring users a consistent experience for stateful applications via persistent storage, whatever container format they’re running.”

Virtustream enters European cloud market place

competitive swimmingWhen looking at the European cloud market ecosystem, most people would be forgiven for not looking much past the three largest holders of market share; AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google. But there are alternatives, despite them being less well known. This is the challenge facing Virtustream MD Simon Walsh.

Although as a company Virtustream has been in operation since 2009, the team consider themselves in start-up mode, taking position to pounce on the European market over the company months. The company was acquired by EMC last year, and formed the tech giant’s managed cloud services business, a position which could be seen as enviable by other cloud companies aiming to topple the top three’s firm grasp on the cloud market.

“EMC is the largest storage company in the world,” said Walsh. “And we’re aiming to leverage that position. We’re taking a rifle shot approach to building business in the European markets, but in parallel we’ve partnered with EMC because they own us, and we’ve partnered with Dell because they own EMC. With these relationships, we have access to multiple routes to market, and we plan on leveraging the recognition of companies like EMC and Dell to scale Virtustream rapidly.”

Virtustream is currently one of six EMC Federation companies (EMC2, Pivotal, RSA, VCE, VMWare and Virtustream), and will continue to be an independent brand following the introduction of Dell Technologies, and the subsequent sub-brands, in the coming months. While the brand is relatively unknown in the EMEA and APJ markets, this is not the case in North America where it has a number of certifications for federal government contracts and a number of enterprise customers.

Growth in the European market will firstly utilize the certifications Virtustream has in the US market to provide credibility for public sector organizations in Europe, and secondly, leverage customers who are already bought into the EMC and Dell portfolios.

The new EMC/Dell execs are seemingly learning lessons from Microsoft’s rise to the top of the market segment, as opposed to AWS’, becoming an end-to-end enterprise IT vendor (similar to Microsoft) as opposed to a specialist public cloud company (AWS). While AWS is widely recognised as the cloud leader worldwide, a recent study from JP Morgan will give the new EMC/Dell execs confidence.

The research highlighted 46.9% of the CIOs surveyed highlighted Microsoft as the most critical and indispensable to the future of their IT environment, whereas AWS only accounted for 13%. The all-encompassing portfolio offered by Microsoft (cloud, desktop, server and database etc.) was more appealing than AWS’ offering.

Simon Walsh

Virtustream Managing Director Simon Walsh

Virtustream can offer cloud capabilities across the board, from cloud native to traditional systems of record, and now the team have connected the cloud storage options directly to three EMC platforms in the software. The team are leaning on the idea of trust in the EMC brand, straightforwardness of upgrade and the simple integration between the offerings of all federation businesses, will offer customers a portfolio which can’t be matched in the industry.

“EMC is globally 30% of the storage market, if we go to the installed base and connect these customers to our storage cloud we should be able to scale pretty quickly (on growth of the Virtustream business),” said Walsh. “We may not be number one in the cloud storage market, but I can see us being in the top three for market share within the near future.”

One area the team are targeting in particular is the core business applications. Most enterprise organizations cloud be perceived to have a reluctance and a paranoia to run core business applications in the cloud, though Virtustream believes it has an offering which can counter this trend.

“Yes, I see paranoia, however it is geographically different,” said Walsh. “Europe is behind. Europe is still clinging onto building it themselves or outsourcing. There’s nothing wrong with outsourcing, but in the America’s they are much bolder at adopting cloud.

“Most people have used cloud to date for dev and test or they’ve used it for web front end or scale out systems of engagement, hardly anybody actually has an application which they run their business on in the cloud. It’s either in their own data centre which they run themselves or they’ve outsourced, and they have someone doing application management services. We have a hybrid solution which can change all this.”

The team have combined public cloud attributes of agility and tiered payment, and the outsourcing attributes of a core app, with an SLA and a performance guarantee, to create a hybrid proposition which they claim is unique for the industry. Walsh and his team now face the task of convincing European decision makers there is a feasible option to run core business applications in the cloud.

