EMC to ‘Make Storage Simple’ for SMBs

EMC introduced a push to lure customers in the small-
and
medium-sized market with Making Storage Simple, a strategy that
harnesses
new solutions, channel and partnerships for businesses in the $1
million to
$1 billion range.


The idea for the program came after extensive research conducted by EMC
over
the last few years, in which the company learned that SMB customers are
toiling in highly competitive environments, said Mike Wytenus, senior
director mid-market enterprise at EMC.


“There’s hundreds of thousands of companies in the space and they’re
competing for share of their own, even competing with larger
enterprises,”
Wytenus said. “This is creating an explosive information growth.”


The growth is so great, he said, that SMBs are consuming storage gear
and
services at twice the rate of current large enterprises, to the tune of
a
$22 billion market.


Wytenus said customers need to buy systems that can handle the
information
growth and compliance obligations that have cropped up without
absorbing too
much of what are often fixed budgets. Traditional approaches to solving
the
challenges have worked, but not to the degree of return on investment
that
SMBs would like.


That’s where Making Storage Simple comes in, with special software
packages
and broader use of channel partners and other alliances to better meet
the
needs of small business customers.


New solutions leverage software EMC picked up through integration of
acquisitions in the past few years. Described under the banner EMC
Express,
they cover networked storage, backup and recovery, business protection
and
archiving.


To get these solutions out into the market, EMC is relying on its new
One
Velocity channel partner program, which helps members become certified
for
new product capabilities. With 1,000 partners offering EMC gear, the
channel
brings the company over 70 percent of its mid-tier systems revenue.


Lastly, EMC has bolstered alliance partnerships with Cisco , Intel and Microsoft, hoping to learn how
those
companies have successfully have navigated their ways through the SMB
space.
EMC will utilize Cisco’s MDS switches and Catalyst routers to deliver
networked storage and backup and recovery products.


EMC has also extended its relationship with Intel, joining the
chipmaker to
combine server and storage solutions through the Intel Enterprise
Server
Acceleration Alliance. Microsoft and EMC are
collaborating on the EMC Express e-mail package.


Targeting the SMB market with such as comprehensive strategy is new for
Hopkinton, Mass.-based EMC, which is well known for its hardware,
software
and service provisions to the high-end companies worth $1 billion or
more.


The move is reflective of a desire to tap new revenue streams from
smaller
businesses that show a tendency to expand and scale up as they grab
more
customers and market share.


Mike Fisch, an analyst who covers storage for The Clipper Group, said
the
program is a big step in EMC’s bid to “cover the whole field and sell
to
everybody.”


“This will making it pretty easy for a MSE partner to bundle integrated
packages,” Fisch said. “Customers will see that they can get a
brand-name
EMC solution whereas maybe they couldn’t before.”

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