Last year, EMC claimed 30 per cent of the global external disk systems market share and committed to invest 12 per cent of its annual revenue in research and development. Beyond these figures though, the company is preparing for the future through a number of propositions.
Earlier this year, it launched the EMC2 Business Partners scheme which provides a launch pad for businesses to get their customers ready for the “cloud, big data and trust”, three keywords that have been hammered by EMC executives over the last year and weaved through the company’s expanding portfolio.
This ties nicely with an iOS application, EMC Folio for iPad, for its customers which gives them access to a resource portal where they can learn more about EMC and what it has to offer.
The EMC World keynote also hinted at how the company will evolve. The support apps the company offers continue to be a big part of its plans; making sure these are relevant to their customers help the latter grab new business and carry opportunity to drive growth and increase revenues.
Also highlighted during the keynote was the importance of making sure EMC’s partners are fully trained and kept informed of the latest developments and advances achieved by the company.
The company has been learning from big internet companies like Google and Facebook about data and inherent risks associated with it. EMC has been continually re-evaluating how data analysis, as an abstract model, is being performed online, within the industry and remodelling this to make it suitable for their partners to use.
There is a shift in the company to focus on security and trust, a trend underpinned by the ubiquity of cloud computing. This is mainly due to the growth of devices being used to consume information on the web and to the (often-reluctant) commitment by a growing number of businesses to BYOD.
Another area of growth that EMC is exploring is data big data analysis in real-time, in other words, being able to deliver meaningful information almost instantaneously in such a way as it could be used within a business to drive strategic changes.
An example used, by EMC’s Paul Maritz, during the keynote was data collected by the airline industry. Airlines should be able to track a user from the moment a flight is booked, the related check-ins, what that person enjoys to drink in-flight, the movies he likes to watch and how soon he was able to collect his luggage but also unstructured information about the plane itself (and extending to flight details like the weather etc). Data collected by a transatlantic flight (either by onboard or offboard means) would probably take 30TB of space.
The more access points (devices, apps, entities) you encounter, the more protection is needed due to the inherent risk associated with data management; which is why EMC and its subsidiary VMware launched called Pivotal. Cue, another major potential revenue earner.
Spinoff Pivotal focuses solely on the security of the data and it brings together the strengths of both of the companies, offering far more benefits by the mere synergy of their respective resources. General Electric is also working closely with EMC and has already pledged a $105 million investment to make it its de-facto PaaS for its smart machine armada. The learnings and outcomes of this partnership will be critical in the evolution of trust and security in IT as far as EMC and GE are concerned.
Information provided at any one time is something that every stakeholder in a transaction all have to aware of and EMC is taking an intelligence driven approach to it. There is an opportunity to drive the market forward with agile understanding and protecting the data customers are collecting.
While crime is not totally preventable in the real world, EMC’s betting on its ability to provide its customers with a full account of how attacks happen (through logs and data packets) in order to prevent them from happening in the future or at least provide with more insight as to why it is occurring.
The growing hunger for information in real time is what will drive the next era of storage together with more emphasis on the end user requesting it and from where they are requesting it. If we take the use case of the flight here, it is worth while noting the multiple points of the flight we mentioned earlier. It is all about delivering consumers with a personalised experience and it is pivotal to make the data collection process as simple, fool-proof and straight-forward as possible.
By 2018, EMC envisages that consumers will get a complete experience tailored to them (Banking, flights, supermarkets), that risks encountered by the consumer and end user will be transferred to the business market, that mass marketing will become mass customisation with the availability of data in real time. And that trust will become a much bigger issue with hundreds of billions of different devices intertwined.
But where should technology stop and common sense on the data collected prevail? Our quote of the day comes from Jeremy Burton, EMC’s EVP and CMO, who talking about cloud said “It is all about lowering operational costs, reducing risks and increasing revenues, but doing that whilst being increasingly agile in the marketplace. Cloud will transform IT and workloads will drive the storage innovations that will come about in the next five years. By 2016, hybrid clouds will be split between private (85 per cent), virtual (10 per cent) and public (five per cent).”
Picture courtesy of EMC.