ABN Amro dumps EMC

The unceremonious dumping by investment house ABN Amro of storage system vendor EMC shows even the fast lane has its speed bumps.

Thanks to the Internet's ravenous appetite for data, storage vendors led by EMC are usually smiling no matter what pain the rest of the market may be experiencing.

But EMC's grin is a bit lopsided after it learned ABN Amro was giving it the heave-ho in favour of rival storage vendor Hitachi Data Systems. The change comes only a year after ABN signed up for an enterprise-class EMC Symmetrix system which held about five terabytes of bank data, said ABN Amro manager of IT strategic planning Ludwig See.

It was not hardware flaws or software bugs but money that caused the bank to sour on EMC.

"We've thrown it away and bought HDS because the total cost of ownership for the EMC box was just exceptionally high," he said.

A five-year cash flow analysis "basically showed that HDS was miles ahead" even after the bank absorbed the cost of opting out of its arrangements with EMC prematurely, he said.

The real crunch came in the area of hardware and software support where HDS' pricing was far and away more attractive, according to See.

The loss of a high profile customer sent EMC into damage control mode last night.

EMC Australia New Zealand managing director Paul Frith labelled ABN Amro's action "an isolated and unfortunate incident."

He declined to discuss details and said he was not personally aware of the background to the situation.

"It is a local and tactical decision and we will be redoubling our efforts with that customer."

HDS is currently installing at ABN Amro one of its Lightning series of enterprise-class systems series capable of scaling up to 37 terabytes.

It is the first wedge into the ABN Amro account in Australia for the former mainframe manufacturer which has radically re-invented itself as a storage supplier in the past nine months.

Worldwide it is experiencing type of growth figures once the sole province of dot com companies.

Revenues grew 78% in the December quarter and some analysts expect them to exceed that for the March quarter.

Along the way, it has eclipsed EMC whose growth curve is running at an inferior but still respectable 50%.

Story courtesy The Industry Standard.

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