A lot has happened in a year …

Last September, the newly expanded Dell IT team helped to deliver the largest tech merger in history and began integrating and enhancing the performance of its systems and applications across the two industry heavyweights. Sure, there were hurdles and headaches along the way, but this was the best and fastest integration I’ve seen in my career, with minimal disruption to our customers and team members.

An integration of this magnitude is never easy. I’ve lived through a few of these over the years, and having learned a thing or two, I’d like to share a few reasons for our success.

First, we pragmatically prioritized our activities. Like all IT organizations, we needed to run the business while merging the teams and integrating the systems and applications. We neither had the time, nor the budget, to do everything on our list, so we initially focused on the most critical (and numerous and complex) integration activities:

  • Merging our web platforms for a unified, Dell-branded experience
  • Enabling thousands of our sales folks to easily locate, contact and collaborate on deals with each other while providing customers with a smooth, unified sales experience
  • Consolidating our partner portals
  • Automating revenue cycle processes for VxRail, Dell EMC’s first joint product
  • Integrating two legacy networks to provide initial collaboration and productivity

We have 140,000 global team members. Our second job was therefore to not only consider their post-merger experience, but also to evaluate the various tools and applications across the legacy companies to determine the best path to a productive and collaborative future. This involved creating new Dell email addresses, providing 160k+ identities for applications access, migrating 100k+ devices to Windows 10, and extending our collaboration and mobile applications to everyone in the company. We have more to do, but are well on our way to a better IT and mobile experience.

Third, we defined our long-term plan to digitally transform Dell. Like our customers, we must keep our infrastructure, applications and services up and running 24×7×365 while also looking to our future. We are extending our private cloud and laid the foundation for the world’s best hybrid cloud solution using VMware and Virtustream. We are also revamping our digital experience with applications, advanced analytics, automation and mobility, leveraging technologies, methodologies and best practices from Pivotal, VMware and other partners.

Fourth, despite the massive integration effort, we couldn’t neglect the 500+ programs that were already in flight before and after the merger. This includes moving to a new human capital management solution, integrating our indirect procurement and expense management systems, upgrading team members to new Dell laptops, and enhancing our IT support services across the new company. This required tremendous focus and maniacal management, but we did it.

Which brings me to the final and most important reason for our success. We wouldn’t have been able to do any of this without the best, battle-tested IT team in the industry to debate our options, collaborate on our solutions, and quickly address any issues along the way. I am immensely proud of and happy to be part of this Dell IT team.

In my experience, IT professionals don’t take moments to appreciate or acknowledge their successes. We do post-mortems, capture lessons learned and dive back into the deep water. While I’m sure this occasion is no exception, I’d like to also take the time to celebrate all that we have accomplished as we celebrate this milestone anniversary.

Okay, time’s up!

About the Author: Bask Iyer

Bask Iyer is the Chief Information Officer, responsible for driving Dell and VMware’s digital transformation to accelerate outcomes; deliver world-class experiences; and share the team’s best practices using technologies, services and solutions from both companies. He is based at VMware’s offices in Palo Alto, California. Iyer, who has served as VMware’s CIO since 2015, expanded his CIO responsibilities in December 2016 to also lead the Dell IT organization, and oversees the critical technology systems supporting the worldwide business operations for Dell and VMware. A respected industry veteran, Iyer brings more than 25 years of experience in executing and driving change in traditional Fortune 100 manufacturing companies and Silicon Valley-based technology firms. Prior to joining VMware, Iyer served as senior vice president and chief information officer at Juniper Networks, where he was responsible for the company’s technology and business operations, including critical services around business transformation, global business services, IT and real estate, and workplace services. He also served as chief information officer at Honeywell and at GlaxoSmithKline Beecham for consumer healthcare research and development, where he was also the company’s e-commerce leader. Iyer holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Annamalai University in India and a master’s degree in computer science from Florida Institute of Technology.