EMC on Monday announced that it would make its storage management software work with third-party storage products. The market-leading vendors hardware revenue has plummeted.
Currently, EMCs software manages only its own storage systems. The companys new Automated Information Storage, or AutoIS, initiative will allow EMCs storage management software to monitor and provision storage systems from Compaq Computer, Dell Computer, IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Hitachi Data Systems, Network Appliance and Sun Microsystems.
"EMC wants to be a software company," said Arun Taneja, senior analyst at Enterprise Storage Group. "The hardware side of storage is becoming a commodity."
New software from the company includes EMC WideSky, storage management middleware to provide integration in a multivendor storage environment. New modules for EMCs ControlCenter family will provide standard management, reporting and replication features across heterogeneous storage systems, according to the company.
EMCs AutoIS initiative comes after the worst quarterly financial results in its history. For the quarter ending Sept. 30, the Hopkinton, Mass., company posted a loss of $945 million and said it would lay off 4,000 employees, bringing its head count to about 19,000.
Besides the downturn in technology spending, EMC was hurt by its reliance on hardware sales, said Enterprise Storage Groups Taneja. "Most of their problems are because pricing in the market fell apart," he said. "They cant get 70 percent margins anymore. Thats gone forever."
With AutoIS, EMC is hoping to become a provider of tools to manage a companys entire storage infrastructure -- which, EMC has realized, is not always going to comprise only its own storage systems.
"When youre flying high, you can dictate whatever you want," said Taneja. "Its a new reality for EMC."