I'm at the EMC World 2012 conference this week and I am writing this during the keynote. The opening visual was the launch of the EMC space ship into the galaxy of data and opportunity. The core message the company is driving, given its first point, is that EMC has grown massively over the last decade and that the growth engine isn't the technology it has brought to market, but its laser-like focus on the customer.
What has created the growth, and this is both unique and powerful, is the tight relationship EMC is driving at all levels of the company to the customer. This, they argue, is particularly powerful during the age we are currently in: the age of computing as a service where compute power is increasingly sold and used much like electricity and water.
What is implied is that the customer has changed as well; no more is it just IT, it is increasingly line managers and EMC's tight focus on the customer, whoever they are and whatever title they carry, that has allowed the company to transition with the buying authority and to provide services that are attractive to this emerging class.
Joe Tucci then took us from the age of the mainframe where capacities were relatively low and costs per data element were astronomical. He then took us through the PC age where costs dropped sharply, but complexity increased and management of the result was increasingly painful. Finally, he highlighted the emerging cloud age where costs are falling at an unmatched pace, complexity is reverting to simpler times and this has had a multiplicative impact on costs and the ability to manage the services that resulted.
The future isn't going to be public or private cloud-based, it will be both. There will be a magnitude more private cloud, but they will be smaller and he presented stats indicating over 75 percent of large companies have plans to do both. The companies that are likely to lead are those that can effectively do both and clearly that is core to EMC's strategic vision.
In the end, this is a world of choice - IT choice, line management choice and individual choice. EMC plans to provide that choice by investing over 11 percent in R&D to create innovative products that can be uniquely customized for the channel (so the company can customize for customers) and for its end customers.
Tucci then showcased a day in the cloud, which was a part of the presentation designed to showcase the power of the cloud fully applied. He used an example of shopping in the grocery store. His smartphone identifies the buyer and identifies the overarching incentive program (in this case holiday-related) as he enters the store.
The store knows what the buyer likes to eat and directs him to areas where the strongest incentives are in place. The buyer gets the best buys and the store moves the products that have the greatest incentives. The buyer's loyalty is reinforced to the store (because he saved money) and the store gets the most vendor-related volume incentives. In the process of being directed around the store, the buyer passes an optimum number of end caps and opportunities to buy things they didn't realize they wanted when they first entered. By using a cloud service, the store maximizes the value of the customer, the customer optimizes their shopping trip, and both are not only happier, but the buyer's loyalty is reinforced.