×

CNBC Exclusive: Salesforce Chairman & CEO Marc Benioff and Dell Technologies Chairman & CEO Michael Dell on CNBC’s “Closing Bell” Today

WHEN: TODAY, WEDNESDAY, MAY 24

WHERE: CNBC'S "CLOSING BELL"

Following is the unofficial transcript of a CNBC EXCLUSIVE interview with Salesforce Chairman & CEO Marc Benioff and Dell Technologies Chairman & CEO Michael Dell on CNBC's "Closing Bell" today. Following is a link to the interview on CNBC.com:http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000621513.

All references must be sourced to CNBC.

KELLY EVANS: WELCOME BACK. JUST MINUTES AGO SALESFORCE ANNOUNCED A STRATEGIC AGREEMENT WITH DELL TECHNOLOGIES WHERE DELL WILL EXPAND THE USE OF SALESFORCE'S CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT OR CRM PLATFORM. IN A CNBC EXCLUSIVE WE ARE NOW JOINED BY SALESFORCE CEO MARC BENIOFF AND DELL TECHNOLOGIES CEO MICHAEL DELL. WELCOME TO BOTH OF YOU. THIS IS A VERY CROSS COUNTRY TYPE OF INTERVIEW HAPPENING HERE. IT IS WONDERFUL AND WE'LL MAKE SURE WE CAN KIND OF KEEP THINGS MOVING AROUND. BUT, MARC, LET ME JUST ASK YOU FIRST WHAT IS SO KEY TO YOU ABOUT THIS AGREEMENT?

MARC BENIOFF: WELL, I THINK, YOU KNOW, EVERY COMPANY IS GOING THROUGH A DRAMATIC DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION TODAY, BUT I DON'T THINK ANY IS GOING THROUGH A BIGGER TRANSFORMATION THAN DELL. LOOK, THERE'S NO CEO WHO HAS DONE A BETTER JOB OF THAT THAN MICHAEL DELL. HE TOOK HIS COMPANY PRIVATE. NOW HE HAS ACQUIRED EMC. HE HAS CREATED THIS INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT TECHNOLOGY COMPANY AND THAT'S WHY I'M SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SALESFORCE AND DELL.

EVANS: MR. DELL, WHAT WILL THIS ALLOW YOUR CLIENTS TO DO OR YOUR CUSTOMERS TO DO NOW THEY COULDN'T PREVIOUSLY?

MICHAEL DELL: SO, ACROSS DELL TECHNOLOGIES WE HAVE ALMOST 40,000 SALES PEOPLE AND ABOUT 200,000 CHANNEL PARTNERS, AND WE'RE ENABLING ALL OF THEM WITH THE SALESFORCE TOOLS AS WE HAVE REALLY FOR OVER A DECADE, AND NOW WITH THE COMBINATION OF DELL AND EMC AND VMWARE AND PIVOTAL AND VIRTUSTREAM AND RSA AND SECUREWORKS AND BOOMI, WE CREATED THIS NEW COMPANY, DELL TECHNOLOGIES AND SALESFORCE IS A FANTASTIC PARTNER.

EVANS: MICHAEL, IS IT FAIR TO SAY THAT YOUR ETHOS, THAT THE COMPANY'S ETHOS AT THIS POINT IS VERY MUCH A BET ON THE PRIVATE CLOUD IN CONTRAST TO THE PUBLIC CLOUD SERVICES THAT AMAZON AND GOOGLE OFFER?

DELL: WELL, YOU KNOW, MARC IS BUILDING A CLOUD, YOU KNOW, LARGELY POWERED BY DELL TECHNOLOGIES. WHAT WE SEE IS THE CLOUD IS ACTUALLY NOT A PLACE, BUT RATHER A WAY OF DOING I.T. SO YOU'RE SEEING THIS MULTI-CLOUD WORLD EMERGE WHERE THERE'S CERTAINLY A PUBLIC CLOUD, THERE'S SOFTWARES AND SERVICE, THERE'S MANAGED SERVICE, THERE'S HYBRID CLOUD, ON PREMISE. THERE'S NO QUESTION WE ARE THE LEADER IN INFRASTRUCTURE SOLUTIONS. SO, YOU KNOW, WE'RE SELLING MORE SERVERS AND MORE STORAGE AND MORE SOFTWARE DEFINED DATA CENTER, MORE VIRTUALIZATION, YOU KNOW, THAN ANYONE ON THE PLANET. THIS CLOUD AS AN OPERATING MODEL IS BEING DEPLOYED BROADLY. MARC IS DOING IT, THE PUBLIC CLOUDS ARE DOING IT, AND NOW YOU'RE SEEING THE SOFTWARE DEFINED DATA CENTER COME INTO LARGE COMPANIES AND EVEN SMALL COMPANIES. WE HAVE A PRODUCT THAT'S $25,000, THAT STARTS AT ZERO MONEY DOWN, THAT WE CHARGE MONTHLY FOR. IT IS A CLOUD IN A BOX. SO, AGAIN, WE THINK OF CLOUDS NOT AS A PLACE BUT AS A WAY OF DOING I.T. ONE THAT MARC VERY MUCH PIONEERED.

