EMC today announced the acquisition of BusinessEdge Solutions, a privately held consultancy focused on process improvement, compliance and information management in three industries including: 1) Financial services; 2) Communications, media and content; and 3) Life sciences. BusinessEdge lists key blue chip clients including Bank of America, Charles Schwab, Citi, Merril Lynch, AT&T, Charter, Disney, Pfizer, Wyeth, Johnson and Johnson and many other F500 accounts.
Wikibon community members within these industries who have experience with BusinessEdge have characterized the firm as a "solid mid-tier player with capabilities from strategy through execution."
EMC will roll BusinessEdge and its several hundred consultants into the Global Services organization and launch a new consulting practice focused on information mangement.
What does this acquisition say about EMC's strategy?
BusinessEdge gives EMC additional depth and scale as its services business evolves. But more importantly for users, this announcement underscores EMC's recognition of two fundamental trends:
- Information management decisions broadly and storage decisions specifically are being more affected and often driven by business-oriented domains. EMC is making continued attempts to move further up the information services value chain beyond infrastructure (see chart) and articulate how EMC technologies can be transformed into business capabilities.
- EMC has long-recognized the importance of services as a both a source of incremental profit and a competitive differentiator in a sea of IT complexity. This is driving EMC's strategy and users should expect continued services offerings from EMC rather than a magical, holistic integration of its several acquisitions.
What does this acquisition say about storage administration over the near-to-mid term?
Increasingly storage administration is going to serve many masters. Information liability and asset management and the key constituencies within this domain will drive storage infrastructure decisions over the next 2-5 years. This means legal, records management and P&L line of business managers will demand storage infrastructure that is not an impediment. This is not trivial as initiatives involving data classification, data migration, archiving, retention policies and eventually data mining and business intelligence will require agile and highly functional storage infrastructure, which often remains a barrier to growth.
Action Item: As information management moves from server room to court room to board room storage administration will be under increasing pressure to accommodate line of business constituencies, legal and records management functions. Storage administrators must aggressively incorporate business process knowledge into corporate initiatives or project success rates will plummet and IT infrastructure will become a convenient scapegoat.