Distributors: EMC/Legato Merger Should Drive New Business, Efficiencies

Jeff Bawol, vice president and general manager of the Enterprise Software and Storage Business Unit at Avnet Hall-Mark, said the acquisition validates the position his organization has taken for some time: software drives storage.

Just like Oracle and Veritas have helped drive sales of EMC and StorageTek hardware, Bawol expects Legato's storage management and e-mail and messaging archival management applications to drive more data to be stored on EMC hardware and help EMC and its partners sell more storage solutions.

The biggest channel impact will be in the mid-range space, said Bawol. "EMC has been wanting to be more of a software company," he said. "They've been waiting to be in the mid-market space, and that's our goal as well. Legato will drive the midrange for EMC [and] will drive sales of [EMC] Clariion arrays."

Acquisition moves like those of EMC and Legato or Oracle and PeopleSoft are positive signals that the industry is getting healthier, said Mike Long, president and COO of the North American Computer Products group of Arrow Electronics.

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Since Arrow works with both EMC and Legato, Long said he hopes the acquisition will increase the efficiency at which the two work with the channel. "We can then deal with one company, not two," he said. "This should lead to tech support and sales support efficiency. Resellers can now deal with one set of certifications, not two. Of course, this depends on what happens with the vendors. But we expect no problems."

The Legato deal makes sense to EMC because software is key to the longevity of EMC, said Arsenio Batoy, president of Optical Laser, a Huntington Beach, Calif.-based value-added distributor in the storage and content management space.

"Hardware will always represent the platform, information source, and information target to and from which data moves, but software will always represent the intelligence of the system," said Batoy in an e-mailed response.

Laura Jenkins, director of marketing for Optical Laser, said a combination of the two vendors will help drive the integration of storage management and content management.

"A lot of data is generated by content management on the front end," Jenkins said. "We have a lot of VARs focused on storage, but who don't know what is going on in the front-end. And a lot of VARs are focused on content management who are selling big imaging solutions to end users and walking away from the storage business."