I extracted a couple notable takeaways from ChannelWeb’s interview with EMC CEO Joe Tucci.
First, it’s obvious that Mr. Tucci took offense to HP CEO Mark Hurd’s suggestion that Cisco and EMC derive pornographic margins from their product sales and will be decimated by HP’s lower-cost, lower-margin blitzkrieg.
Said Tucci of Hurd and his margin-inflected battle cry:
This is the guy that makes how much money?
EMC has 14,000 developers -engineers. Do you know how many do hardware? 300. So what are we? A software company. There is always great margins in software. So he’s got it wrong. And then fundamentally when you talk about the margins what does he make on (printing) ink. Give me a break.
Tucci was ticked, so he retorted that the margins EMC derives from storage are more defensible than those HP derives from printer ink. It might not have been checkmate, but it was an effective countermove.
The other takeaway I took from this interview was something Tucci suggested rather than said outright. It’s clear that while EMC has many technology partners, those partnerships are not created equal. There are firsts among equals, and Cisco remains at the head of EMC’s queue. Said the EMC head honcho:
Cisco is an EMC partner. Dell is an EMC partner. We are working very seamlessly. Obviously with Cisco what they bring to the party is their networking (technology and skills). They built a very innovative server and UCS (Unified Compute System) which combines server and unified networking.
Cisco also brings all the interconnected networking skills. So when you think of what you need in a stack we can also offer customers a complete horizontal stack.
Dell, on the other side, partners with us on the server side and we partner with them on the storage side.
It doesn’t take a semiotician to figure out that Cisco, as EMC partners go, is the top dog. Doubtless Dell is a valued server partner, but Cisco, as far as EMC is concerned, brings a full banquet to the customer’s table.