“The entire world has not shifted to cloud native,” said Walsh. “There is still a substantial amount of money spent by corporations around the world on running core business applications. We have a proposition which can run cloud native but can also run core business applications in the cloud, on demand and on consumption. No-one else in the industry does that. We can run all the systems on the same billing engine, the same cloud management tools and the same application management tools, which gives us a differentiator in the market.”

What does business transformation mean to you – view from EMC, Etisalat and Partner’s Healthcare

Business Transformation Pic

EMC’s President of Global Sales and Customer Operations Bill Scannell (Right), was joined by EMC customers John Grieco, VP of Information Technology at Partner’s Healthcare (Middle) and Etisalat Egypt CIO Khalid Almasouri (Left)

Speaking at EMC World, EMC’s President of Global Sales and Customer Operations Bill Scannell, was joined by EMC customers John Grieco, VP of Information Technology at Partner’s Healthcare and Etisalat Egypt CIO Khalid Almasouri to discuss the role of business transformation in the digital era.

Business transformation as a term has been used by the vast majority of the industry, though the wide variety of definitions of the buzzword has created some complications. What is generally accepted is there are few companies who would be able to compete with the digitally enabled, cloud-orientated new breed of organizations who have shaken the industry in recent years. Business transformation is a necessity for those organizations who do not want to head the same direction as Blockbuster.

“IT needs to be a business enabler not an obstacle to our employees,” said Grieco. “We need to make sure our people are able to do what they do best, and our IT systems do not hinder what they want to on a day-to-day basis.”

For Grieco and Partner’s Healthcare, business transformation is the process to ensure they are serving their customers as effectively as possible. Partner’s Healthcare is a Boston-based non-profit hospital and physicians network, the largest private employer and the biggest healthcare provider in the Boston metropolitan area, serving more than a third of the population. Grieco’s belief is business transformation will enable the team to create an organization which can serve its customers faster and safer.

“We want to be agile, we want to be nimble and we want to move,” said Grieco. “We want an enterprise look and feel, but the ability to perform like an SME. We want data to be accessible, and we want that accessibility to be fast. We want to drive down the cost of IT, and put that money back into the business. We want to reduce the complexity of the network, and improve its accessibility to the rest of the business. This is what business transformation means to us.”

While cloud and the digital era for Partner’s Healthcare presents an opportunity to better serve customers, it is very much a different story for Etisalat. The digital era has created a new environment which has challenged the telecommunications industry, and created a new level of competition for telcos.

The newly-empowered OTT brands are now stealing market share from the telco’s, offering services which are gradually eroding the profit margins of these companies. Business transformation for the telcos is not so much an opportunity to be better, but more a necessity to survive and more readily compete with technologies such as WhatsApp.

Business Transformation Pic 2

EMC’s President of Global Sales and Customer Operations Bill Scannell

“Business transformation is a change in business mentality,” said Khalid Almansouri, CIO at Etisalat Egypt. “IT used to be the backbone of the company, it used to be about keeping the lights on, but now the CIO has to be outside the IT department. The new breed of CIO needs to be throughout the business to create new opportunities by having a conversation with other departments to understand how technology can answer the challenges which are thrown out by the digital era.”

The rise of OTT’s will not mean the end of telco’s, but should these organizations want to continue to report revenues which shareholders have become accustomed to, there is a requirement for the business to be more agile, to deliver a new experience and also deliver new, innovative products, as fast (if not faster) and cheaper than the OTT’s. Transforming the business for the digital era is critical to achieve these goals.

“We used to know who are competitors were,” said Almansouri. “They were Orange or Vodafone and they were based in the same region as us. They had the same infrastructure, they had the same billing system, so we could compete.

“But now we’re competing with OTT’s who are on the other side of the world. They are more agile and are taking our market share. Business transformation makes us an organization which can compete with these organizations.”

Irrelevant of what the reasoning for business transformation, it is an objective for a vast number of organizations around the world. The introduction of cloud computing has created a horde of cloud native organizations who are disrupting the ecosystem. To answer the call-to-arms traditional business has had to transform to a digital-enabled organization. For EMC, this begins with the modern data centre.

