EMC forms new business units to speed its "open" push

Storage giant EMC on Thursday took another step away from its proprietary past by announcing the creation of three operating units intended to help EMC speed up interoperability with other vendors' products.

Although EMC has profited from keeping users tied to its own storage systems, the company is now trying to make its software work with competing vendors' products. Users have long complained that EMC kept its architecture too closed and was able to charge well above average prices as a result of its proprietary roots. With EMC opening up its software, however, customers will not be forced to use only EMC.

To help push along its new open philosophy, the company created three new operating units.

The Open Software Operations unit will focus directly on the company's goal of making its applications work with other companies' products, EMC said in a statement. This group will manage the development of the ControlCenter/Open Edition suite that stands as the foundation of EMC's new approach. The company said earlier this week that it will roll out more products over the next twelve months than at any other time in its history, and many of those will be storage management applications designed to plug into the ControlCenter/Open Edition framework. Erez Ofer has been promoted to executive vice president and will head up this unit, the company said in the statement.

EMC also created the Storage Platforms Operations group, which will oversee the company's entire hardware line. This will mark the first time the company has had one executive who will monitor the Symmetrix, Clariion and Celerra systems, a company spokesman said. David Donatelli has been promoted to executive vice president and will lead this unit.

One division that will see little internal change is the Customer Operations group. Frank Hauck, executive vice president of EMC, will continue to head this group, which monitors distribution and services for EMC products.

EMC veteran Moshe Yanai was promoted to founder and EMC "fellow." Yanai worked on the team that developed the Symmetrix system.

In addition, Bill Teuber was promoted to executive vice president and chief financial officer (CFO). Teuber has been EMC's CFO for nearly five years.

By making these moves, EMC said it should be better equipped to align the company around its new strategy. A larger overall view of the company's products, coupled with the executives' experience, could help EMC expedite what analysts are saying will be a lengthy transformation.

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