Why EMC's Outlook Continues to Be Bright, Despite U.S. Macroeconomy

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2008-10-08

EMC is a $23.5 billion company that makes no secret of the fact that in the 80 countries in which it does business, it has notched 20 consecutive quarters of double-digit, year-over-year revenue growth. It certainly has a right to be proud; this is an enviable accomplishment in any market.

Even in the volatile U.S. macroeconomy, EMC's prospects remain solid. After all, the volume of personal and business data continues to rocket skyward at 60 percent growth per year with little or no chance of a slowdown; all that information has to be stored somewhere.

Despite the serious downturn, as the United States is experiencing now, enterprises are hesistant to cut down on storage budgets for that very reason.

The numbers have been good for EMC for a long time and probably will remain so. This good news extends beyond EMC, by the way, to the entire storage industry, which has been experiencing charts up and to the right for nearly a decade. EMC, which employs 40,500 people, is the poster child for the business, exceeding analyst revenue estimates by $20 million in Q2 this year.

IT researcher and analyst IDC describes Hopkinton, Mass.-based EMC as the world's largest external disk storage supplier, thanks in great measure to the widespread sales of its Symmetrix and Clariion enterprise systems over the last 15 years.

External disk storage for enterprises is by no means the only way to fun and profit for this company. EMC is also well-invested in data security (RSA Security), virtualization software (VMware), content management systems (Documentum), consumer disk storage (Iomega), online backup (MozyPro/Home), storage deduplication (Avamar), and a number of other smaller sectors of IT.

In many ways, EMC tends to operate the way many other large systems providers do; its strategy is not necessarily to create new technology but to evaluate innovation elsewhere and bring it in-house, if it fits with the overall corporate strategy.

This road map is clearly illustrated by the fact that EMC has acquired 40 companies since 2003.

EMC's corporate strategy is simple. President and CEO Joe Tucci likes to tell people: "EMC is all about your data. We will take care of your data for you, in all its shapes and forms. [We] will store it, back it up, secure it, purify it, encrypt it, help you distribute it--even dispose of it cleanly."

Large corporations such as EMC are often a mystery to those outside its walls. Certainly, it's a company like many others, with plenty of smart people roaming its hallways, gathering in group meetings and working away in cubicles.

But we're betting that there are at least a few things you don't know about this company. Now we're here to answer the question "Hardball's" Chris Matthews likes to ask each Sunday morning on his NBC talk show: "Tell me something I don't know ..." 


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