Last September, the newly expanded Dell IT team helped to deliver the largest tech merger in history and began integrating and enhancing the performance of its systems and applications across the two industry heavyweights. Sure, there were hurdles and headaches along the way, but this was the best and fastest integration I’ve seen in my career, with minimal disruption to our customers and team members.
An integration of this magnitude is never easy. I’ve lived through a few of these over the years, and having learned a thing or two, I’d like to share a few reasons for our success.
First, we pragmatically prioritized our activities. Like all IT organizations, we needed to run the business while merging the teams and integrating the systems and applications. We neither had the time, nor the budget, to do everything on our list, so we initially focused on the most critical (and numerous and complex) integration activities:
Merging our web platforms for a unified, Dell-branded experience
Enabling thousands of our sales folks to easily locate, contact and collaborate on deals with each other while providing customers with a smooth, unified sales experience
Consolidating our partner portals
Automating revenue cycle processes for VxRail, Dell EMC’s first joint product
Integrating two legacy networks to provide initial collaboration and productivity
There’s more than one way to transform your organization’s legacy applications to achieve the agility, speed and customer service level that today’s IT operations require. In fact, Dell IT has unveiled a range of options to begin moving our legacy applications to the cloud.
We have created three IT services to give our business developers a choice of how much or how little they want to upgrade their apps to add cloud capabilities via Platform-as-a-Service, Infrastructure-as-a-Service and VM-as-a-Service.
Before I describe the features of our new service offerings, let me provide some background on how we came up with our strategy.
Bringing Dell and EMC together for one of the biggest IT mergers in history means extensive integration efforts that will span many months. But the key challenge our team faced even before the merger was complete, was one of the critical business process integrations leading to the launch of Dell Technologies in the marketplace.
We were charged with integrating EMC and Dell’s dual Saleforce.com systems to provide thousands of sales professionals seamless access to data and opportunities across both companies on Day One of our groundbreaking merger. We wanted our sales teams from each company to be able to sell products from both as we officially launched Dell Technologies.
What’s more, bridging the gap between the disparate Salesforce systems was needed to avoid the error-prone inefficiencies of sales reps, account managers, and finance professionals manually reconciling and reporting on data from disconnected systems.
Setting a course for integrating IT operations to bring together Dell and EMC in the largest merger in high-tech history is a bit like climbing a mountain. You need to decide where to start and map out the path you will take to get to the top.
Defining Dell IT’s (the name of the new combined organization) journey for integration was the first step as we began the process of molding both companies’ IT resources into one IT organization to serve what was becoming a 140,000-person global company. And while we still have a ways to go in our integration effort, here are some of the methods we used and lessons we learned so far that might make your IT integration journey a little less daunting.
For most IT organizations, deploying a successful enterprise hybrid cloud is the next step to bringing together all the efficiencies and capabilities they’ve achieved through infrastructure virtualization, standardization and consolidation, and the ongoing evolution of software automation to deliver self-service capabilities.
At EMC IT, we are in the midst of this hybrid cloud transformation, beginning with an internal hybrid cloud platform, called Atlas, which has been providing agile, on-demand infrastructure (IaaS) to our IT users over the past year.
While our enterprise hybrid cloud is continuing to evolve and grow, I wanted to share some insights with you on our project goals, as well as technology and business choices for this important leg of our IT transformation journey. (For more details check out our white paper and reference architecture, EMC IT Enterprise Hybrid Cloud.
When it comes to today’s IT, it really isn’t a matter of whether your IT operation should pursue a DevOps strategy and operating model to deliver software in the cloud. The question is how best to transition to this critical new approach. Similar to making the shift to IT as a Service, adopting DevOps is a must do in order for IT to survive and be competitive.
DevOps is a big buzzword right now, and it can mean different things to different people. At the end of the day, however, it is really about improving cooperation between IT teams that are traditionally siloed and delivering business value quicker and cheaper.
Like so many things in high tech, DevOps represents a circular evolution in IT. We spent decades siloing IT functions, focusing on segmented competencies in the name of efficiency, and now, we realize that shedding those siloes and bureaucracy, collaborating across functions, and using automation to enable individuals to more nimbly create software is the best way to deliver capabilities in the cloud. (more…)
At EMC, as with many companies across the globe today, we are pursuing our path to digital transformation—enabled by our internal IT Transformation. For EMC IT, digital transformation points us towards a vision of personalized products and services, real-time information and analytics smartly helping ‘pilot’ the business, and contemporary customer experiences enabled on smart devices. In other words, we are transforming EMC into a software defined enterprise (SDE). The question is what does “software defined enterprise” (SDE) really mean for IT and how do we get there. By way of an answer, our Office of Architecture and Innovation team recently came up with a game plan—appropriately called EMC IT Architecture of the Future.
We have created a comprehensive blueprint detailing the foundational architecture principles which are critical to achieving our software defined enterprise goals. While the priorities highlighted in the plan are not new, this is the first time IT has brought them together in a single vision defining how each fits to deliver SDE. The intent is to help clearly communicate IT’s role in making the notion of SDE a reality.
The game has changed. As CIOs and IT professionals, we were comfortable with controlling the environment; talking in ERP terms and timelines; and in using a liquidation/unit cost financial model to manage our operations. However, the landscape has changed and our business users expect and need IT’s help in driving agility, intelligence, innovation and value. To remain relevant, CIOs and IT organizations must reenergize IT.
On October 6th, EMC celebrated the tremendous strides the company is making to dramatically enhance our Total Customer Experience (TCE) globally. Like other EMC customers, my team and I wholeheartedly embraced cloud and big data analytics, as well as mobile and social technologies to innovate and propel us forward. That said,building on my blog earlier this year, I believe that digitization is the key to improving TCE and transforming how businesses run for the future. (more…)
Sometimes the insights you are looking for to resolve a problem turn out to be right in your own backyard. When EMC IT embarked on a bold mission to transform its IT operating model almost two years ago, it made perfect sense for EMC IT to turn to an inside resource—our top EMC consultants in the IT Transformation Work Group within EMC Global Services—for help.
After all, the Global Services IT Transformation Practice had years of experience helping clients transform their IT operations to better serve their business clients. Global Services could apply what we knew to move the EMC IT effort forward In turn, our IT Transformation service leaders could benefit from being involved in one of the industry’s largest IT transformations, through which we could hone and refine our consulting approach and practices on a scale we have never done before.
Nineteen months later, EMC’s IT transformation is on track, and our group has gained a long list of new best practices and insights to leverage with other clients going forward.
We used to deliver projects in ERP terms with complex, multi-year investments leaving the business little choice regardless of how long it would take or what it would cost. However, today’s information generation wants convenience and near instant gratification, so if we are not agile or fast enough, they will get their infrastructure, apps or cloud services elsewhere.
To get ahead of this at EMC, we have transformed IT to be more business aligned to dramatically improve innovation, performance and reliability. That said, it is not for the faint of heart, so let me share a few lessons we’ve learned along the way
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