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Dell leadership vs Broadcom leadership with VMware

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Brandon Lee
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Eight years ago, Michael Dell, the Chairman and CEO of Dell Technologies, played a pivotal role in the monumental $67 billion acquisition of EMC and VMware, prioritizing sales investment and a strong commitment to enable business growth and scalability for partners.

During that period, Dell expressed to CRN his deep sense of responsibility towards customers, partners, and the company's 140,000 employees, highlighting the significant global impact of the company's operations.

Dell, taking the helm as chairman of the VMware board of directors, personally guaranteed that EMC and VMware partners would enhance their sales and technical efforts to market the unified Dell-EMC-VMware product suite.

Following the acquisition, Dell EMC initiated a substantial $150 million investment in channel incentives in its first fiscal year. John Byrne, the global channel chief for Dell EMC at the time, and now Dell's president of sales for global theaters, emphasized the goal for partners to significantly increase their earnings, facilitating personal and familial financial growth.

Michael Dell also recognized the importance of VMware's software offerings, while wisely allowing VMware to maintain operational autonomy.

At VMware’s annual conference in 2017, Dell likened the synergy between Dell EMC and VMware to a perfect pairing, emphasizing the revenue and innovation boost from cross-selling and deep technical collaboration. Pat Gelsinger, VMware's CEO at the time and now CEO of Intel, described the acquisition as a blend of "independence, ecosystem and acceleration."

This approach starkly contrasts with the repercussions felt by partners following Broadcom's $69 billion acquisition of VMware, marked by widespread concern and instability. The aftermath of the Broadcom deal saw significant layoffs at VMware, dismantling of the VMware partner program, and direct handling of top accounts, leaving partners in a state of limbo.

CRN's attempts to engage with Broadcom CEO Hock Tan for insights on future partner relations have garnered no response, underscoring a period of uncertainty, fear, and doubt in the partnership ecosystem.

Michael Dell's strategy of embracing and nurturing channel partnerships proved immensely beneficial for Dell, its partners, customers, and shareholders alike.

This scenario serves as a stark reminder of the profound impact leadership and strategy can have on a company's ecosystem, evoking the famous Charles Dickens sentiment from “A Tale of Two Cities”: "It was the best of times" under Dell’s acquisition of EMC and VMware, versus "It was the worst of times" in the wake of Broadcom's acquisition of VMware.

Posted : 28/02/2024 3:35 pm