“The first step in building a hybrid cloud or native cloud infrastructure is having a modern data centre,” said Scannell. “To have a modern data centre, you have to have a modern infrastructure. And to have a modern infrastructure you have to have a modern architecture. Scalable infrastructure is important. All flash is important. Software defined everything and cloud-enabled are important. That is how you achieve the modern business and drive digital transformation.”

EMC & Dell execs outline integration plan to create Dell Technologies

EMC Dell Integration

Dell’s Chief Integration Officer Rory Read (Right) and EMC’s COO of the Global Enterprise Services business unit Howard Elias (Left)

Speaking at EMC World in Las Vegas, Dell’s Chief Integration Officer Rory Read and EMC’s COO of the Global Enterprise Services business unit Howard Elias offered some insight into the workings of the Value Creation and Integration Office, the team built to manage the integration of EMC and Dell during the course of the merger.

The Value Creation and Integration Office was created following the announcement of the merger last year with the intention of managing the transition of taking two tech giants and moulding them into one efficient organization. Both Read and Elias have experience of overseeing such activities, Read was for example the President of Lenovo during the Intel acquisition, though there are few similarities between the pair’s previous experience and one of the largest mergers in business history.

“Both companies have some extensive experience of acquisitions and incorporating other businesses, but we couldn’t use any of the playbooks for this one,” said Elias of the current merger. But while there are few examples to draw upon to build a blueprint that is not to say it is a more complicated task. In fact, the pair argued the integration of the two organizations has been a relatively smooth journey thus far, with few major roadblocks envisioned moving towards Day 1, the team’s nickname for the deadline when Dell and EMC will cease to exist as two separate organizations.


Dell’s Chief Integration Officer Rory Read

“The collisions or overlaps are very minor, this is why the integration has been very smooth so far,” said Read, with regard to the overlap in business operations between Dell and EMC. The pair drew attention to the current focus areas of both businesses to explain the smooth integration thus far. While Dell and EMC play in the same arena, to date there has been very little direct competition between the two businesses. Read claims this lack of overlap makes their job easier, but ultimately creates a host more opportunities for the new company, Dell Technologies, in the future.

While combining the revenues of the two businesses would certainly make a significant figure, the team believe the cross-selling and up-selling opportunities created by having a single business offering both the portfolios would create more prospects. “Our customer overlap isn’t large and opens up a lot of new opportunities,” said Read

In theory, by cross-selling Dell and EMC’s portfolio’s in one product offering the team believe there is an opportunity to steal market share from Dell/EMC competitors, dependent on which one is the incumbent supplier. This cross/up-selling opportunity will enable the team to exceed the combined revenues of Dell and EMC, the team claims.

The integration will not stop with EMC and Dell as the company plans to merge the channel partners as well. Details of this aspect of the integration have not been released as of yet, however Read and Elias highlighted the channel partner programmes for both organizations would be phased in. Some announcements will be made on Day 1, though the majority will take place at the end of the year, as this is a natural time for the channel partners to expect a change in operating practise.


EMC’s COO of the Global Enterprise Services business unit Howard Elias

The final hurdles the team face are the Chinese regulators, the one remaining body to have not signed off on the merger to date. While Chinese regulators have proven to be a difficulty for other organizations in the past, Read and Elias claim it should be a relatively simple process for the team. Read highlighted the fact that all other regulatory bodies had signed off on the deal 100% with no condition attached, it was a good sign when considering the Chinese regulatory process.

In terms of headcount, although there were no official figures given, Read and Elias did indicate there will be job losses as a result of the merger. Due to there being few areas where the two businesses overlap, the reduction in headcount will be low, according to Read, but as with any other merger it is unavoidable. The team will not be releasing any comments or numbers relating to job losses until Day 1.

