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Friday, September 4, 2009

Data storage firm upbeat on ‘virtualization’

BANKING ON its lion’s share of the external storage market, EMC Corp. remains bullish for the rest of 2009, aiming to ride on the growing trend of "virtualization."

"We are currently expanding in the Philippines. Despite the [global] recession, the company was able to withstand it due to the growing trend of virtualization in companies," said Sal Fernando, EMC South Asia’s "chief architect."

Virtualization is the creation of a virtual (rather than actual) version of an operating system, a server, a storage device or network resources. It aims to centralize administrative tasks while improving efficiency, reduce so-called carbon footprints, improve service levels, and reduce risks, costs, and work loads.

"What we are really doing is to provide solutions to companies seeking a more efficient, innovative data center. Whether we like it or not, information will continue to grow," he added.

Mr. Fernando pointed to "success stories" of regional companies such as Temasek Holdings of Singapore, which he said had achieved big savings by buying "archival products."

First results emerged in six weeks, reducing the firm’s carbon footprint, he said.

US-based EMC is said to have a market share of close to 40% in the $12-million Philippine external storage market, based on 2008 data from industry analyst IDC. EMC has held the top post in the industry for three years.

EMC officials said the firm adopted a four-pronged strategy in March to ward off the effects of the global economic downturn.

These are market segmentation, or moves to focus on mid-sized and growing businesses; identifying technology priorities such as information consolidation, tiered storage, deduplication, and cloud computing; undertaking partnerships including expanding a strategic alliance with Dell and Microsoft; and the establishment of an executive briefing center in Singapore to cater to Asian companies.

"We are growing at a pace of 60%-70% a year in the Philippines ... we need to innovate. This journey makes a good business sense," Mr. Fernando said.

EMC also cited the need for information technology solutions that involve a "better understanding of customers’ storage needs by taking a more consultative point."

This involves classifying firm’s patterns of storage use and then advising them on how to achieve better utilization and energy consumption.

EMC has over 40,000 employees worldwide, of which more than 40% work outside the United States. It runs a lean staff of 53 in the Philippines with customers in the following industries: telecommunications, utilities, banking, and manufacturing.

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