This past week I had the privilege of attending my second Dell World event as a proud member of their social influencer program, led by Dr. Konnie Brown. This was their first annual conference since the merger of Dell and EMC – aptly called Dell EMC World.

The following summary serves to provide context for marketing, sales and executive folks with interest in understanding where we’re headed with digital transformation technologies and the impact on your business and career.

With more than 8,000 IT-centric attendees, the central theme of Dell EMC World as highlighted during CEO Michael Dell’s opening keynote is digital transformation and its impact on the world.

While digital transformation is not a new concept, the context provided by Michael Dell, supported by the live stream sessions hosted by Bryan Kramer and Brian Fanzo, opened everyone’s eyes to the accelerated pace of digital transformation.

A cameo video appearance by Jeffrey Immelt, CEO of GE points out that no matter your industry, we are all in the software and analytics business if we are to harness its decision making capabilities.

“You go to bed an industrial company and wake up a software and analytics company.”

  • Jeffrey Immelt, CEO GE

We live in a multi cloud world.

We’re experiencing a workforce and workplace transformation. All our devices need to connect to data centers and the cloud. Every business is on a journey to the hybrid cloud through three stages: Modernize, Automate, Transform (to become a service provider to our employees).

The Dell / EMC merger is testimony to a technology stack that harnesses every aspect of the hybrid cloud for total and complete digital transformation at scale. Indeed, Michael Dell believes that Dell Technologies – the new name of the combined Dell and EMC enterprise comprised of 140,000 employees – is “the most comprehensive technology company on the planet.”

It’s not hard to buy into his statement when you consider their end-to-end technology solutions that scale from the SMB to the global enterprise. Perhaps the boldest statement I heard from Michael Dell is his vision to be recognized as:

“The trusted provider of essential infrastructure for the next industrial revolution.”

  • Michael Dell, CEO Dell Technologies

Dell Technologies Leader of Next Industrial Revolution

The Next Industrial Revolution Has Begun

The Internet of Everything (IoE) is the next industrial revolution, the next quantum leap in human achievement. And, it’s just getting started…The application of machine learning to artificial intelligence will amplify human potential and creativity. It’s destined to solve some of the world’s greatest challenges. Physical businesses will transform to digital realities to compete, or in some cases reinvent themselves.

This digital dawn however, has its downside risk. Established businesses, some with thousands of employees, run the risk of becoming obsoleted by upstarts, many of whom don’t even exist today. Think future versions of Uber, AirBnB, Netflix.

We don’t go to work. We do work.

The modern workforce is more distributed than ever. Two-thirds of employees do work from home. Half of the employee population brings personal devices into the workplace, some of which IT knows about and some they don’t, creating risk of intellectual property leaks and increased risk of competitive hacks.

The new entrants in the workplace only think digitally. They demand a workplace that empowers them to do their work anywhere, anytime from any device.

According to the Dell Technologies Digital Transformation Index 48% of global businesses don’t know what their business will look like in 3 years and 78% of businesses consider digital start-ups a threat, either now or in the future. These data compel a business to continually invest in their technology infrastructure for strategic purposes, not to mention to attract and retain talent. Talk about the global impact of digital transformation!

Putting Emotion into Technology Infrastructure

I sat down for a one-on-one conversation with Armughan Ahmad, SVP of Dell EMC Global Solutions and Technology Alliances. I asked him how Dell Technologies is harnessing digital transformation for their own go-to-market strategy. His answer confirmed what I understood from my previous work with the Dell Social Media and Community University team (SMaC U).

Armughan was trained by SMaC U to leverage social channels to engage with employees, customers, partners and prospects. He admits it was a learning curve. This is no small feat for an executive in a global technology company whose schedule is as demanding as it gets.

Armughan spoke of the role of emotion in selling end-to-end technology solutions. Yes, emotion…The IT buyer is no different than you and me. They have the same access to digital and social channels. They respond to storytelling. By creating an emotion around what’s next in the digital transformation continuum, Dell Technologies competes on the global stage to maintain its #1 position across multiple categories of IT technology solutions.

Digitally Engaged Internal to Engage External

The catalyst for digital transformation at Dell Technologies is the recent launch of a new combined Dell and EMC intranet that serves as the preeminent internal destination shared by all team members worldwide. It combines the best of Inside EMC and My Dell into a singular digital experience that enables employees to collaborate and build communities, while getting the latest news about what’s happening across the company. It ensures all employees have easy access to the same content and tools they need to be successful.

Armughan told a story of a colleague he ran into who was up to date on his activities by following him internally through Salesforce Chatter, plus his interactions on the company intranet.

Such internal digital engagement enables Dell Technologies employees to develop the DNA of engagement, enabling them to carry it into their external engagement using public social channels such as LinkedIn and Twitter.

My final suggested take away to my reader is that to effectively harness digital and social technologies externally in your marketplace, it’s imperative to be effective at it internally. Whether you’re a large brand or a small brand, the technologies exist at any budget level to harness both internal and external digital transformation.