New Dell EMC data protection bundle tip of spear for more integrated solutions

Dell EMC has announced a new data protection bundle which at this point is basically an unintegrated sales bundle with multiple consoles. They are working on plans to change that however, with more technically integrated solutions cutting across multiple brands.


Brett Hansen, Dell EMC’s Vice President of Data Security Solutions

At Dell EMC World last week, Dell EMC unveiled an Endpoint Data Security and Management portfolio which includes solutions from Dell, Mozy by Dell, RSA and VMware AirWatch. At this point, it’s far from an integrated solution. It’s more accurate to call it a sales bundle of entirely separate solutions, which are managed separately. The company has ambitious plans in place, however, to turn this collection of offerings into a much more tightly integrated solution set.

The focus here is not to solve all security issues, but a very specific focus.

“Security is maybe five different markets,” said Brett Hansen, Dell EMC’s Vice President of Data Security Solutions, and also the man who is specifically tasked with this integration project. “We are focused on delivering on the mandate of Jeff Clarke [Dell’s head of client solutions], which is to make workers more efficient. To do that, you have to address security, in particular making sure mobile is secure. That’s what this is about – not all of security, but specifically Clarkes mission.”

While Hansen remains in pretty much the same job he had before the acquisition – running Dell’s endpoint data security encryption business – he is also in charge of this specific initiative which cuts across product lines.

“I’m leading an effort to reconcile this rich security portfolio, focused on endpoint data security management,” he said. “I’m coordinating it across the four groups involved, having regular executive level meetings with peers across RSA, Airwatch and Mozy. Underneath that there are separate workstream meetings in product, operation and marketing. Each is determining how we can best sell and support together.”

Hansen said that an essential here is strong buy-in across all the different brands, that the former EMC brands are not grudgingly complying with a Dell initiative.

“We have to have the desire to make this work,” he said. “We realize that we are all in this together. We see the potential, and see the same thing from our customers.”

The bundled products include Dell Data Protection | Endpoint Security Suite Enterprise, the data encryption and advanced threat prevention solution that Hansen managed before the EMC acquisition. The other data protection product, coming from the EMC side is the MozyEnterprise and MozyPro cloud data protection offering. The Identity Assurance product is RSA SecurID Access, while RSA NetWitness Endpoint provides behavioral analytics and machine learning-based threat detection and response. Finally, Unified Endpoint Management comes from the VMware AirWatch Unified Endpoint Management solution.

“Step one, to be completed by December, is to sell them all together, to provide a single bundle for the customer,” Hansen said. By this time, full interoperability testing is scheduled to be completed.

“We are also actively looking towards a much more robust integration,” he added. “Work is already underway from a technical perspective, and we are prioritizing, determining what we can integrate and what we can’t. We would like integrated support to be available in the first half of 2017, and complete technical integration by the second half of next year. Ideally, this would be complete by the one year anniversary [September 7] although that would be an amazing accomplishment.”

Hansen said that even being able to offer the sales bundle after six weeks is significant, because it involved much more than simply coming up with a bundled price.

“Selling together at this point is an accomplishment, as it involves passing orders and ensuring fulfilment,” he said. “It’s a complicated process. It’s a major step to get this done in a few weeks.”

The one major negative in the whole process is that until the integration work has been done, all of the products in the bundle remain separate products, which will need to be managed separately, through different panes of glass.

“This is all work that has to be done, and I can’t solve that quickly,” Hansen said. “Even the separate EMC products are entirely different products. On the other hand, competitor products also have multiple panes of glass. The difference here is I am committed to solving that problem and creating a single pane. One of the first things I’m hoping to accomplish is a common UI, to have the consoles looking and feeling more consistent.”

Hansen said the prioritization in this integration depends on who the users are.

“We will prioritize the console integrations where it is the same operator working on them, as opposed to a different person,” he said. “The sharing of threat information is another opportunity for integration. We are also working on improving the resiliency of endpoints beyond the console, as they get compromised far too often. That’s inevitable to a degree, but that makes it even more important to have improved solutions for getting users back up and running up quickly.”

Hansen said that Dell EMC is well aware of ‘console fatigue.’

“Too many products is a weakness that can be exploited,” he stated. “Customers say they have too many security vendors, especially at the endpoint. Bringing together these assets addresses that need.”

The road map includes even more integrated bundles and product integration.

“There are three different workpaths from a technical perspective – management, threat information, and endpoint resilience,” Hansen indicated. “My goal is to start to have material integration between some of these offerings by this time next year.”

Given that EMC in general has historically served a higher part of the market than Dell, the irony is that the integration of these bundles will make Dell EMC stronger in the lower part of the market than before.

“At Dell, we weren’t strong in small business with these types of security products,” Hansen noted. “AirWatch has a great express offering for small business, as does Mozy. We think at the end of this, we will have a better focused offering for small business.”