Once A Competitor, MTI Technology Morphs Into EMC Solution Provider

That's exactly what happened when MTI Technology decided to stop competing against EMC and other storage vendors with its own storage array and instead became a solution provider focusing exclusively on the EMC platform.

MTI, which recently moved its headquarters here, has a strong engineering background as one of the early developers of RAID technology and sold part of its intellectual property to EMC in the 1980s, said Tom Raimondi, MTI's president and CEO. But the company realized it was not big enough to compete in terms of research and development in a market that was becoming increasingly commoditized, he said.

The move to provide best-of-breed solutions to customers based on EMC products required new thinking internally, Raimondi said. "Our sales reps said, 'What do you mean?' It took several months, but one day they woke up and understood what we meant," he said.

The decision to focus exclusively on EMC, and not bring in several partners, gives MTI a focus some other solution providers lack, Raimondi said. "It comes down to, if you have five to six partners, how can you be an expert?"

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Raimondi said that EMC, with its new Clariion, DMX and Centera products, is the only vendor to offer a complete storage solution, and the only one committed to spending $1 billion on R&D this year. "EMC was a 600-pound gorilla, and everyone is saying it's time to take the gorilla down," he said. "But they're wrong. EMC is an 800-pound gorilla, and is stronger than ever."

Despite being the newest storage solution provider on the block, MTI has 6,000 customers worldwide being served by 165 services employees, Raimondi said. The company currently has about 30 sales reps in the United States and expects to have 60 by year's end and 100 next year, he said.