There have been difficulties in bringing two vast organizations together according to the team, though this is unavoidable in such a task. The $67 billion deal is one of the largest in business history, and it shouldn’t surprise many that the task of integration is a vast one also, though the team are confident the methodology which is in place to create one organization, will be successful.

“This deal is on time, on plan and on budget, from the schedule we set out in October,” said Howard. “The integration and merger is running smoothly and we’ll be ready to go. Day 1 is not the end of anything, it’s the beginning of our new company.”

EMC enters native hybrid cloud market


Chad Sakac (Right), President, VCE, Converged Platform Division speaking with Jeremy Burton (Left), President of Products and Marketing at EMC World 2016

EMC has expanded its cloud portfolio with the launch of Native Hybrid Cloud, a turnkey platform for cloud-native application development and deployment.

Hybrid cloud is proving to be the next major battleground for the tech giants of the world, and cloud native is another one of the industry buzzwords which is gaining traction in all corners. EMC claim the new offering with enable deployments of cloud-native application developer platform and infrastructure services in as few as two days, using Cloud Foundry. The turnkey offering combines the Pivotal Cloud Foundry cloud-native platform with VMware’s IaaS and cloud-native offerings, into a consolidated turnkey solution.

“In the new digital economy, innovation and agility trumps all. Enterprises differentiate themselves through rapid innovation and agile services delivery,” said Chad Sakac, President of VCE and Converged Platform Division at EMC. “Trying to build, iterate and maintain these stacks built on a series of constantly moving elements are completely a waste of resources – resources that can be better applied elsewhere, because EMC is investing many hundreds of engineers to make it a turnkey platform.

“An engineered platform that integrates cloud-native IaaS with Pivotal’s cloud-native platform, EMC’s Native Hybrid Cloud overcomes the challenge in business and IT transformation to enable developers to deliver innovation through new applications, software and digital services better and faster.”

Sakac also highlighted at EMC World that the team are starting to see new trends develop in the way enterprise organizations engage with vendors. In recent years there has been a tendency for enterprise organizations to build their own cloud-native stacks, though Sakac believes trends are now leaning towards consumption of technology as a service (as opposed to building in-house), as customers realize it is cheaper and simpler to buy a turnkey solution. Should the claim prove to be true, it would certainly be good news for EMC, who are one of the first to market with such an offering.

The growth of cloud native technologies and business practises is fuelled by pressure from various aspects of the business to increase the speed of innovation, deployment and experience, responding to the competitive nature of the digital economy.

“With Pivotal Cloud Foundry tightly integrated into Native Hybrid Cloud, developers now can drastically shorten the application development and deployment lifecycle and operators can manage thousands of apps with far fewer people,” said James Watters, SVP of Products at Pivotal. “An idea for an application on Monday can be running in production by Friday. This is the cloud-native way and it’s transforming how the world builds and runs software.”

EMC outlines ‘Technical Debt’ challenges for data greedy enterprises

Jeremy and Guy on stage day 2

President of Core Technologies Division Guy Churchward (Left) and Jeremy Burton, President of Products and Marketing (Right) at EMC World 2016

Speaking at EMC World, President of Core Technologies Division at EMC Guy Churchward joined Jeremy Burton, President of Products and Marketing, to outline one of the industry’s primary challenges, technical debt.

The idea of technical debt is being felt by the new waves of IT professionals. This new generation is currently feeling the pressure from most areas of the business to innovate, to create an agile, digitally enabled business, but still have commitments to traditional IT systems on which the business currently operates on. The commitment to legacy technologies, which could represent a significant proportion of a company’s IT budget and prevents future innovation, is what Churchward describes as the technical debt.

“They know their business is transforming fast,” said Churchward. “Business has to use IT to make their organization a force to be reckoned with and remain competitive in the market, but all the money is taken up by the current IT systems. This is what we call technical debt. A lot of people have to do more with what they have and create innovation with a very limited budget. This is the first challenge for every organization.”

This technical debt is described by Churchward as the first challenge which every IT department will face when driving towards the modern data centre. It makes business clunky and ineffective, but is a necessity to ensure the organization continues to operate, until the infrastructure can be upgraded to a modern proposition. Finding the budget without compromising current operations can be a tricky proposition.

