In a bid to grow its services businesses, EMC is looking to acquire additional regional providers -- but is not in pursuit of a major national systems-integration firm, the company's chairman and CEO said Tuesday.
During a rare, one-hour press conference at the storage giant's headquarters in Hopkinton, Mass., CEO Joseph Tucci said the company would like to expand its services footprint by acquiring providers such as Internosis, a provider of managed IT services for Microsoft environments that EMC bought in January.
Tucci referred to EMC's interest in expanding its services footprint in response to a question regarding his interest in acquiring any major storage-hardware players as an effort to generate consolidation in the crowded market. Though Tucci said such a move was unlikely, he didn't rule it out entirely, and said the company's primary targets are providers of software and services. He also downplayed any impact such acquisitions might have on the company's channel partners.
"It won't be extensive," Tucci said. "We are going to make sure there is plenty of opportunity for our partners to make good profits for themselves. One of the fastest-growing areas at EMC is our channel area."
Of course, it wasn't always that way. EMC has a history of competing with its partners -- a reputation it is working hard to shed. As part of that effort, the company recently launched its EMC Insignia line, a group of products for SMB customers sold primarily through the channel.
Still, on Tuesday EMC spoke primarily of its efforts in the enterprise segment, where key pillars of growth will center around virtualization of storage, servers and networks; security; and the migration of traditional systems management to "orchestration," whereby events aren't merely put into a database and presented to an administrator but modeled into automated actionable responses to system conditions.
Mark Lewis, EMC's executive vice president and chief development officer, said that goes way beyond today's network, systems and fault management offerings, which have not become the so-called manager-of-managers long promised by a number of vendors, he said.
"[IBM Tivoli] is dying under its own weight," Lewis said. "I don't know a customer yet who has deployed the full implementation of Tivoli."
Unified ILM is also going to be a key area of growth, EMC execs said; EMC is looking to help customers move away from application-specific ILM, which consists of such products as the company's EmailXtender and DatabaseXtender. Those offerings manage the lifecycle of data within those apps, such as tiering of data, retention policies, recovery and business continuity.
Unified ILM is the evolution of that in which customers can manage those policies that would allow for discovery, a common archive and common retrieval across multiple applications and systems.
Where virtualization is concerned, EMC sees continued huge growth for products from its VMware group, from offerings it recently acquired from Rainfinity, as well as from its own Invista network storage virtualization product. Howard Elias, executive vice president for global marketing and corporate development, noted that EMC's $131 million VMWare revenue represented a 64 percent spike year-over-year for the most recent quarter.
"We are quite confident this business has tremendous headroom to grow," Elias said.