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Summary

Customers and competitors are busy weighing how the $67bn blockbuster Dell-EMC merger will impact their lives, and that picture will come into focus as more information is disclosed in the coming weeks. (There are sure to be questions at next week's Dell World, the vendor's annual customer event in Austin, Texas.) In the meantime, one rather obvious open question is what this deal – which Dell primarily positioned as the coming-together of two powerhouses in hardware, infrastructure, and data centers – will mean for Dell Services and Dell's relationship with its systems integration (SI) and services partners.

What's the future for Dell Services?

On a call with media and industry analysts Monday morning, most of the attention was focused on Dell and EMC's combined hardware and infrastructure businesses, and services was mentioned only briefly. CEO Michael Dell said the vendor would still offer services but specifically referenced the vendors' many SI partners and how a Dell-EMC combination would present even more partner opportunities through an expanded portfolio. The merger will create an expansive services partner networkthat would serve the full portfolio of customers from SMB markets through to large enterprises.

What remains to be seen is how this merger will impact Dell Services, which has made noticeable progress through the past year in terms of portfolio structure; its messaging centered on major themessuch as digital transformation, modernization, and cloud; and its go-to-market activities. EMC, of course, offers its own services, focused on cloud, big data, and infrastructure, while Dell Services is a combination of internally developed offerings and acquired assets, most notably from its purchase of Perot Systems in 2009. Although it took some time for Dell Services to find its footing with a portfolio and market message, it would be a shame if these efforts were all for naught. Even though Dell Services' business remains concentrated on a handful of larger verticals and focused service lines, we hope that the vendor will fully reveal what kind of future the group will have as part of the merged entity as more details come to light, as well as highlight the value services can deliver to a new combined Dell-EMC value proposition.

Appendix

Further reading

"Digital? Cloud? Automation? Why you should talk to your SI about legacy," IT0019-003483 (August 2015)

The Importance of Legacy Modernization in the Digital Transformation Journey, IT0019-003446 (May 2015)

Author

John Madden, Practice Leader, IT Services

john.madden@ovum.com

Hansa Iyengar, Analyst, IT Services

hansa.iyengar@ovum.com

Jens Butler, Principal Analyst, IT Services

jens.butler@ovum.com

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