Opinion: Users are better off with an independent Iomega

I am not sure who the bigger winner is after this week's announcement that Iomega rejected EMC's takeover bid: Iomega or customers (see "Iomega spurns EMC's hostile acquisition bid"). Based on EMC's past attempts to enter the consumer storage market space, one would think that consumers are better off because Iomega remained independent.

Over the past few years, EMC has more than once attempted to enter the small office and home office and consumer markets through corporate acquisitions. Yet the benefits that it has provided to these markets are still largely in doubt.

One of EMC's bigger debacles is its acquisition of Dantz in October 2004. EMC acquired Dantz primarily to obtain its Retrospect backup and recovery software. EMC then planned to use Retrospect as the cornerstone product in its new Insignia product line targeted at the small and midsize business market (see "EMC Unveils Bundles For Small, Midsize Firms").

However, the only signature that EMC has since put on Insignia and Retrospect is uncertainty. Neither Insignia nor Retrospect is front and center in EMC's current marketing campaigns and the future of Retrospect remains shrouded with uncertainty. The benefits of EMC's recent acquisition of the MozyPro backup and recovery service are shaping up as equally unfavorable for consumers. Just five months after acquiring MozyPro, EMC increased MozyPro's monthly subscription price claiming that its current price is not sustainable. While that may be true, one has to wonder how much new EMC storage now sits behind the newly hosted EMC MozyPro service that made MozyPro's old pricing model unsustainable.

EMC does many things well, but its strategy and execution since entering the low end of the storage market is discombobulated at best. The benefits that customers derive from EMC-rebranded products and services typically diminish, so current Iomega customers should be glad that EMC's logo will not appear on Iomega's products anytime soon.

Jerome Wendt is the president and lead analyst at DCIG Inc. You may read his blogs at www.dciginc.com

Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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