EVANS: MICHAEL, ALL THE SAME, I DO RECALL YOU TOLD OUR JON FORTT NOT LONG AGO YOU THINK THE PUBLIC CLOUD IN SOME WAYS IS TOO EXPENSIVE. I THINK YOU ACTUALLY SAID YOU COULD SAVE SNAPCHAT SOME MONEY, AND I'M SURE THEY ARE NOT THE ONLY ONES. IS THAT THE CASE? BECAUSE WE ALL KIND OF THINK OF THESE CLOUD SERVICES AS SUCH A CHEAP INCREDIBLE OPPORTUNITY? BUT ARE COMPANIES FINDING THEY CAN DO IT CHEAPER IN-HOUSE?

DELL: WE ARE SEEING A BOOMERANG AND REPATRIATION EFFECT AS COMPANIES RUN TO THE CLOUD WHAT THEY REALIZE IN THE PUBLIC CLOUD IS THAT NOT ALL WORK LOADS ARE APPROPRIATE. I'M CERTAINLY NOT SAYING THERE IS A ROLL FOR THE PUBLIC CLOUD, THERE IS, BUT IT'S A MULTI-CLOUD WORLD. YOU WILL HAVE SOFTWARES AS SERVICE. WHEN YOU MODERNIZE AND AUTOMATE THE ON PREMISE INFRASTRUCTURE, AND PARTICULARLY WITH A SOFTWARE DEFINED DATA CENTER, USING THE LATEST TOOLS THAT WE HAVE, WE'VE HAD MANY CUSTOMERS TELL US THAT THAT INFRASTRUCTURE IS LESS THAN HALF THE PRICE OF A PUBLIC CLOUD FOR THE PREDICTABLE PART OF THE WORK LOAD, WHICH FOR MANY CUSTOMERS IS 85-TO-90%. MARC, HIMSELF, AS HE WENT TO GO BUILD OUT HIS CLOUD, HE FOUND THAT WAS LESS EXPENSIVE TO BUY EQUIPMENT FROM US THAN TO PUT IT ALL IN THE PUBLIC CLOUD. AND MANY CUSTOMERS ARE FINDING THE SAME THING.

EVANS: MARC, I WAS JUST GOING TO ASK YOU ABOUT THAT. JUST A COUPLE OF MONTHS AGO YOU SAID THAT YOU WERE PUTTING DELL INSIDE A LOT OF YOUR OFFERINGS. WHY IS THIS A FURTHER STEP? SO TALK – YOU CALL THIS AN AGREEMENT, BUT I DON'T KNOW. YOU ARE WORKING TOGETHER A LOT, MARC. IS THERE MAYBE SOMETHING MORE? IS THIS A BUDDING ROMANCE HERE? A BROMANCE?

BENIOFF: WELL, YEAH, MICHAEL AND I DEFINITELY LOVE EACH OTHER. BUT I'LL TELL YOU SOMETHING THAT WHAT MICHAEL SAID IS 100% RIGHT, WHICH IS THAT WHEN YOU ARE RUNNING A COMPANY LIKE SALESFORCE, YOU NEED A LOT OF RELATIONSHIPS TO BUILD A GREAT COMPANY. AND DELL HAS BEEN A CRITICAL, CRITICAL RELATIONSHIP FOR US TO BUILD OUR OWN INFRASTRUCTURE. OF COURSE, WE HAVE A PHENOMENAL RELATIONSHIP WITH AMAZON, WITH AWS. WE HAVE A PHENOMENAL RELATIONSHIP WITH IBM USING SOME OF THEIR CLOUD SERVICES AND WATSON. THAT HAS BEEN AN AI RELATIONSHIP, AN AI ALLIANCE WITH US THAT'S BEEN REALLY IMPORTANT. WHEN YOU LOOK AT SOMEBODY LIKE DELL, WHAT'S POWERFUL HERE FOR US IN THE UNITED STATES, WE RUN OUR OWN DATA CENTERS, WE NEED THIS INCREDIBLE CAPABILITY THAT MICHAEL OFFERS. NOT JUST IN COMPUTING, BUT ALSO IN STORAGE AND SO MANY OTHER KEY AREAS, NETWORKING, ON AND ON. IT'S ALL MADE POSSIBLE BY THIS INCREDIBLE COMPANY THAT HE HAS PUT TOGETHER AND THIS IS TRANSFORMATIONAL FOR OUR INDUSTRY. AND THAT IS WHY I'M SO EXCITED ABOUT DELL AND THAT'S WHY I'M SO EXCITED ABOUT DELL AND SALESFORCE COMING TOGETHER TO CREATE A DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION, NOT JUST FOR DELL BUT ALSO FOR ALL OF OUR HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF CUSTOMERS.

