After four years of branching out from its heritage as a storage hardware provider, EMC Corp. today “pretty much has the capability” to deliver on a wide variety of information management-related offerings, according to one of the company’s senior executives.
“When you talk about the transformation (of EMC) to an information infrastructure company, that’s pretty well complete,” said David Goulden, executive vice-president, customer operations for the Hopkinton, Mass.-based firm. He was speaking at the EMC Forum held in Toronto on Thursday. The event was part of an international roadshow designed to evangelize EMC’s products and capabilities to existing and potential customers, as well as resellers.
Now that the offerings are in place, Goulden said, EMC’s most pressing challenge is to get the word out about what they can do for enterprises. “I think most people in the room, maybe even our existing customers, think of us as ‘that storage company,'” said Golden in an interview with ITWorldCanada.com. “But a lot of customers don’t understand the bigger piece….Our biggest challenge is now a communication one because…every time we make a sale to a big or medium or small company, we’ve convinced them to do something different.”
Added Goulden: “I’d say we’re still in the early stages of exposing our full capabilities to the marketplace.”
Those capabilities centre around a concept the company has dubbed Information Lifecycle Management (ILM): the process of storing, managing, accessing and securing data across various EMC platforms. Since 2002, EMC has aggressively acquired firms with technologies that have been able to turn that concept into reality. Five areas of concentration have resulted, including resource management, content management, storage virtualization, information security and EMC’s virtualization software subsidiary, VMware Inc.
During his keynote speech, Goulden outlined the latest addition to EMC’s resource management software family, known as Smarts Application Discovery Manager. The tool scans a customers’ network and builds an interactive model of the application environment. This model can then be used to identify trouble spots within the organization and ultimately correct any developing problems between the apps and the infrastructure, EMC says.
One customer attending the event was encouraged by the route EMC has been taking. Dieter Pagani, director of IT services for the Nova Scotia Department of Health, said his outfit has used EMC’s storage offerings extensively for mirroring and archiving data.
The Department, which oversees 34 hospitals outside the Halifax area, is looking to move away from using film for X-rays and more towards a digital imaging system known as PACS (Picture Archiving and Communication Systems). The digital nature of the images means that they will be immediately accessible to any hospital that might need to access them. Pagani said the Department’s PACS rollout should be completed by the middle of July.
Pagani added that affording new technologies such as PACS and those discussed throughout the day is never an easy proposition for a public outfit such as his. “We’re government — it isn’t easy,” he said. “We have to stand in line (with other departments) and make our case (for funding).”
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