When Michael Dell merged his company with EMC in a $60 billion deal in September 2016, among the core assets that were part of the deal was VMware. At the VMworld 2017 conference today, Dell came on the keynote stage to talk about the role of VMware in the broader Dell Technologies family of companies.
Among the topics Dell spoke about is the potential for artificial intelligence and where his group of companies, including VMware, will play a role.
Dell sees 2017 as the beginning of a new era with humans and machines working together. with a tremendous set of possibilities for the future.
"One of the things we think a lot about across Dell Technologies is the data," Dell said.
He noted that while having compute, storage and networking is important, the fuel for the engines of machine learning and artificial intelligence is data.
"You can have the best algorithms in the world, but without any data to feed it, your AI will not be any good," Dell said. "If you're not thinking about how to use data to make your product or service better, you're doing it wrong."
Dell added there is a coming boom in edge computing as IoT and AI work together to make use of vast volume of data. In his view, while the last 30 years of computing has had its share of highlights, he expects the next 30 years will be significantly more exciting.
SMBs Still a Focus for Both Dell and VMware
Since the time Dell started his company in a Texas dorm room decades ago, he has had a focus on small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). It's a focus that is now also carrying over to VMware. Pat Gelsinger, CEO of VMware, said that most jobs are created by SMBs and since the Dell EMC merger, VMware has been continuing to add SMB customers at a rapid rate.
Additionally, Gelsinger said VMware has engaged in a process of 're-imagining' its products to make sure they not only serve the largest companies, but also the smallest as well.
Dell Partnerships Complement VMware's Role
Dell Technologies has a long list of partnerships and not all of them are complementary to the work that VMware does. That said, the spirit of having an open ecosystem of partners is one Dell is committed to, and he's confident that the special relationship and integration with VMware will stand on its own.
Dell said every time there is a Dell EMC or VMware announcement, there is a deep integration involved, even while Dell retains an open ecosystem of partners.
"The more we do together, the better it gets," Dell said. "I think that Dell EMC and VMware go together like peanut butter and chocolate."
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at ServerWatch and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.