Michael Dell On Double-Digit Channel Growth In Year One Of Dell Technologies, The Rise Of AI, And The Partner Opportunity In Pivotal Container Service

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Pleased, But Never Satisfied

It's been a year since Dell closed the landmark $58 billion acquisition of data storage giant EMC, and Chairman and CEO Michael Dell says the combined company is growing beyond expectations and focused on taking share from the competition.

"We had about $2 billion more revenue than we planned for, and a lot of it was in the revenue synergies across Dell Technologies," Dell said. To maintain that pace, the Round Rock, Texas, company is relying on its $35 billion channel business, and its ability to sell a broad portfolio of products and services to customers looking to buy more solutions from fewer vendors. Dell said a significant part of the growth the company has seen since the acquisition is from storage partners selling servers to their customers. 

The time has come, as well, for solution providers to begin pushing into new technologies like artificial intelligence and containers, Dell said. Pivotal Container Service, a partnership between Pivotal, VMware and Google Cloud, was introduced at the recent VMWorld conference, and Dell said traditional virtualization partners will have to get into the container business to remain relevant in the market.

"It is going very well, but we have a saying around here when things are going well," Dell said. "It's PBNS, pleased but never satisfied. It's all about continuous improvement and doing more."

What follows is an edited excerpt of CRN's conversation with Dell.

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