Unified Dell Technologies brand strength for Dell EMC in Canada

Michael Sharun, the President of Dell EMC Canada’s Enterprise Division, discusses recent trends in the company’s Canadian business.

Michael Sharun, President of Dell EMC Canada’s Enterprise Division

LAS VEGAS – Under the post-integration operating structure of the former Dell and EMC organizations in Canada, Dell EMC is run as two divisions, with two leaders. Michael Sharun, the pre-merger head of EMC in Canada, is the President of Dell EMC Canada’s Enterprise Division, while Kevin Peesker, who used to lead Dell Canada, is now President of Dell EMC Canada’s Commercial Division, which also includes all public sector and health care business. However, while the Canadian business is managed by two Dell EMCs, the company is emphasizing its broader Dell Technologies brand in Canada, believing it gives them much stronger brand equity.

“Dell Technologies is so much more complete,” Sharun said. “With all the broader trends now, you can’t have a business discussion unless you have the entire portfolio.

“The concept now is that while Dell EMC is a very strong brand, and the other Dell companies [like VMware, Pivotal and RSA] are strong brands, we are representing ourselves now as Dell Technologies,” Sharun said. “That’s what we talk to our customers about. They want that entire end-to-end solution. Bringing all of this together gives the customer a single supplier from compute to storage to the network. Our capability now as Dell Technologies strengths the enterprise business, because even though VMware was effectively part of EMC before, because we have a compute part now, it strengthens us. The old EMC could design a data centre all by ourselves, but we would have no idea what they would need from a compute basis. Now, when we talk with leaders about all the different partners of the company, they want to do more business with us.”

While all the Dell Technologies companies are operated separately, to preserve their agility, Sharun said that co-ordination has improved since the merger became final.

“I continue to talk with all the different Dell Technologies companies,” he said. “We’ve also established field level engagements with the team. For the first time, I’ve got someone responsible for working directly with VMWare. With all these integrated products we have now, that’s very important. We do joint briefings with the customer. We jointly design the architecture with the customer. It’s much more involved than it ever has been.”

The old EMC side of Dell EMC has had a lot of defections from its experienced sales pros since the merger, but Sharun said that this has been less of an issue in Canada.

“Any time you go through these things, there are always some people who don’t want to go along for the ride,” he said. “But it’s not abnormally different from the rates of change we have had in any other year. It just has not been an issue for me here in Canada.”

On the other hand, from the channel side, the introduction of the CloudFlex flexible consumption model within storage has been a major plus. In February, it has been available on converged infrastructure, but at the Dell EMC event here its extension to VXRail, VXRack, and the Nutanix-based XC series has been announced, with CloudFlex on the first two available now, and the XC Series soon. A flexible consumption model for devices is also being designed, and may be available later this year.

“Partners are excited about CloudFlex,” Sharun said. “It gives them the opportunity to put leading technology in the customers’ hands at a much lower risk. This is almost like a ‘try and buy.’

Sharun also expressed pleasure at reports that the large integrator WorldWide Technology is coming into Canada.

“We would like to have them represent our technologies,” he said.

Sharun also noted that the hybrid cloud strategy that both Dell and EMC adopted early, before they came together, is a winning strategy in Canada.

“We want to accelerate customers’ journey to the cloud, but to do it wisely,” he said. “Do you really want a lot of your heritage data in the public cloud? Customer data may be something you don’t want out of your hands, for fear of winding up on page one of the newspaper. I wouldn’t say on-prem is making a comeback – because the vast majority of workloads have not migrated to the public cloud. A lot of workloads can’t be migrated to the public cloud, for security, performance or reliability reasons.”