EMC has its head in the cloud. And rightly so for a company that's helping businesses build Web-based computing systems with its data storage products and services. Its hardware and software platforms enable enterprises to store, manage, protect, and analyze massive volumes of data. EMC also offers data security products through its RSA Security business and virtualization software through majority-owned VMware. The company serves both large, FORTUNE 500 organizations and smaller businesses across many industries. Banks, government agencies, ISPs, and manufacturers are among its customers. EMC serves a global client base from facilities and partners worldwide.
EMC manages its business in three broad categories: information storage, information intelligence, and RSA information security. Through its core information storage segment, the company offers a comprehensive set of enterprise data management devices and software, from entry-level to data center-class, that support storage, back-up, and recovery. In 2011 it introduced a new unified storage platform called VNX that combined the features and functionality of products EMC CLARiiON and EMC Celerra into a single family of storage arrays. EMC spent the previous year making improvements to its enterprise storage systems to help customers build virtualized data centers to support their cloud computing initiatives.
EMC's RSA business serves as its security division, delivering products and services designed to protect data. Applications include access control, identity assurance, data loss prevention, encryption, fraud protection, and risk and compliance management. In 2011 the company expanded its security capabilities with the acquisition of privately held software developer NetWitness, which gave it a network security monitoring and analysis platform. EMC's 2010 acquisition of Archer Technologies added more enterprise governance, risk, and compliance software tools.
EMC's information intelligence group provides software and services for information access, customer communications tracking, and records management. Its systems are designed to help businesses make sense of the vast data stores they accumulate from across their operations. EMC's analysis software enables clients to parse detailed sales and customer feedback data, logistics and supply chain records, and employee information.
Meanwhile, through its stake in VMware, the company is a leading provider of virtualization and cloud infrastructure products and services that are designed to help customers aggregate multiple servers and networks together into shared pools of capacity in the search for improved efficiency and manageability, particularly for data center purposes. In addition to its flagship cloud infrastructure product vSphere, applications include tools for providing a consistent user interface across desktop and mobile platforms, and IT resource management tools that automate and monitor virtual, physical, and cloud processes. VMware's growth strategy includes future acquisitions to strengthen its product portfolio.
Sales of the data storage and VMware products and services have been driving EMC's revenue growth due to increasing demand for IT infrastructure, as well as software maintenance-related services, as data center providers expand and many company's build out their own facilities to handle growing cloud-based systems.
The company's revenue increased 15% in 2011, continuing a steady upward trend, with all business segments (except information intelligence) and geographic regions reporting growth; profit increased for the year by nearly 30%. Sales were driven by strong renewals, multi-year software maintenance contracts sold in previous periods, and maintenance contracts sold in conjunction with software licenses.
Part of EMC's strength lies in the diversity of the markets it serves. It targets big companies, small and midsized businesses, as well as individual consumers through its Iomega brand. Its customers are found around the world, in many industries, and in both the public and private sectors. EMC markets directly and through distributors. It sells directly in North America, Latin America, Europe, and the Asia/Pacific region; distributors, systems integrators, resellers, and other equipment makers also market the company's products.
In order to expand into new markets, EMC invested about $14 billion in acquisitions from 2003 to 2010. It also made substantial investment in research and development, cumulatively more than $10 billion over that same period. The company has since maintained an acquisitive strategy. In 2012 it bought Israel-based XtremIO to extend its flash storage capabilities, and it bought analytics software maker Pivotal Labs and its Pivotal Tracker software development tool. The Pivotal purchase supported the efforts of EMC's Greenplum division to speed development of data analytics applications for enterprise clients. Pivotal's clients included Groupon and Twitter.
EMC maintains a number of strategic alliances, including one with Harris Corporation and Virtual Computing Environment Company (VCE) to jointly develop and market new cloud products to push to the adoption of multi-tenant cloud infrastructure by commercial and government enterprises. Multi-tenant cloud infrastructure allows for sharing of resources while still maintaining secure levels of isolation. Such alliances are thought to help EMC compete against larger rivals Fujitsu, Hewlett-Packard, and IBM. The company also competes with fellow storage specialists Hitachi Data Systems and NetApp. – less