Back in January when I wrote about an Aberdeen Group report on business intelligence best practices, I noted that many companies that Aberdeen considered "best in class" had a BI center of excellence or competency center.
Now EMC, known primarily for its storage management, is introducing a Data Warehouse/Business Intelligence/Analytics Competency Center, reports internetnews.com. The idea is to help companies better integrate their BI applications, data warehouses and storage infrastructures.
EMC will provide application-specific solutions geared toward the technologies of its partners, which so far include Greenplum, IBM, Oracle, Microsoft, Sybase and Teradata.
Partnering is a strength of EMC's, as IT Business Edge blogger Rob Enderle wrote last year. Enderle hit the partner theme again in a post written yesterday. He also seemed quite prescient about the company's new competency center. (Rob's a sharp guy, but I expect he heard the official announcement at the EMC event he's attending.) Noting that EMC is striving to position itself as a strategic business partner rather than just another vendor, Enderle writes:
Vendors sell products, business partners work broadly with their customers to integrate their offerings, and strategic business partners are vendors that are so integrated and trusted that they can't be displaced.
Later, Enderle writes:
A vendor sells products, but a strategic business partner is trusted to provide assistance that cuts across the customer's business and includes third-party offerings.
It's also part of EMC's bid to boost its services business, according to internetnews.com. In the past 15 months, EMC purchased IT service management provider Infra and network configuration specialist Voyence. Data mining fits well into this larger picture, because companies increasingly hope to gain insights that will yield a competitive advantage from the piles of data they are accumulating and storing.
Data analytics may stand up to budgetary scrutiny better than many other technologies, opines Brian Babineau, a senior analyst at Enterprise Storage Group. Companies that leverage data in their decision-making stand a better chance of surviving tough economic times than their less-informed peers.
Aberdeen recently put EMC in the No. 9 spot on its list of the 10 most influential technology companies. IT Business Edge blogger Dennis Byron agreed with Aberdeen but put EMC higher on his own list of influential IT vendors, at No. 4.