EMC Keeps Laying Down SMB Track

With its most recent in a string of acquisitions, the storage company quietly snaps up Allocity, the developer of an always-available e-mail storage solution.

EMCs recent acquisition of tiny Allocity Inc., the developer of an always-available e-mail storage solution, went virtually unnoticed by the storage world, but it may be indicative of a continuing trend at the company to expand its reach and better penetrate the small-business world.

The acquisition, which closed Oct. 22, gives EMC full access to Allocitys portfolio of products focused on lowering the TCO [total cost of ownership] of applications in the Windows environment. The Mountain View, Calif., companys flagship product is Live!Ex, a solution focused on reducing the cost of storage hardware and SAN (storage area network) administration for the Exchange environment.

The acquisition was so small, in fact, that EMC didnt even bother to issue a news release, something company spokesman Dave Farmer says is standard procedure for small deals. Farmer pointed out that while EMC has acquired 16 companies since the beginning of 2000, many of them didnt warrant a news release.

This is par for the course for a company such as EMC on a virtual acquisition spree, said Mike Fisch, director of storage and networking for The Clipper Group Inc. of Wellesley, Mass. "EMC is doing so many different things that they have to pick and choose what they announce and what they quietly do," he said.

The acquisition of Allocity is just the latest in a string of acquisitions for the Hopkinton, Mass.-based company. Just last month, EMC acquired Dantz Development Corp. of Walnut Creek, Calif., developer of the Retrospect family of backup and restore technology for the SMB (small and midsized business) market.

/zimages/4/28571.gifTo read more about how EMCs Dantz buy reveals its SMB aspirations, click here.

EMC announced the acquisitions of VMware, Documentum, Legato Systems Inc. and Astrum Software Corp. in 2003. In fact, the company spent more than $3.5 billion on acquisitions in 2003 alone. Other noteworthy acquisitions since 2000 include Prisa Networks, Luminate Software, FilePool, CrosStor Software, Avalon Consulting Group and Terascape Software Inc.

This latest acquisition, while small by EMCs standards, fits well with the companys strategy of providing simple storage management and configuration software for the SMB market, most notably for those customers that Dell Inc. can reach, said Brian Babineau, an analyst with Enterprise Strategy Group of Milford, Mass.

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