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A Valentines Day spent in Munich

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It's Valentines Day and my wife Kelley is home shoveling snow at our home in Bolton Massachusetts while I am in chilly Munich, Germany. We are meeting with the German press to discuss Dell's acquisition of EqualLogic, the new PS5000 Series product announcement and our plans to support channel growth on a global scale. I've become familiar with the German press and analyst community over the last few years and it's gratifying to see that all of the trips made to jump start EqualLogic's business in Europe have paid off. There is a solid awareness of EqualLogic and it's highly-accepted, excellent products.

Stephen Davies, of Dell EMEA storage marketing  and I met with four members of the German press, including Ulrich Roderer of SearchStorage, Adriane Rudiger of InformationWeek,  Andreas Stolzenberger of Network Computing and Hartmut Wiehr of Computer Zeitung. They have all been tracking our progress with Dell very closely since the acquisition was announced and were curious about any pending changes to our products and our channel-oriented business model. Any deviation in our messaging would become the news scoop they would run tomorrow. They were probably disappointed when Stephen and I delivered a rock solid story about the consistency of EqualLogic's product and business approach.

We talked about the new 16TB array that we started shipping last Monday. An amazing amount of data in a 3U chassis. They all wanted to know about our relationship with EMC and whether or not that would fall apart over time. I assured them that we would be selling EMC products for a long time to come. It's a very successful business for Dell and one we look forward to increasing – especially in Europe where Clariion Fibre channel sales have been consistently strong. We talked about the fact that we would grow the channel business in Europe off of the EqualLogic base. This includes training, deal registration for every array sold and marketing programs to drive new customer growth in every region. The channel will be additive to Dell's top line growth, providing access to market segments that are not attainable with a direct sales model. Everyone wins in this relationship. Dell's servers, switches, storage and bundled applications are now going to be available to a larger market.

All in all it was a very good day. The combination of the two companies is clearly a more powerful force than they were before the acquisition. We will be the iSCSI SAN leader in the market in short order.

Well, it's off to London for a day of interviews with UK analysts tomorrow. Looking forward to getting their perspective and telling them about our products and business.

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