EMC's Tucci: More Software And Services Acquisitions Coming

In an interview with CRN at EMC's first ever software partner conference in Las Vegas, Tucci said he is interested in additional software and services acquisitions. "I know that's a very broad area, but those are the kinds of areas we will be looking at," he said. And, "I'm not ruling out anything on the hardware side."

Tucci would not comment on specific targets. When asked if he would consider a larger acquisition on the scale of Symantec buying Veritas, Tucci said: "You do what's in the best interest of the shareholders to drive value. And you do what's in the long term interest of the shareholder to drive value."

Since taking the helm of EMC nearly four years ago, Tucci has acquired 13 software companies as part of a drive to build out an end-to-end information lifecycle management solutions strategy that reaches from small business to the enterprise. The most recent acquisition was Smarts, a network management software vendor EMC acquired last month. That deal is expected to close in February. "That's what leaders do, they tighten their core and expand their core, that is what all these acquisitions are doing," said Tucci.

EMC is interested in deals that strengthen its information lifecycle management portfolio and expand the company's footprint, Tucci said. For example, the Smarts acquisition brings EMC from storage and information management into network management, he said. Smarts' technology will make EMC's Control Center information management console much stronger, he said. "It benefits ILM because companies want us to really do end-to-end," he said.

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As for Symantec's acquisition of Veritas, Tucci said that the two companies face massive integration challenges. Those integration challenges come as EMC has spent the past fifteen months integrating its various hardware and software offerings into a single Velocity channel program, set to take effect in April. "We've got to execute hard, while they are busy to do the internal work," said Tucci of Symantec and Veritas. "During integrations, the tendency is to focus more inward."

EMC is offering competitive upgrade programs to attract Veritas customers and Veritas partners, said David DeWalt, EMC executive vice president of the EMC Software Group. EMC is offering what it is calling a Safe Switch program to move customers from Veritas to EMC products. Specifically, EMC is going after Veritas NetBackup in the data center, said DeWalt. "We want to offer customers ways to migrate off [Veritas], make it easy, programmatic and make it a partner-type of offering as well," he said. "We see attacking the specific partner ecosystem of the competitors as part of the program." DeWalt said his charter is to outgrow competitors. "We've got to take their customers from them," he said.

In his morning keynote before some 600 attendees from 325 partner organizations, Tucci reaffirmed EMC's partner commitment and EMC's view of the partners as what he called members of the "EMC family."

"Part of being part of a family is you've got to care about family members," said Tucci. "It is not really a numbers game because we have to make sure that the channel partners we have are successful. We have to understand their business plans because we can only be successful ultimately long term if they are successful. We spend a lot of time trying to understand our partners' business models and what it takes to make them successful, and how we can make sure they get the proper margin and the proper amount of leads."

Tucci said that EMC can not meet its sales growth targets for the next fiscal year without partners. "I can not accomplish that without taking share, which we expect to do, and I can not do that without partners," he said. "They are very welcome and they will be very cared for as part of the EMC family."