EMC promises bullish growth as rivals gather

Information lifecycle management and storage virtualisation are key for EMC’s target of 14 per cent growth

Storage vendor EMC has predicted it will enjoy strong growth as it seeks to grow in key markets like storage software and information lifecycle management.

At its annual meeting with analysts on Thursday, the company spelt out its ambitions to dominate in key sectors -- but it faces stiff competition as the market consolidates.

"EMC's market position has never been stronger," said president and chief executive Joe Tucci. "Customers around the world are placing their trust in EMC and our solutions to accelerate their deployment of Information lifecycle management (ILM) and better protect, secure, move, and intelligently manage their information."

Tucci told analysts that he expects the company to grow at 14 per cent, or twice the industry rate, next year. This should bring it to $11 billion in revenue.

The crucial growth area for EMC is in software. While the company continues to introduce bigger and better and faster storage devices, this is a maturing market. Faster than average growth will have to come from storage management software and here, Tucci could point to a figure of 27 per cent, year on year. Worryingly for the company this is a 5 per cent drop compared to the first quarter figure.

The storage software market is warming up, and Symantec's merger with Veritas means another, now larger competitor on the block.

Tucci put these issues on one side, and was keen to stress the vision. "As we evolved from information storage to information lifecycle management, we have dramatically improved our customers' relationships with their information," he said.

But this is a field in which EMC faces wide ranging competition from the major vendors, like IBM and HP and increased competition from Sun Microsystems after its $4.1bm purchase of StorageTek.

EMC's response is to roll out new products -- not just at the top-end but in the mid-range with new CLARiiON servers