Not Your Father’s EMC


Looking back at press coverage coming out of EMC World last week there’s one phrase that pops up time and time again – “Not your father’s EMC”. This clearly struck a chord with many of our customers and employees alike and a number of you have asked me for more.

First of all, there are many great things about EMC that don’t need to change! There is a great heritage inside the company of doing what it takes to the keep customers happy… we have great relationships with many of the world’s largest companies and governments… and we have an expansive best-of-breed technology portfolio.

But the world is changing.

The way products will be built, evaluated, marketed, sold, used, serviced and supported is different in the 3rd platform. These changes force us to reevaluate everything we know about the traditional product lifecycle.

Let’s start with building products. EMC’s traditional products – storage arrays – will be used for many years to come underneath traditional data center applications, Oracle databases and the like. But for new 3rd platform applications, much of the value within the infrastructure will be delivered entirely through software… running on common off-the-shelf hardware. We believe that much of this software will be created using community-based development – “open source.”

The benefits to the customer are clear – more features, more quickly, without lock-in. “And free?” I hear you say. Not necessarily. I still believe that most customers will want to buy a complete working system (hardware + software + service) and for that they will be happy to pay. I do not believe we are heading back to a world where organizations buy component parts to spend days and weeks doing self-assembly.

With that in mind, last week, we announced the CoprHD open source project, essentially a release of the ViPR Controller source code into the community. I’ve been very clear that this project is merely the first we’ve picked and it is a part of a much more expansive open source effort you’ll see roll out over the next year.

Releasing the intellectual property of one of EMC’s mainstream products into the world of open source is not something we’ve ever done before. It’s a first – this is clearly not your fathers’ EMC.

Next, evaluating products. I’ve long believed that the people who evaluate and use our products are not the people who buy them. Usually the ‘buying’ is done by corporate procurement. As the infrastructure world moves increasingly toward software it should be much easier for folks who evaluate and use our software to simply download the binaries and get going. They should not have to wait for a license agreement to be in place before doing so.

With that in mind, last week, we announced the free download of ScaleIO – a software-defined block storage offering. It isn’t time-bombed. It isn’t feature-limited. It’s free for non-production use. Our belief is that if the users of our software like it, then they’ll recommend it and their procurement team will buy it for production use. Like open source, you should consider this free download as merely a first step and look forward to a much more expansive set of downloads over the next year.

Releasing unlimited, full featured commercial software onto for free download is not something we’ve ever done before. It’s a first – this is clearly not your fathers’ EMC.

But we’re not stopping there.  We’re moving aggressively towards online/social marketing, quoting and transacting through our web store, publishing our product documentation so it’s searchable by Google, educating through MOOCs and supporting through online discussion forums and communities. The goal? To eliminate as much friction as possible at every stage in the product lifecycle – making it easier for our customers and our partners to interact with EMC.

Three years from now, I expect some parts of EMC will be the same as today, but many parts will look and feel very different from what we’ve always known. We’ll have the same high standard for quality, close relationships with customers, and we will continue to be a trusted place where people send their data for safe keeping, because their data is going to be their business. Those are the traits we want to keep. But the way we develop our products, the way we release our products, the way we sell them and the way we market them will be different. In the coming months and years, we’re going to adopt more digital techniques to give our customers the kind of experience they want. And that experience will not be your father’s EMC.

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8 thoughts on “Not Your Father’s EMC

  1. Not your Mother\’s EMC, either! Excited to see so much happening to meet customers\’ changing needs and appetites.

  2. Awesome blog.. Had fun reading it and thinking about what it means for all the folks in terms of adapting to the new world ..

  3. EMC is also recognized as an acronym for Execution Machine Company. For Executing as we do it is a must to have a clear idea of where are we heading to. It is great to see that we are \”reading the market\” and \”reading the technology trends\” correctly, guiding our efforts to look after new customers needs.

  4. As part of keeping up with any information that helps the Corporate Switchboard to provide the best customer service we are encouraged to spend time between calls to educate us on a daily basis, I was fortunate to see this post \”Not your father\’s EMC\” or \” Mother\’s : ) I must tell you that it was a pleasure to read something that was not only interesting, kept my attention, gave me a better idea about EMC and it\’s future but most importantly was able to understand it!
    Many articles go way over my head not being involved in the tech side of things as much as other positions so I really appreciate that. I wish the best for all of us, thank you.

  5. Right on! When we founded Cloudscaling as an open-source company, we believed the world was moving to open infrastructure for so many reasons: faster innovation, greater flexibility and choice, and to leverage the dis-aggregation of software from hardware. We joined EMC to be part of this vision on a grand scale – it\’s awesome to see the company making all the right moves here!

  6. EMC been known as the backbone of many organization\’s data management strategies for so many years. As Jeremy mentioned the business dynamics are changing ever rapidly with the amount of data been generated daily. Thanks to social networking sites and these data size going to increase a lot and that leads to importance of data analytics and EMC must leverage it\’s supremacy in data management to take early lead in this rising wave of need for big data.

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