EMC innovation strategy goes beyond storage

The company wants to be known as an information infrastructure vendor now

EMC Corp. no longer refers to itself as a storage technology vendor, but rather an information infrastructure vendor.

"The idea and era of application-centric computing will come to an end and will enter into an era of information-centric computing," said the company's president of content management and archiving business, Mark Lewis.

Companies used to define themselves by their hardware, then by their operating system, and in the last decade, by the applications they use, but this fundamental change, he said, is what's driving the concept of information infrastructure.

Lewis, along with other EMC executives discussed the company's plan to continue innovating through research and development, acquisitions, integration, and partners at an EMC Innovation Day Wednesday.

Changes in the technology industry are in part what drive the direction of innovation at the company, said Jeff Nick, EMC's chief technology officer. Specifically, he said, that focus is molded by exponential information growth, and a greater complexity in IT infrastructure, applications, and the interaction between all parties, be it users or technology.

"These are some of the areas in which we are incubating, innovating, doing research and crafting our strategy going forward," said Nick.

This year, EMC spent 12 per cent of its revenue on R&D, and an average of US$2 billion a year acquiring 30 technology companies over the last four years, with the goal of providing customers "best of breed innovative products and solutions for their information infrastructure needs," according to EMC's chairman and CEO, Joe Tucci.

But the company also maintains strong partner relationships as part of its strategy to continually innovate. Actually, those partner relationships have seen considerable improvement over the past few years as EMC has moved away from an "opportunistic" approach to a more altruistic one, admits the company's president of global services and resource management, Howard Elias.

Microsoft, a panel member during the event's partner innovation discussion, noted that the innovation process was facilitated by the fact that it and EMC arrived at a solution to handle the often sticky issue of intellectual property ownership. The partnership worked, said Elias, due to both parties understanding the business model and IP ownership, and that there was a framework for the project and a mechanism for ensuring it was adhered to.

But EMC is also taking a different approach to innovating on its customer offerings, said Nick, by taking current products and integrating them with third-party products and with services. "It's not just about products to market, but solutions to market," he said, adding the company has dramatically grown its services arm around offerings that combine its technologies.

Given the company's multiple business units and global presence -- a human resources complexity derived from past acquisitions -- Nick said it maintains innovation among staff across the broad and varied platform by way of internal programs, such as one such succession program that aims to incent and inspire its IT talent to "stay as technical leaders in their growth path."

Externally, EMC also collaborates with academia to conduct research that benefits both parties involved, including reaping the advantage of attracting fresh talent to the company."It's a very, very powerful and viral way of building out your neural network of capabilities and areas for exploration," said Nick.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Kathleen Lau

ComputerWorld Canada
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?