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Is Dell's EMC purchase a smart response to cloud disruption?

When the Dell-EMC news broke, Dell said the new, larger company would be well-positioned for strategic growth in areas such as hybrid cloud. Not everyone is so optimistic.

We'll see, but it's going to be hard to make this deal work.

Dell, like so many, is caught in this whirlwind of cloud disruption. The traditional hardware players are in a rough position. Lots of companies are trying to reduce their data center footprint and begin to move more of their workload into the cloud. Let's assume Dell wants to play in the hybrid cloud market -- it's not alone. IBM, HP, Oracle, all of these traditional infrastructure players are trying to make that transition.

Will they all make it successfully? Look at IBM right now, which has been at this transition for three and a half years -- it's still in a really rough patch, financially. A company can say, "I want to be a hybrid cloud player," and spend all this money to buy these assets to be a more viable player in cloud disruption. And that's not a bad strategy, but it's going to be a tough road no matter how you look at.

The cloud players who got it right are the big three: Amazon, Google -- both of which were born in the cloud -- and Microsoft, which seemed to get it in time that the cloud was the future and seems to be making a successful transition. So, there's the big three… the other players are really struggling. It's against that backdrop that makes you wonder, "Can Dell and EMC together be any better at competing in that market than all these other players who've been at it for a while and are still struggling to do it?" It's going to be tough for Dell -- there's no doubt about it.

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What do you think of Dell's response to cloud disruption?
It's still not clear what the combined Dell/EMC cloud strategy will be. Is it the Virtustream/VMware cloud offering that was announced, or the Dell/Microsoft Azure offering that was announced? Or both?