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Forrester VP's advice on EMC and Dell: Don't freak out

AUSTIN, Texas -- "Don't freak out" about Dell's pending $67 billion acquisition of EMC, Glenn O'Donnell, vice president and research director at Forrester Research Inc., advised.

Speaking with TechTarget at Dell World 2015, O'Donnell said competitors may be spreading fear, uncertainty and doubt about the potential merger between EMC and Dell, but he doesn't see any reason for enterprise IT users to worry.

"Good companies take care of their customers, and even if products do get chopped off here and there, it's going to take a while," he said. "We're still years away from that really playing out. We're still a year from the deal even closing probably, or some large fraction of a year."

O'Donnell views the acquisition as positive for EMC storage customers. He said Dell represents a "soft landing" in comparison to other reported EMC suitors, which have product lines that might have presented a greater degree of product overlap.

"A lot of EMC customers are already Dell customers, so they already have a relationship," O'Donnell said.

He said there may be more cause for concern among Dell storage customers. "The best product will always win" in areas of overlap between EMC and Dell, but O'Donnell expects EMC products to take "the more dominant position in the new company."

According to O'Donnell, Forrester has been fielding lots of questions about VCE, EMC's converged infrastructure company, which was originally a joint venture between EMC and Cisco Systems with investments from Intel and EMC's VMware subsidiary. He said hyper-convergence is another area of intense interest, given Dell's partnerships with Nutanix and VMware.

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Do IT users have cause for worry about the merger of EMC and Dell?
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Absolutely not. Speaking as a partner with both organizations. Their strengths are in different areas and their product lines will have years to phase together, far past your average technology maintenance re-up.
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