Trying to look softer and friendlier to the fastest growing sector of its market, EMC Corp has launched a brand aimed at SMB customers.
Called EMC Insignia, the brand is being attached to SMB versions of existing products – the first EMC offerings ever to be shrink-wrapped – and is being backed a junior version of an existing reseller partner program with lower requirements to for smaller resellers, and an SMB-friendly website.
The effort is being headed by Larry Zulch, now EMC’s VP and GM for Insignia, and formerly the CEO of Dantz Development Corp, the low-end software supplier that EMC bought late in 2004.
EMC knows not to apply the rules of high-end sector to the SMB space. They bought Dantz, and then they actually listened to these guys, said David Hill, analyst at the Mesabi Group.
EMC defines SMBs as businesses with $25m or less annual revenue. This sector’s total storage spend of $4bn per year is dwarfed by the $19bn spending of the giant $1bn-plus large enterprises sector. But it is growing faster than any other, with 12.5% annual growth, according to EMC.
The EMC Insignia website is intended as a shop window for EMC’s low-end products, where small customers will not be daunted by adverts for EMC’s million-dollar products such as its Symmetrix array or Documentum software.
We found out that IT staff at SMBs have all heard of EMC, and associate it with expensive systems that need professional services. The assumption for them was that they can’t afford EMC, said Zulch.
The products that will be shrink-wrapped and branded with the EMC Insignia logo will be SMB versions of Storage Administrator for Exchange, VisualSRM, Replistor, and eRoom. The Insignia program will also cover EMC’s existing AX-100 Clariion disk arrays, and Retrospect backup software.
According to Zulch, even though many sales will simply involve software downloads, the shrink-wrapping is significant because it reinforces the impression that the product is self-sustaining, and does not need services help to install it. Even the downloads will be next to a picture of a box, he said.
Dell has not yet picked up any of the products, but would be welcome to do so, Zulch said.
Asked whether the Insignia scheme will differentiate between customers in different industries or verticals, Zulch said: There are no announcements of any alignment to any vertical sectors, because the products we carry are appropriate across the entire market.