SimpliVity CEO: Dell-EMC Is Our Chance To Show Off Real Innovation

Doron Kempel, SimpliVity
Doron Kempel, SimpliVity

SimpliVity CEO Doron Kempel said Monday that Dell's $67 billion bid to acquire EMC is a huge opportunity for his company to show off technology that is more about the future than the past.

The Dell-EMC deal, announced early Monday, will be the largest technology acquisition deal in history and will bring the entire portfolio of the EMC Federation under Dell's umbrella, including servers, storage, virtualization, networking, cloud computing services, security, big data and IT services.

The deal is a reflection of two legacy vendors coming together as they struggle to differentiate themselves in a maturing and commoditizing market, Kempel said in an on-stage interview with The Channel Company CEO Robert Faletra at the Best of Breed Conference in Orlando, Fla.

"Markets consolidate when there's no differentiating power," Kempel said. "What we have here is a company with legacy products in part of its portfolio – that's Dell – merging with another company, [EMC], that completes its legacy portfolio, so what they have now is a legacy portfolio that we disrupt."

Some solution providers are seeing this trend as well. Jeremy MacBean, director of business development at IT Weapons, a Brampton, Ontario-based managed service provider that was recently acquired by Konica Minolta, said his clients are more focused on workloads and application performance running in their private clouds than they are about what brand of server they're running on. 

"This is an opportunity for [SimpliVity] to accelerate its push to innovate, and re-create differentiation that gets watered down over time," MacBean told 

While the combined duo of Dell and EMC would be a more comprehensive storage portfolio, Kempel said this will ultimately slow innovation and prevent it from catching up to hyperconverged players such as SimpliVity.

If the deal goes through, the time involved in merging Dell with EMC will create a massive market opportunity for the Westborough, Mass.-based startup, Kempel said.

"I think this creates a little bit of a confusion," Kempel said. "These companies are going to be very busy integrating these very large businesses. This is a massive task and these companies typically when they get into this integration mode, there's less innovation, there's distraction and when we work with the VARs we going to tell them that this is a great opportunity for [them] to start working with SimpliVity."

One thing that Kempel expects won't be disrupted is SimpliVity's tight partnership with VMware, which was part of the EMC acquisition. Overlaps in the portfolio between VMware and EMC have been overlooked in the past, he said, and Kempel said he expects the company will remain friendly to players such as SimpliVity going forward.

"VMware is an important partner of ours," Kempel said. "I don't see that being disrupted anytime soon."

Kempel said SimpliVity is looking to maximize that opportunity by continuing to focus on and invest big in the channel. The startup currently has around 800 partners globally, which account for 60 percent of leads brought to the company, he said. Those partners have led to an estimated 50 percent quarter-over-quarter revenue growth for SimpliVity, he said, though he declined to give exact numbers.

The Dell-EMC deal will accelerate partner wins even further, especially in the midmarket, Kempel said, as SimpliVity offers a way to break into new accounts. The company's win rate with partners in qualified deals is already four out of five, he said.

"Something is happening [in this space]," Kempel said. "Based on my pattern recognition something is happening and I'm convinced that 10 years from now most of the IT systems will run on systems such as ours."

"If you're a VAR and you learn how to sell our product ... this is an opportunity to win share," he continued.