Q&A: Dell storage chief on EMCs reseller affairs
Dells Praveen Asthana says the EMC-Intel deal doesnt spell divorce -- or even a cheatin heart
Computerworld - EMC Corp. earlier this month announced a multiyear agreement with Intel Corp. that allows the chip maker to resell EMCs latest low-end storage arrays. The two companies also signed an expanded technology development agreement (see Intel to distribute EMC arrays). At the same time, Dell is saying its 4-year-old reseller partnership with EMC has garnered 15,000 joint customers. But as EMC continues to drive more of its products into the low-end space -- until now, Dells bailiwick -- some analysts see a coming conflict. And at least one said the EMC and Intel partnership could send Dell packing. Praveen Asthana, director of Dells enterprise storage unit, spoke to Computerworld today about EMC, Intel and its own technology road map. The following are excerpts from the interview.
Earlier this month, EMC and Intel penned a resale partnership. How do you feel about that? Will that affect your relationship with EMC? EMC has a number of partnerships with other resellers, so every time they add one doesnt mean were headed for a divorce. We believe the relationship between Dell and EMC is extremely healthy. Were serving the customers very well jointly, and the momentum, as far as I can see, is actually increasing.
Who goes after which customer. Have you split the market? Absolutely not.
So when you compete, do you ever find your salespeople in the same room with an EMC sales rep? Its certainly possible, but I dont have information on that. One thing thats important to understand is where we primarily have success is with the Dell server installed base. The rep who has a relationship with the customer says, "Let me tell you about this storage we have." Now there are other operating systems, like Unix, and other server customers, but I think we do very well sticking to our Dell server installed base.
Do you see Dell branching off into storage area network technology in the future? Our main goal here is to meet the needs of the customer, and we continue to focus on doing that in the best possible way. We have a very strong relationship with EMC that gives us the products we need to meet those needs.
So it sounds like thats a no. I cant speculate on the future, but I can tell you right now we have a good relationship with EMC to meet the needs of the customers.
Network-attached storage is a hot market right now. Currently youre doing NAS with Microsofts platform. Where is Dells future in that market? Do you see yourselves getting into enterprise-class products with multiple protocols, such as iSCSI, Fibre Channel? Im not going to comment on future product directions. As our customers demand certain products, well see how we can meet their needs.
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