EMC Hopes to ‘Make Storage Simple’ for SMBs

EMC hopes to win over customers in the small- and medium-sized business (SMB) market with its new “Making Storage Simple” strategy, which combines new solutions, channels and partnerships for businesses in the $1 million to $1 billion range.

The idea for the program came after the company’s research found that SMB customers are toiling in highly competitive environments, said Mike Wytenus, senior director for 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, creating a $22 billion market.

Wytenus said SMB 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. 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 way 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 for 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.”

Article courtesy of Internet News

Clint Boulton
Clint Boulton
Clint Boulton is an Enterprise Storage Forum contributor and a senior writer for CIO.com covering IT leadership, the CIO role, and digital transformation.

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