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EMC: making storage simple for Small.biz

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Opinion Over the last few years, storage has risen through the fog that has traditionally obscured much data centre activity. Indeed, today, storage management has such prominence and visibility that it is now seen to be a major focus of corporate attention. In fact, there are few organisations where storage management is not seen to be of strategic importance. The leading storage vendors have all responded to this demand for affordable, robust and secure enterprise storage management solutions.

However, while enterprise solutions have been subject to much vendor attention, solutions created for the SMB market have usually been much simpler in their scope and sophistication, despite small and mid-tier companies being faced with, essentially, many of the same pressures to manage their storage infrastructures well. But last week, EMC, an undoubted enterprise-solution provider heavyweight, announced a significant push to deliver solutions to SMB organisations.

At CeBIT, EMC unveiled its “Making Storage Simple” programme. This seeks to use customer-focused methodology to simplify how mid-sized enterprises and small and medium businesses (SMBs) acquire, deploy and manage information.

At the heart of the programme will be a series of EMC “Express Solutions” that combine EMC hardware, software and services. The solutions will be based on the company’s experience of customer best practices, and are targeted to supply easy-to-deploy capabilities that are future proofed with the flexibility and scalability characteristics.

Among the new offerings are to be found: EMC Express Solutions for Networked Storage; EMC Express Solutions for Backup and Recovery; EMC Express Solutions for Archiving; and the EMC Express Solutions for Business Protection. The first two of these solutions are fairly self-explanatory.

The Express Solutions for Archiving utilises tiered storage and automated data management software to migrate inactive files to more cost-efficient platforms, whilst supplying full data search and retrieval capabilities. The Express Solutions for Business Protection aims to reduce business risk associated with recovering from primary site “outages”. The entry price for an EMC Express Solution will be around $5,995 (£3,300, €4,600).

David Goulden, EMC executive vice president, said: “Making Storage Simple was created especially for customers in the mid-sized enterprise and SMB segments. The message from these customers was clear: - ‘We want advanced functionality, at an affordable price, packaged for simple deployment.’ The Express Solutions are purpose-built with these requirements in mind, and we've made it easier for our partners to deliver them. These customers don't simply want point products; they want a complete solution with a roadmap to support their future growth."

EMC Express solutions will be delivered through the company’s worldwide network of Velocity Partners. It should also be noted that EMC has made available new resources to help the channel configure solutions for customers. Of even greater importance is the fact that EMC is also introducing a new Financing Made Simple programme. In this way, EMC’s Velocity Partners will be able to help customers to quickly secure funding for storage solutions, even those that include non-EMC equipment or software. The program includes special lease options and payment plans to fit the budgets of mid-sized and SMB customers.

In my opinion, this is very good news for the SMB sector where the business expectations of storage management are as demanding as in any enterprise, but where skilled manpower is in even shorter supply. This market has been waiting for enterprise class solutions to be made available in a simple to use, affordable fashion. At the present time, EMC may not have a huge base in this market area, but if it can effectively promote its “Making Storage Simple” solutions, EMC has every chance of gaining much wider adoption in this robust and growing sector of business.

© IT-Analysis.com

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