Most of what we heard from EMC in the waning months of 2003 centered on software and information life cycle management. Will hardware fit into the ILM strategy?
The answer is absolutely yes. Platforms are a foundation ... of that ILM strategy. What we're trying to do this year is offer more products and give users the ability to automate how they move data. It's about having the right data on the right platform at the right cost point. These are all things ILM can help with. How will EMC's partnership with Dell play into this massive roll out of new products?
As you know, Dell has been one of our primary resellers of the Clariion CX line. One-third of our CX systems are sold through Dell, one-third are sold directly through EMC, and the rest are sold through EMC reseller partners. We're experiencing rapid growth in [our] platform business, and we continue to talk about extending the amount of products sold through Dell.
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EMC has always been a premium-priced vendor, but we're going to show customers leading-edge products priced for the market. If you look at us four years ago, we were basically a Symmetrix-only company. We've radically changed our business model by moving to market-based pricing. EMC is much more cost-competitive than we've ever been. What will EMC's hardware strategy be for 2004? What can users expect?
What we've really been trying to do here is offer a much broader family than we ever have before. This is the most integrated offering that we've ever had. [Our hardware] shares common software and common disk drives -- there's a lot of commonality up and down the line. Users will have to train less. A lot of parts being the same allows them to convert or upgrade easily. EMC is going to accelerate the way we introduce new technologies to the marketplace with a more rapid rollout of products to the customer base.
Customers run all different spectrums. Some want the latest and greatest, and some want to wait a little while. The backward-compatibility of our Symmetrix and all of these new [Clariion CX models] will allow users to move forward.