Journey to the Cloud in China

China’s dynamic cloud opportunities are some of the world’s most exciting, and yet the journey to the cloud for Chinese customers is marked by clear differences from their western counterparts. On one hand, without the burden of legacy applications, enterprises in China are empowered to make a quick and decisive move to the cloud. On the other, they have unique concerns as various branches of the Chinese government serve as active investors in China’s cloud computing infrastructure. National interests come first in China, meaning decisions about IT infrastructure are not necessarily cost-driven, but policy-driven.

As a result, Chinese customers are not likely to outsource products, services and consulting from a single foreign company to build a large-scale private cloud. China’s local IT enterprises need to rely on foreign vendors for technology, but they do not like to be influenced too heavily by foreign partners. Some of our competitors make the mistake of trying to win a total contract of products, services and consulting during each bid – an approach that is too aggressive in China. With an excess of vendors pursuing the service side of business, the end result is that cooperation falls through entirely.

One of the most important strategies for EMC in China is collaborating with the strongest local partner to help our customers transform to the cloud. Our most recent partnership with Lenovo demonstrates EMC’s strategic approach to leveraging our resources to enhance the customer experience. This new OEM and reseller relationship allows Lenovo to provide EMC’s networked storage solutions to its customers, initially in China and then expanding into other global markets as the company develops its server business.

We see this partnership as a win-win collaboration. As a multinational company headquartered in the U.S., it is not easy for EMC to participate in cloud computing projects initiated by the Chinese government. Lenovo, meanwhile, is challenged by limited technology offerings. With our respective strengths in storage and servers, EMC and Lenovo can expand into wider markets that could not be reached through EMC’s technology leadership or Lenovo’s advantages in market coverage alone.

The partnership also brings an additional advantage to Iomega, which faces strong cost competition from small NAS vendors based in Taiwan. With Lenovo’s broader market reach and cost advantage in the server and commercial PC markets, Iomega is better able to leverage and position its advanced SMB/SOHO technology and solutions in the Chinese market.

In China, local partnerships are vital elements in successful journeys to the cloud.

About the Author: Denis Yip