Three Years on Dell and EMC’s IT Integration Journey: Tales from the Largest Merger in Tech

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This year marks three years since the Dell integration began, the largest merger in tech to-date. As anyone would expect, it has truly been a remarkable journey. But beyond the press and excitement is the less glamorous, yet complex and intriguing story of the IT integration of two technology companies coming together.

While the IT integration might not make for big headlines, there were big successes as well as major head-shaking moments. Today we are seeing the results of the integration strategy to both bring together many of our systems and processes and to keep a few separate. We’ve learned a lot on this journey and continue to break new ground on how to truly integrate two major enterprises. At Dell Technologies World we’ll share some our key lessons learned in the session “Tales from the Largest Merger in Tech.”

A Look at Dell and EMC at the Time of Integration

To put the size and scope of the integration into perspective, between Dell and EMC we had a customer base covering 98% of Fortune 500 companies with leadership in 13 Gartner Magic Quadrant categories; #1 position in 18 IDC markets including global enterprise systems, integrated systems, and PC monitors; and #3 in the global PC market; and 93% and 89% global customer satisfaction with EMC and Dell respectively.

From an IT perspective, we were bringing together thousands of IT employees, two sets of multinational workforces with different global footprints; different IT operating and delivery models; nearly 3,000 applications; very different eCommerce approaches; completely different system landscapes and network infrastructures; data centers at different levels of virtualization; and an array of employee laptops and nearly every variety of mobile device. We also had business partners coming together within their own functions, looking to IT to help pull things together from an application point of view as they too aligned their processes and data.

Telling the Story at Dell Technologies World

It’s been an exciting three years, and while many times things felt chaotic, the reality is that we made a lot of progress and leveraged the opportunity to begin our transformation journey within IT as a newly combined organization. We made great plans with talented people and an agile mindset. Then we adjusted the plans within our governance framework, as we learned through delivery. The flexibility to ride and implement changes as we learned is what helped us achieve some major successes.

In my session, I’ll be inviting our head of infrastructure integration, Jaynene Hapanowicz, to join me on stage as we share the true stories of successes and lessons learned. We’ll provide examples that range from defining the architecture and culture explicitly to establishing a governance structure and picking the right people for the integration team. And, not least of all, we’ll be talking about the impact of an integration on the daily routine of IT as it becomes one of the highest priorities for the organization.

Dell Digital Today

Today Dell Digital (previously Dell IT) – is a part of Dell Technologies’ digital transformation with innovative, secure, and compliant systems for ourselves and our customers. We work across Dell in a direct and simplified approach to quickly design, develop, iterate and deliver new products and solutions that enable our internal business partners. We call this the Dell Digital Way. One of my fellow leaders in the Dell Digital Office of the CIO, Greg Bowen, has written about the Dell Digital Way. I encourage everyone to read the blog to get a deeper understanding of what it takes from both a cultural and methodological perspective.

The Dell Digital Way is a cultural shift in how we partner with our business teams using a direct, simplified and streamlined approach to quickly design, develop, iterate and deliver new products and capabilities.

Dell Digital is not just keeping the lights on, we are drinking our own champagne (using our own products). We are benefited by using Dell Technologies products and solutions while transforming and delivering business value. Our IT landscape today includes 22 data centers, 140PB+ of storage, 74k virtual machines, 86% server virtualization, more than 2,500 applications, 70k+ mobile phones managed, and 172 ecosystems supported for approximately 100,000 team members and our partners and customers…and the list goes on.

We successfully managed the combining of the Dell and EMC IT organizations, and we still have some work to do as we’re in the middle of our own digital transformation. I’m excited to share our stories and with you at the conference and learn from your experiences.

About the Author: Jen Felch

As Chief Digital Officer and CIO, Jen Felch drives the strategy, direction and delivery for Dell Digital (Dell’s IT organization) while leading the transformation and adoption of digital technologies across Dell. Jen’s position combines the traditional roles and responsibilities of a CIO, along with the emerging role of change agent for digital transformation. She leads the organization in the Dell Digital Way – a simplified and innovative approach to quickly introducing new products and capabilities that provide Dell with an unrivaled competitive edge. Most recently, Jen was a senior vice president in the Office of the CIO, leading corporate supply chain, IT strategy and business operations. Prior to that role, Jen dramatically improved the order experience for businesses throughout Dell and held several global business architecture, supply chain and factory operations roles. Before joining Dell, she held a variety of engineering and leadership roles at Boeing, Parametric Technology Corporation (PTC), and successful software startups. Jen has a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Mechanical Engineering from MIT and is an alumnus of the Leaders for Global Operations Program at MIT, where she earned her MBA and an MS in Computer Science.
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