Q&A: EMC CEO Joe Tucci Takes On Dell, NetApp, All-Comers With SMB Storage Blitz

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EMC CEO Joe Tucci, who celebrates his 10th anniversary as CEO of the storage giant with this year, spoke with Everything Channel Vice President and Editorial Director Kelley Damore and CRN Editor/News Steven Burke about a wide range of issues, including his plan to make the storage giant number one in the SMB market with the VNXe/VNX line, EMC's relationship with Dell, and the bullying of VARs by competitors. Here are excerpts from the exclusive interview with the straight-talking, hard-driving CEO.

Talk about the new VNXe line and what it means to EMC?

This is the first time in our history we have had a significant lineup of really great products aimed at the SMB. I think the new things we are really going to bring to the table are the simplicity, ease of use and the affordability and value.

How much of EMCs business could this kind of volume business be three to five years from now?

The SMB is a very significant market. And without a doubt it has got the fastest growth rate. So to me those are the exciting two pieces. It is a huge market whether it is another 25 or 30 percent, something in that order, where we haven't been. When we enter a market we try to become number one. That would be significant for EMC.

Talk about the competition. Who is going to get hurt the hardest with EMC coming into the SMB and throwing your weight around?

There is no shortage of competitors there. Obviously we are going to make sure this is the simplest array to configure, to install, to use. We are going to make sure that our hallmarks are there: functionality, performance and reliability. And I think we will surprise, hopefully competitors and definitely our customers, with the price points that we will set.

The other thing, which I know your readers will be very interested in, is our reliance -- and I use the word very carefully -- is our reliance on the channel here. This is a channel product. Virtually all of the products we sell here will go through channels.

Talk about the move from the traditional mid-market space into the volume segment and what it is going to take to be successful?

In that end of the market, probably the most important things for customers are: Is this easy to use? Can it do my job? Is it reliable? And what is the cost? Partners need all of those metrics. And then the other thing to be fair is they want to make a margin that meets or exceeds their business model. So what I am going to tell partners is that they are going to hopefully be pleasantly surprised at the amount of money they can make by selling this product.

Let's talk about the impact of the product on certain competitors starting with HP?

Obviously this is a unified product. This is a product that does NAS, SAN, iSCSI or Fibre Channel. So it is a unified product which is important. The scalability, the breadth of the line are important.

Partners selling multivendors' solutions look at NetApp and Dell as simpler and easier to deal with than EMC and less channel conflict. What is your message to those partners?

I don't believe there is anything out there easier to use. So that is the real surprise. It is easy, easy to install, easy to use, easy to upgrade, add more drives. Then you talked about channel conflict. I just told you we are going to ship virtually all of these products through our channel. This is a channel product. And our sales force will be actually comp-incented to make sure it goes through the channel. We are going to remove those two obstacles versus those kind of competitors and we have a unified product which has a benefit.


Next: Tucci Talks About The Dell Partnership

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