“When you live in an older house, where the layout doesn’t really work for the way you live your life and there aren’t enough closets to satiate your wife’s shoe fetish, maybe it’s time to modernize,” said Churchward on his blog. “But do you knock the whole house down and start again? Maybe it’s tempting but, what about the investment that you’ve already made in your home? It’s similar when you want to modernize your IT infrastructure. You have money sunk into your existing technology and you don’t want to face the disruption of completely starting again

MainOne datacentre 1“For many companies, this debt includes a strategy for data storage that takes advantage of a shrinking per-gig cost of storage that enables them to keep everything. And that data is probably stored primarily on spinning disk with some high-availability workloads on flash in their primary data centre. The old way of doing things was to see volumes of data growing and address that on a point basis with more spinning disk. Data centres are bursting at the seams and it’s now time to modernize – but how?”

Churchward highlighted the first-step is to remove duplicate data sets – EMC launched its Enterprise Copy Data Management tool at EMC World this week – to reduce unnecessary spend within the data centres. While there are a number of reasons to duplicate and keep old data sets for a defined period of time, Churchward commented this data can often be forgotten and thus becomes an expense which can be unnecessary. Although the identification and removal of this data might be considered a simple solution to removing a portion of the technical debt, Churchward believes it could be a $50 billion business problem by 2018.

The Enterprise Copy Data Management software helps customers discover, automate and optimize copy data to reduce costs and streamline operations. The tool automatically identifies duplicate data sets within various data centres, and using data-driven decision making software, optimizes the storage plans, and in the necessary cases, deletes duplicate data sets.

This is just one example of how the challenge of technical debt can be managed, though the team at EMC believe this challenge, the first in a series when transforming to a modern business, can be one of the largest. Whether this is one of the reasons cloud adoption within the mainstream market cloud be slower than anticipated remains to be seen, though the removal of redundant and/or duplicated data could provide some breathing room for innovation and budget for the journey towards the modern data centre.

Welcome to the cloud party – Michael Dell launches Dell Technologies

Michael Dell at EMC World

Dell Founder and CEO Michael Dell

Speaking at EMC World in Las Vegas, Dell CEO Michael Dell and EMC CEO Joe Tucci outlined the rationale behind one of history’s largest mergers, and announced the name of the industry’s latest tech giant – Dell Technologies.

The group itself will be known as Dell Technologies upon the completion of the reported $67 billion merger, though there will also be several individual operating brands. Dell’s client services group will continue to be known as Dell, with the soon-to-be merged enterprise business known as Dell EMC.

“There are certain times once every two or three generations where everything changes,” said Tucci. “The industrial revolution went on for more than 100 years and changed everything they knew back then. Many new companies were born out of the opportunities that were created, and many failed as they didn’t. We are now on the cusp of an even bigger revolution, the digital revolution.”

Tucci, speaking at what he seemingly disappointingly admitted would be his final EMC World, highlighted the vast scale of change at which the world is undergoing currently. IoT and the connected world specifically are redefining not only the way in which individuals communicate with each other, but also the way in which enterprise organizations are structured and operated. The merger enables two companies, which could potentially be perceived as being stuck in a traditional IT world, to create a new brand which can capitalize on digitalization trends.

“We have to change rapidly to be on the wave of this revolution,” said Tucci. “The merger with Dell allows the company to change the concept of the business and capitalize on the opportunities presented by the digital revolution.”

Michael Dell’s contribution to the opening keynote focused more on the rate of innovation, normalization and implementation of new technologies which are driving the digital revolution. EMC World has now been running for 15 years, debuting in 2001, the same year which saw the launch of the iPod, Sun E25k as the state of the art data centre technology and the first availability of 3G networks. Dell commented that while these once-innovations could now be seen as relics, it raise the question of what is possible during the next 15 years.

