New Canadian organizational structure for Dell EMC accelerates successful integration

Dell EMC has made a restructuring in Canada into Enterprise and Commercial Sections, which are very close to pre-combination EMC and Dell respectively. They are crediting this as a key reason for strong performance over the last nine weeks.


Dell EMC’s Howard Elias on stage

TORONTO –On Tuesday, at the Toronto stop on the Dell EMC Forum tour at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Howard Elias, President, Dell EMC Services and IT, was the feature attraction. He discussed the state of the Dell EMC integration, which he said was proceeding well. Dell Canada execs Kevin Peesker and Michael Sharun drilled down deeper into Canada, indicating that Canadian progress was even better. They also discussed the new structure of Dell EMC in Canada, where Peesker has become the President of Dell EMC Canada’s Commercial Division, while Sharun retains the President of Dell EMC Canada’s Enterprise Division that he had when the companies unified on September 7.

Elias emphasized that the integration has been assisted by very real cultural similarities between pre-unification Dell and EMC.

“In February, we surveyed 75,000 team members, and asked them to rank 22 values around culture from most important to least important, and the top five were identical among both companies, and in the same order,” Elias said. Focus on the customer came in first, followed by a passion for winning, innovation on solutions that matter most to the customer, a results orientation, and acting with integrity and ethics.

“Culturally, everything fit together pretty well, but it will take time for systems, processes and tools to come together,” he indicated.

Elias said the integration was also aided by the two companies’ different core markets.

“The predominant part of the EMC market share was the large enterprise,” he indicated. “At EMC, we were big game hunters, while we were less strong in the commercial market and SMB – while Dell was the reverse. We are going to maintain both the EMC high touch and the Dell volume motions, and not create one big humungous sales force. We aren’t going to smoosh them together. We have to respect the differences in the models. The enterprise customers, and the commercial mid-market and consumer markets all have different buying motions and expectations.”

He indicated though, that the different motions would benefit from cross-pollination with the other.

“Attaching, as Dell does, has been something largely foreign to EMC, which is more solution-focused, white glove, and with much lower volumes. Those models could not be more different. But that’s a good thing, because we can take some Dell technologies out of the transaction engine and bring them to EMC. That’s the challenge and the opportunity.”

Integration requirements have varied wildly depending on the type of business.

“There has been zero integration in devices and there shouldn’t be any,” Elias stated, “It’s a standalone business.” That contrasts, he said with the deep integration being done around the infrastructure business.

Elias said that his own organization – the IT Services group – which comprises 60,000 people, half of whom are internal and half partners, has been moving carefully.

“We are taking it thoughtfully and stepping wise,” he said. “There will still be dedicated service engineers for both EMC- and Dell-based technologies, and we will get synergies in the storage area. By Day One, 75 per cent of the sales force had been trained at a high level.”

In Canada, Dell EMC has exceeded that.


Dell EMC execs Sharun (L) and Peesker (R)

“In terms of training 100 per cent of the people on both the Dell and EMC teams are now trained in each others’ products, and we can develop more synergies as we move forward,” said Sharun, President of the Dell EMC Canada Enterprise Division.

While Sharun runs the Enterprise Division, Kevin Peesker, who ran all of Dell Canada before the combination took effect, is now the Commercial President, Dell EMC Canada Commercial Division. That’s a difference in titles since the merger took effect in September, when Sharun had the same title, but Peesker was president of Dell Canada. Peesker said that his job remains much the same as it was before the two companies consolidated, however.

“We both control presently the same organization structures we had before our go live date, but we have been actively integrating behind the scenes,” he said. “In the next calendar year, we will be making announcements in terms of customer-focused realignment around enterprise and commercial customers. Mike will be leading the enterprise space and my responsibility will be to lead our commercial business, including all public sector regardless of size, education, both K-12 and higher education and health care.”

Peesker said the division of the customers took place through an artificially complex process mandated by the U.S. SEC’s ‘clean room’ rules.

“We pulled our senior leadership teams into one room and went through how the organizations would come together and what 30-60-90 day plans would look like – but this was done under SEC clean room rules where they could not discuss individual customers,” he said.

“We never actually saw the actual customer data until September 7,” Sharun added.

“We found during the process that well over 9 of every 10 people involved had been around when Dell and EMC partnered in the last decade,” Peesker said. “The familiarity we have together as team members is phenomenal.”

The growth since then has been as well, he stated.

“We’ve seen multiples of growth in our pipeline around converged devices,” Peesker pointed out. “It is now nine weeks past the transaction, and we passed the milestone three weeks past the transaction.”

Partners of the two companies don’t yet have the same degree of cross-division pollination, but Sharun said they are working on it.

“We can’t scale it without the partner community,” he said. “Partners aren’t magically going to have that knowledge. But our legacy EMC large partners were generally also Dell partners. They can tell a story from end to end, illustrating a predictable experience from client devices to the data centre. That’s what we want partners to take forward.”