EVANS: MARC, THE INTERESTING THING RIGHT NOW, AND AS MICHAEL HAD PUT IT, SORT OF MOVING INTO A MULTI-CLOUD WORLD, THERE ARE A LOT OF CUSTOMERS WHO JUST WANT A LOT OF THESE DIFFERENT OPTIONS TO PICK FROM. AT THE SAME TIME, AND I FOUND IT KIND OF HILARIOUS THAT CLOUD COMPUTING WON THE PREAKNESS ON SATURDAY, IT DOES FEEL LIKE WE'RE AT THE TOP OF A BIT OF A HYPE CYCLE WHEN IT COMES TO ALL OF THESE OFFERINGS. SO, WHAT SETS THIS – YOU CALLED IT A TRANSFORMATIONAL DEAL – WHAT SETS THIS AGREEMENT APART FROM THE OFFERINGS ALREADY IN PLACE ACROSS THIS INDUSTRY?

BENIOFF: WELL, YOU KNOW, SALESFORCE JUST TURNED 18. AND YOU KNOW THAT THIS YEAR WE'RE PASSING $10.3 BILLION IN REVENUE. WE JUST REPORTED OUR RESULTS LAST QUARTER, GROWING 25% FOR THE QUARTER. AT THIS GROWTH RATE, NO SOFTWARE COMPANY HAS EVER GROWN FASTER. AND WHAT MADE THAT POSSIBLE IS CLOUD COMPUTING. NOT THE HORSE. BUT THE IDEA THAT COMPANIES DON'T HAVE TO BUY THE SOFTWARE AND HARDWARE AND CAPABILITIES TO GET GOING QUICKLY. THE REALITY IS MICHAEL HAS A PHENOMENAL OPPORTUNITY INFRONT OF HIM TO HELP SO MANY COMPANIES, NOT JUST OURS, BUT SO MANY COMPANIES BE SUCCESSFUL. BUT THAT MEANS HIS SALES, HIS SERVICE, HIS MARKETING NEEDS TO BE DEPLOYED RIGHT NOW AND HE NEEDS TO CREATE CUSTOMER SUCCESS RIGHT NOW. WE ARE GOING TO HELP HIM DO THAT.

EVANS: UNDERSTOOD. THIS WASN'T EASY TO PULL OFF THIS KIND OF – YOU KNOW, WE HAVE CALIFORNIA, WE HAVE TEXAS, WE HAVE NEW YORK. GENTLEMEN, THANK YOU ALL FOR JOINING US TODAY. MARC BENIOFF AND MICHAEL BELL.

About CNBC:

With CNBC in the U.S., CNBC in Asia Pacific, CNBC in Europe, Middle East and Africa, and CNBC World, CNBC is the recognized world leader in business news and provides real-time financial market coverage and business information to more than 385 million homes worldwide, including more than 94 million households in the United States and Canada. CNBC also provides daily business updates to 400 million households across China. The network's 15 live hours a day of business programming in North America (weekdays from 4:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. ET) is produced at CNBC's global headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., and includes reports from CNBC News bureaus worldwide. CNBC at night features a mix of new reality programming, CNBC's highly successful series produced exclusively for CNBC and a number of distinctive in-house documentaries.

CNBC also has a vast portfolio of digital products which deliver real-time financial market news and information across a variety of platforms including: CNBC.com; CNBC PRO, the premium, integrated desktop/mobile service that provides live access to CNBC programming, exclusive video content and global market data and analysis; a suite of CNBC mobile products including the CNBC Apps for iOS, Android and Windows devices; and additional products such as the CNBC App for the Apple Watch and Apple TV.

Members of the media can receive more information about CNBC and its programming on the NBCUniversal Media Village Web site at http://www.nbcumv.com/programming/cnbc.

For more information about NBCUniversal, please visit http://www.NBCUniversal.com.