DECM-EA Overview

Earlier this week I defended the Dell EMC Certification Master – Enterprise Architect (DECM-EA) qualification at Dell Technologies World. Unfortunately, I did not pass. A combination of an old design and not being as well versed in Cloud-native technologies as I believed led to that result. My intention is to use a more recent project as my base when I resubmit in 2019.


This certification track was initiated by Michael Dell personally to reduce the risk in architecting and delivering complex, next-generation solutions from Dell Technologies. The Bootstrap/Beta program started in October 2017 and currently there are approximately eight DECM-EA certified individuals world-wide. For those of you that know the VCDX program, three VCDXs are currently certified as DECM-EA: Rick Scherer, Gregg Robertson and Matthew Bunce. A DECM-EA directory does not currently exist. You can verify these credential holders through Acclaim or CertManager transcript.

Value to Enterprise Architects

DECM-EA builds upon existing expert-level architecture certifications and provides validation of master-level enterprise architecture skills (master-level being one step higher than expert-level). The intention is to validate the skills of a “Trusted Advisor” and “Critical Influencer” in leading Digital Business Transformation and IT Modernisation projects with the minimum of risk. In particular, the ability to be the single individual who takes ownership of multi-domain projects that are likely to fail without said stewardship.

DECM-EA builds upon existing expert-level skills, hence the existence of expert-level certification prerequisites. Which means that during the defense you will not be asked about technical “speeds and feeds” topics, since that skill-set is considered validated.

Value to Partners

There is currently no partner award/partner level recognition to having DECM-EA certified individuals on-staff. Apparently there are plans to develop this at a later time. Hopefully, Dell EMC learns from the mistakes of the VCDX program.

Requirements to Submit

10-15 years of experience as an Enterprise Architect.

You need three recent projects that must be submitted in PDF format, including the solution documentation, executive presentation, etc. Each project needs to be a single PDF, so you will have to stitch your PDFs together. At least one of these projects must include Dell EMC technologies and that will be the one you must defend.

You must have one of the following certifications to submit. CCDE, NPX and VCIX6/VCDX-DTM are not recognized as prerequisites at the moment, which may change at a later time.

You must have the following certifications to be awarded DECM-EA if you pass the defense. If you do not have any of these, you will be awarded “DECM-EA Provisional” certification and have one year to achieve the prerequisite certification before being awarded the full “DECM-EA” designation.


  • US$1,000 application fee (for a limited time, this fee is waived).
  • US$4,000 board review fee, once your application is accepted.

The Blueprint

The blueprint has three major areas: Business Enablement, Technology Strategy and Solution Planning for a total of 25 individual blueprint topics.

Submission Process

  • All payments are through the Dell EMC Education portal. Screenshots of the receipt are uploaded in the next step to provide proof of payment.
  • Dell EMC uses Submittable as the application workflow tool. The entire process is two workflows; the first is the application and once accepted, you execute a second workflow to schedule the board review.
  • Dell EMC also uses CertTracker to validate your Dell-EMC and non-Dell-EMC certifications (under “Exams”, “Other Requirements”). Your Dell EMC Education ID is a required field in the Submittable board review workflow.

The Defense

This is one 75 minute session broken into two parts:

  • Part 1 – 30 minutes to deliver your C-level presentation to the panel, (uninterrupted – they will not ask you questions). You must complete your presentation within 30 minutes.
  • Part 2 – 45 minutes of Q&A. You can use additional slides from your slide deck or use the white-board to enhance your responses.

Mentoring Program

Currently one does not exist. One of my suggestions as GA Candidate #1, was to allow the pairing of an existing DECM-EA certified individual with an accepted candidate (first Submittable workflow completed) for general feedback and mocks before the actual defense. The NPX and VCDX programs both allow this.

Additional Resources:


Published by


Chief Enterprise Architect and Strategist, 4xVCDX#133, NPX#8, DECM-EA.

One thought on “DECM-EA Overview”

Comments are closed.