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.
“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.
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.”