Michael Dell: Lessons Learned from the Biggest Tech Deal in History

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Today marks the one-year anniversary of Dell Technologies, and for me, it’s an important personal milestone. Since paper is considered a traditional first anniversary gift in some cultures, I thought I’d put pen to paper (figuratively) and share some reflections from our massive integration effort and our incredible first year. Hopefully, whatever industry you’re in or business challenge you’re facing, you’ll find some truth here. 1.      Focus on the customer From the very beginning, we built Dell from the customer back by responding to their needs, their priorities and delivering exceptional value and innovation to solve their biggest challenges. We call it having big ears. It’s all about listening and learning. We created Dell Technologies to align with the capabilities our customers need most for the future and, throughout our first year, we never lost sight of that. Most customers want seamless coverage, innovation and simplicity, in that order. To that end, we’ve realigned our salesforce and channel programs to make it easy for customers to access integrated solutions from across our family of businesses. We’re driving innovation at scale and delivering it seamlessly to our customers worldwide. 2.      Focus on the team By combining the world-class talent of Dell, EMC and VMware, Dell Technologies has the all-star team when it comes to industry talent. We’ve made retaining and growing our talent the highest priority of our organization. Our focus is on getting the right people in the right place so we can distribute decision making to the point closest to where an issue or opportunity arises. In a move-fast-or-die industry, training, trusting and empowering your people is mission critical. This has never been more important than in the past year as we worked to bring together the very best of each organization. Even with the most diligent and meticulous planning, it’s impossible to control every aspect of your destiny. The initial ramp up felt more like a sprint to get the integration teams and processes up and running. Speed is of the essence and you need to be able to course correct with confidence and agility at all levels of the organization. 3.      Focus on the structure and process Identify the strategic decisions that should be made by the executive leadership team and implement a disciplined framework for decisions based in facts and viable alternatives. Also involve business leaders in the process. No decision should feel like it came from the vacuum of an ivory tower, but should reflect the facts on the ground and be grounded in the customer always. The Dell and EMC integration was likely the most complex program our organization will ever complete – it was the biggest tech deal in history after all. 🙂 The interdependencies between teams are harder to understand when they are almost all new, so establishing clear, fair decision-making processes help create a level playing field for progress. We’ve learned a LOT in our first year together as Dell Technologies, but the most important lesson is that we’re better together. Thank you to all of our customers, partners, team members and friends for supporting us on this journey. Please check out our Annual Report to Customers for more about what we’ve accomplished and enabled on behalf of our customers around the world. I can’t wait to see what we achieve in the next year, next decade and next century. We’re just getting started. 


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