5 years ago: EMC bags Softworks for $192m

A tale of acquisitions in storage software...

A tale of acquisitions in storage software...

22.12.99 EMC has announced it is to buy software producer Softworks for $192m.

Softworks specialises in programs that manage the performance and integrity of stored information.

EMC said this acquisition will enable it to improve its current storage management software. EMC also said that storage management represented the fastest growing portion of its software business.

22.12.04 Five years on and you'd think the EMC acquisition machine never stopped. This week the company bought another software outfit, Smarts, for $260m.

Only the intervening years tell a different story. EMC's share price gives an indication of how times changed. Its stock closed yesterday at $14.49. Five years ago it was close to $60 and would soon soar higher, to over $100 at the height of the tech boom. But with the crash came a value of well below $10 - and a drying up of acquisitions.

What has never changed, however, is the storage giant seeing the future necessity of owning software that makes organisations' storage and wider IT systems work properly. Its biggest buy in this space has been Legato but there have been plenty of other parts of the jigsaw puzzle assembled along the way.

The last big pure storage software company, Veritas, was snapped up last week so expect to see a few other software players you may never had heard about on the shopping list of EMC and other vendors who realise their importance.