Assuming the deal goes forward, EMC's federated structure could face some tests over the next 18 to 24 months.
VMware will remain a pubic and independent company, but included in EMC are various other pieces as well, including RSA Security, Documentum and Pivotal. Following the acquisition, those pieces may have to "speak" with a more unified voice.
"All of these are different squares of the mosaic," IDC's del Prete said. "I think that on the other side of this tunnel, there's going to be a lot less 'grout' between the tiles."
Executives didn't rule out the possibility of layoffs during the Monday conference call, but they did say no major management changes were expected. Dell has actually added 2,000 new salespeople over the past six months, Michael Dell noted.
Though it's similar in some ways to HP's acquisition of Compaq back in 2002, there's much less overlap between the two companies, King said.
Still, "over the past decade, EMC has built up one of the strongest executive benches in the tech industry, and a lot of those men and women are probably asking themselves what place they'll have in this combined business," he added. "It will be critical for both companies to retain the talent they've spent so much time and money building up."
From a customer perspective, the acquisition could offer access to a broader portfolio of products and services. EMC customers, in particular, could see some attractive deals available to them because of that broader reach, King suggested.
Competitively, HP could suffer the consequences.
"I think you could make the argument that with HP splitting into two companies, this gives Dell/EMC an opportunity to go after those customers," King said. "In many ways, this couldn't have come at a worse time for HP."
The real key to the deal lies in corporate data centers, which are "the digital heart" of most companies but are shrinking in favor of cloud computing services, noted Forrester analyst Glenn O'Donnell.
"Many will highlight how this deal gets Dell very little in the cloud arena," O'Donnell said. "That's true, but companies will continue to buy an enormous amount of EMC products in the future. A shrinking market is not good for public companies, but for a private firm like Dell, that cash flow is delightful."
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.