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Analysis

From a services and support perspective, there is little of note associated with this acquisition.

The main reason for this is in the services space, both Dell and EMC are mainly in the support and infrastructure services markets. Neither company is a large player in the applications and business consulting markets. So, in the short term, Neuralytix expects both Dell and EMC to continue with their existing customer support models. The main reason for this is that most companies understand that customers generally do not react well to large, fast changes to how they are supported.

Customers have built internal processes around how they are supported and changes to this process can cause problems. While this is true for all customers, it is especially true for the vendor’s best customers.

Guidance

Based on this, Neuralytix believes that both Dell and EMC should take a slow approach to integrating the support service portfolios. Leveraging the experience of other large technology acquisitions, the best practice is to take the next 6 months to investigate what customers like and dislike about each vendor’s support offerings.

Once that study has been completed, how to integrate the support offerings will become obvious. At this point, the key for Dell and EMC is continue to take things slowly and implement changes over time starting with their respective and joint largest customers.

The main reason for this is because largest customers generally demand the highest level of support. In this case, Dell and EMC personnel are most familiar with their respective customers’ environments. This familiarity will be valuable in understanding how to change the support offerings. Further, if there is a problem with the new offering, having a deep knowledge of the customer’s environment will be beneficial in quickly addressing issues caused by the changes to the support portfolio.

Once Dell and EMC understand how the new offerings are going to come together, and the majority of support engineers are trained on the new process, it is only then that Dell and EMC should roll these offerings out to the remainder of the customers.

In addition to the timing of the integrated offerings, both Dell and EMC have to spend considerable time understanding the culture of the respective support organizations. While both Dell and EMC are mainly in the infrastructure hardware business, there are differences between supporting storage and servers. For example, storage products generally lend themselves to proactive and predictive maintenance as disk failures can be more easily predicted than server failures. Server products tend to lend themselves to replacement and sparing strategies, as often it is easier and faster to replace a server than it is to migrate data from one storage system to another.

These differences in products will create different support cultures and processes. Blending these will take time and effort. So Neuralytix believes that Dell and EMC need to recognize the differences when integrating the support organizations.