EMC has come out fighting to defend its position as storage market leader, unleashing a war of words on both ambitious startups and fellow vendor giants.
New startups have been queuing up to have a pop at the storage behemoth, which IDC says leads the external disk storage sector with nearly a third of the market under its belt.
Flash vendor Pure Storage and hybrid storage firm X-IO both pooh poohed EMC's new Xtremio product launch last week, the latter branding the release as "worrying" and the former accusing EMC of copying its kit.
Despite declining to comment on the criticism at the time, EMC's executive vice president for product operations and marketing Jeremy Burton took the opportunity to speak up on a UBS Global Technology conference call.
"The storage industry has always been full of startups. If you add up the revenue of all of those startups it's probably less than one per cent of our TAM [total addressable market]..." he said on the call, transcribed by Seeking Alpha.
"You never want to let one of those guys be big enough to have a material impact on your TAM. So we follow these guys very, very closely.
"What I would tell you is that a lot of the VC [venture capital] pitch tends to be ‘we're going to be the next EMC' because we are the 800-pound gorilla and everybody wants to be in a massive addressable market and be a $1bn-plus company."
He said few vendors claiming to be the next best thing actually live up to their promises and instead end up selling into the mid-market and not the enterprise. He said out of the 80 startups EMC has followed over the last six years, 10 went out of business, 26 were acquired and two went public.
"And I think the two that went public probably wish they had been acquired at this point," he quipped.
"We do follow these guys, do we track them, yes. A lot of these guys, as much as they'll say ‘hey, we're going to go replace [enterprise storage array product] VMAX', that's aspirational rather than reality."
And it was not just ambitious startups who found themselves on the receiving end of an EMC ear bashing, with storage giants IBM, HP, Dell and NetApp failing to escape unscathed.
"If I go back five years and look at IBM they were much stronger than they are today, if I look at HP, they were much stronger than they are today, if I look at Dell they were much stronger than they are today, if I look at Net App they were much stronger than they are today...by any measure.
"I mean issues they have got within the company [and] product line. Look, the storage market is tougher than it used to be. You [have] got to work harder."
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