Dell is buying EMC, a data storage company, for $67 billion. That’s the biggest technology acquisition ever.

And with a momentus deal like that, we’re not just witnessing a tech-merger, we’re seeing a rebirth. For Dell this will change where the company was headed—and reveals two trends they seem to be paying attention to.

Desktops are dated

Dell, once a pioneer in the tech field, has been a bit of a fading star as of late. These days it clocks in as the third largest PC vendor in the world, after Lenovo and HP. Their business has been primarily built on the sale of PCs, boasting themselves as the top shipper of PC monitors, but as many already know, it’s an increasingly unpopular outlet.

Photo Credit: Z303 cc
Photo Credit: Z303 cc

But right now the big growth in the industry is coming from mobile. Which means that if you’re primarily a PC manufacturer you’re in trouble. The third quarter already saw overall shipments of PCs drop almost eight percent. Next year one billion smartphones are expected to be sold—more than double the estimated number of PCs sold by that time.

With this move, Dell is firmly moving itself out of passe PC maker and more into a versatile tech company.

Big data (and big data security)

Anyone who’s picked up a cell phone or opened a web page knows that their movements are being watched. And as all that data is getting collected, and the stockpile of it grows bigger and bigger, big data management is quickly becoming a major part of a lot of industries.

From grocery stores to the Internet of Things to the NFL, data is being accumulated everywhere these days, and Katherine Spelman and Holly K. Towle  of IP Law Watch, say that isn’t going to change anytime soon:

Big Data is here to stay and will impact everyone, companies and individuals alike. Big Data involves computational analysis to reveal patterns, trends, and associations. Big Data allows for inclusive large scale processing that cannot be done in small scale processing. The change is not in the machine that processes the data, but in the nature of the mammoth sized data accumulations and how we analyze that data with new and more complex algorithms.  Remember, this is not a carefully constructed statistical sampling – it is pattern discernment, including garbage in – garbage out and patterns that can emerge regardless of the garbage because of the sheer mass of the data.

With this merger, Dell is expanding off of pure PC and hardware, and moving towards an investment in data. Though EMC may seem small-fry in comparison to the third-largest computer vendor, EMC’s grasp of data management is a highly-coveted asset. As Bloomberg reports:

The deal will help Dell raise its profile in data centers, the modern factories of the digital age that house servers, networking gear and storage systems. EMC had 21 percent of the storage market last year, about twice what Dell had, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

With access to EMC, Dell hopes to better compete with its rivals, like HP, Cisco, and IBM. On the flip side, EMC’s heavy investment in older computer storage systems has been leveling off as the cloud becomes a more popular alternative. As these two entities converge, they could build off each other in a way neither of them was positioned to do before.