Joe and Michael

EMC CEO Joe Tucci and Dell CEO Michael Dell on stage at EMC World

“Think about 15 years from now, to the year 2031,” said Dell. “Currently, if you want to code the human genome it takes around 36 hours. In 2031 it will take 94 seconds. In 2031 more than half the cars on the road will be driverless, and there will be more than 200 million connected devices. There will be thousands of innovations which we can’t even begin to perceive. I believe that it could happen sooner as well. The marginal cost of making something intelligent is fast approaching zero.

“The new digital, connected world will require data centre infrastructure to be architected in a different way. It’s going to be cloud native and operated on a Devops methodology. EMC and Dell are merging to create a company which can deliver this concept.”

“We are combining Dell and EMC to help you navigate a successful path, to modernise your IT, reduce costs and helping you create your digital future.”

The merger itself could be evidence of the weight of the digital world and the expectations which are placed on companies to succeed in the new ecosystem. Rather than attempting to change the perception of the organization which they oversee, like IBM and Intel for instance, the merger enables Tucci and Dell to create a new brand which can be defined as how and where they desire. Unlike companies who are in the process of redefining themselves for the cloud era, Dell Technologies can position itself where-ever it chooses in the market, without worry of legacy perceptions.

Dell also claimed the new company will have a significant advantage over competitors due to the fact it will be private. Leaning on the idea Dell Technologies will not have outside influences to be concerned about as publicly trading organizations do, Dell believes the new company can invest for long-term ambition, as opposed to short-termist aims which could be perceived to damage technological innovation.

The IoT wave is continuing to grow, and as we see more devices deployed, more data collected and more cloud-orientated behaviour infiltrating the boardroom, the role of the data centre is likely to become more evident. Dell believes the modern data centre will be the centre of the new technology world, enabling innovation in an increasingly competitive market, and the merger has created a new organization which can capitalize on these trends. The success of the new company remains to be seen, though the new proposition and brand does have the potential to remove perceived doubt as to how traditional IT players can operate in “The Next Industrial Revolution” as Michael Dell highlighted.

Cloud takes top spot at EMC, SAP and Intel quarterly announcements

Growth on a black boardEMC, SAP and Intel have all reported quarterly figures, with cloud taking centre stage during all announcements.

EMC demonstrated positive growth within the cloud business units, though its staple business unit, EMC Information Infrastructure saw double-digit year-on-year declines. The $67 billion merger with Dell was prominent throughout the earnings call, as the team would appear to be in the final stages of confirming the transaction.

SAP’s HANA once again dominated the company’s earnings call, demonstrating healthy growth in revenues and customer numbers over the period. The company saw positive growth worldwide, despite challenging conditions in Latin America.

Finally, Intel is seemingly succeeded in its transition programme as it reported positive growth during Q1. The company is moving away from its historical playground, setting its sights on the increasingly affluent IoT and cloud market segment.

EMC core business unit drags while cloud soars

EMC Corporation has reported its Q1 2016 results at revenues $5.5 billion a year-on-year decrease of 2%, though its VMWare and Pivotal businesses experience positive growth over the same period.

While the EMC Information Infrastructure business saw Q1 revenues decrease of 6% to $3.8 billion, the company was bolstered by 5% revenue growth from VMWare, and a 56% increase from the Pivotal business. The company highlighted healthy growth within the Pivotal cloud and big data subscription software in particular, with annual recurring revenue up over 200% year-on-year, to $116 million.

EMC“Work forces are becoming increasingly mobile,” said Joseph Tucci, President and CEO at EMC Corporation. “There is an explosion of data from connected smart device as sensors and telemetry are being built into every imaginable product. Companies are embarking on digital transformations to exploit this ever increasing amount of data, get more connected with their customers, employees, and suppliers. In short, we feel very good about the depth and breadth of our product portfolio.”

The results continue a trend of under-performance according to analysts, as this is now the sixth straight quarter EMC has missed analyst expectations. The company’s core business also saw declines as sales for its high-end storage services dropped 14%, though the flash storage business countered these declines somewhat, growing 122% year-on-year.

