What’s Really Happening Inside the Dell, EMC Merger

NEWS ANALYSIS: As the merger chugs to its conclusion, employees fret for their jobs, China is causing ire and a lot of corporate wrinkles need to be ironed out.

LAS VEGAS—If you ask any of the top brass at either Dell or EMC, they are all well-rehearsed in telling you that everything is perfectly “on track” and “in order” in bringing two of the world’s largest and most successful IT hardware/software vendors together under one corporate roof by next fall.

To that we say, “Thank you very much, and, by the way, nice try.” Our reaction, along with a lot of people to whom we spoke at the recently concluded EMC World 2016, is—and I quote—”Bull Pucky.” While it may actually be on a track to close around the time it is supposed close, this does not mean it is actually a smooth transition.

Mergers, especially those of this scale, cannot zoom along as if on rails. This is patently impossible. Two giant Tyrannosaurus Rexes who have been gobbling up other animals and companies for years—and bloodied each other in some big fights in the storage markets—could hardly step politely onto the same container ship and sail off into the sunset as BFFs. Ask AOL and Time Warner, Hewlett-Packard and Compaq or Oracle and Sun Microsystems if you don’t believe this.

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