How Customers Are Redefining Their Businesses

Before leaving baggage claim during a recent business trip, I checked into my hotel, made dinner reservations using OpenTable, and ordered car service via Uber. These seamless real-time mobile experiences were impossible just a few short years ago. But, in business (and life), the only true constant is change. As advances in technology become the agents of enablement, those who adapt quickly and with purpose are the ones most likely to succeed.

This shift to mobile and real-time transactions is a major movement in the IT industry that Jeremy Burton addressed in Crossing the Bridge to the 3rd Platform of IT. With the 3rd platform ushering in the age of social enablement, the real time data capabilities of next generation applications connect customers and our smart devices in ways that were previously unimaginable.

As a part of EMC’s Executive Briefing Program, I have the opportunity to witness the impact of this shift with thousands of our customers and partners across a range of industries and geographies. It’s no surprise that they recognize the need to redefine their businesses to embrace mobile, social, and real-time analytics. This shift ultimately forces many companies – EMC included – to reevaluate their strategy and evolve to remain relevant. For EMC, this changing landscape means transforming from a storage infrastructure provider to a Federation of strategically aligned companies that enable and redefine businesses accordingly.

I’ve observed that a couple of these are areas of particular interest to customers right now:

The 3rd Platform of Information Technology

While the 3rd platform intrigues customers, some aren’t ready to fully commit. Though the potential and value in these emerging applications is clear, customers struggle with balancing competing priorities. Most are still entrenched in the necessity and complexity of the 2nd platform, but they look to us for advice on investing wisely in new areas without making significant sacrifices to these ongoing operations.

However, early adopters are not only embracing the mix of 2nd and 3rd platform, they are also gravitating towards a software-defined enterprise that combines virtualization of storage, network, and application deployment frameworks.

By embracing virtualization, automation and infrastructure orchestration, these customers also have a clear understanding of their application workloads and have achieved the “>90% virtualized” milestone—their reconciliation of performance, capacity, and data services enable them to leverage the platforms best suited to deliver on these requirements.

The EMC Federation Strategy

The move to the 3rd platform ultimately forces many companies to reevaluate their strategy and evolve to remain relevant. For EMC, this means redefining our approach from a storage infrastructure provider to a Federation of strategically aligned companies supporting customers’ current and future needs.

In Our EMC Federation Strategy, Joe Tucci explains the Federation and the alignment of the four major component companies: Pivotal, VMware, RSA and EMC Information Infrastructure. As individual entities, each is an industry leader, and together they offer a comprehensive approach providing end-to-end enablement that bridges all three platforms.

In briefings, customers have been very receptive to the Federation strategy. Many see the Federation as a way to ensure complete solutions, and they highlight benefits similar to that of VCE—the Federation enabling a streamlined approach to purchasing and support, with solutions that have been validated across domains.

“Choice” is also resonating significantly well with customers, and they appreciate the Federation’s commitment to ensuring customer choice while allowing for a rich set of offerings and support in the larger ecosystem of providers, competitors, and partners.

As we redefine our business, products, and ourselves, face-to-face conversations allow us to explore current and future customer needs.

If you’re looking to learn more about EMC, our strategy, products, or solutions, let me know—we’re always happy to arrange a briefing for you with any or all of our Federation teams.

About the Author: Bernie Baker