“The spending environment continues to be challenging as customers focus more on transformative IT projects while also minimizing transactional spend,” said Denis Cashman, CFO at EMC Corporation. “This customer behaviour is impacting our traditional business in the near-term. However, the major trends in IT remain intact, and we are having positive discussions with customers regarding how EMC and eventually, the combination of Dell and EMC, can help them with their IT and digital transformation.”

While the management would appear to be upbeat about the progress of EMC as an individual entity, attention could not be drawn away from the $67 billion Dell merger. The company claims the integration programme has been accelerated over recent months, and a number of EMC executives have included in the new leadership team announced by Michael Dell recently. Tucci also claims the team are now only awaiting regulatory approval from China, before the transaction can be completed.

S/4HANA dominates headlines at SAP quarterlies once again.

SAP has reported positive growth in the first quarter of 2016 as the company continues its transition from an enterprise to cloud-focused organization, with S/4HANA demonstrating healthy progress.

SAP1Cloud subscriptions and support revenues grew 33% year-on-year to €678 million, and new cloud bookings grew at 23% over the quarter to €145 million. The cloud business, as well as software support revenues, accounted for 69% of the quarter’s total revenues. EMEA demonstrated solid growth over the period, accounting for an 8% increase, whereas the Americas reported a 29% increase, despite political and economic instability in Brazil creating a challenging environment.

“Our cloud results this quarter leave no doubt that this business continues on its fast-growth path,” Luka Mucic, Chief Operating & Financial Officer at SAP. “Cloud revenue came in at 33% growth this quarter, which marks the 12th quarter in a row with 30%-plus growth rate excluding acquisitions. This is at the high end of our implied guidance range and ticking well ahead of our CAGR through 2020.

“New cloud bookings saw robust growth, up 23% or up 26% at constant currencies. With our strong cloud backlog and our strong bookings performance in 2015, we are well on track to deliver on our midterm growth ambitions in the cloud.”

SAP added more than 500 S/4HANA customers, of which approximately 30% were new. The company now boasts 3,200 customers for across the world for the product. HANA Enterprise Cloud was credited with particularly strong performance from the management team, as it highlighted customers are now utilizing the cloud platform for sensitive and mission critical processes.

“Companies are running their supply chain, manufacturing, asset management, sales and distribution that all operate on a 24/7 basis on the SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud,” William McDermott, CEO at SAP. “The triple-digit growth in this business is a validation of SAP Cloud innovation and we are only getting started.”

Intel cuts 12000 jobs to focus on IoT and cloud markets

Intel has reported year-on-year growth of 7% for Q1, taking the company’s revenues to $13.7 billion. Despite the positive growth, the management team also confirmed it would be cutting 12000 jobs, equivalent to 11% of the global workforce.

IntelThe Internet of Things group reported revenue of $651 million, an increase of 22% year-on-year, Security group revenue was up 12% to $537 million and the Data Centre group reported a 9% year-on-year growth to $4 billion. The company’s historical playground, its Client Computing group which includes PCs and mobile devices, was down 14% to $7.5 billion. The Client Computing group is where the management have revealed the majority of the job cuts will come from.

“Our results over the last year demonstrate a strategy that is working and a solid foundation for growth,” said Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, who is leading the company’s shift away from client computing and towards IoT and the cloud.

“The opportunity now is to accelerate this momentum and build on our strengths,” said Krzanich. “These actions drive long-term change to further establish Intel as the leader for the smart, connected world. I am confident that we’ll emerge as a more productive company with broader reach and sharper execution.”

During the call Krzanich detailed the company’s restructuring programme, in which the team aim to move away from the perception Intel is a PC company, focusing on the cloud and connected devices markets. The company claims the staff reductions will enable Intel to focus its resources on new priorities

“You take a look at it, 40% of our revenue, 60% of our margin comes from areas other than the PC right now,” said Krzanich. “It’s time to make this transition and push the company over all the way to that strategy and that strategic direction. So that’s why we wanted to do it now.”