From the Top: EMC's David Webster - New channel opportunities

From the Top: EMC's David Webster - New channel opportunities

EMC's David Webster chats to ARN about burgeoning sales opportunities in IP storage

In the third part of an in-depth interview with ARN's BRIAN CORRIGAN, local EMC president, David Webster, talks about the environment and IP storage.

Do you think the environment is a factor in purchasing decisions today?

I think it is. VMware has made organisations aware that they have had a lot of inefficiency in their datacentre. A thousand servers with each utilised at 5 per cent is not efficient. The focus on efficiency has become primary and people are looking at the efficiency of the platforms they have in their datacentres. Particularly larger datacentres where there is the challenge of power consumption versus power supply and availability plus the cost of running the datacentre. The cost is in the physical power consumption and heat generation from devices. They then need to be cooled and that consumes more power. This creates a wicked curve and in the larger datacentres, which will transition into the mid-market as well, people are starting to ask whether the platforms they are investing in are efficient and effective. This has become a core design focus for EMC now.

If you look at our recently announced Centera product we have reduced the energy consumption of that platform by 67 per cent. That is thanks to a new energy-efficient architecture and 750GB disk drives that are more power-effective than higher capacity drives. We think this is fundamental because it is now a line item and organisations are asking how much a datacentre will cost to run, what power is being consumed, what the carbon footprint is and whether they have capacity for the future. We have a consulting service that can help organisations design an efficient and effective datacentre and have also built power assessment meter technology that can do a full study on a datacentre. We think that service is something the channel will adopt over time and use for themselves.

How long is that likely to take?

The large organisations with high capacity and power consumption are moving now and there will be early adopters in the mid-market that are already moving. In a mid-market organisation where the CEO and the board are concerned about the environment, those companies will put it on their agenda because these things come from leadership. Where you have an organisation that is positioning itself as environmentally responsible, they will make it a requirement for their IT purchasers. We think EMC is ideally positioned for what will become a way of operating. Our resellers are also in a great position to leverage that technology leadership.

Are there any parts of the EMC portfolio that you think are under-serviced?

There's a huge opportunity around IP storage. If you look at the market and how it's evolving, the telephone system shifted from analogue to digital and we now run business on IP telephony. We think parts of the storage market is shifting to IP-based systems because the customer base has IP skills. They have Ethernet, they generally have an IP network, and they probably have IP telephony. The EMC product portfolio can very easily plug and play in that environment with very simple management. That convergence of IP skills in the customer base with IP skills in the partner community is a really good intersection point for the future. I think we are starting to see the partner community look at IP storage and complement existing IP networking skills to provide a solution that is IP-centric. We see an opportunity for partners that are doing IP stuff with Cisco to complement that with our IP storage. The [Celerra] NS20 and NS40 machines we announced recently mean we can enter the IP storage at a very low point with technology that takes 15 minutes from configure to production. That's an area that will really take off in the next 2-3 years.

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