So often, that first week back after the holidays can be a letdown the grim realization that the calendar page may have changed but the world is still the world. So how to explain this giddy sense I've had all week?
It's a new year all right, and, at least on the business front, a lot of companies turned that corner in high gear. The coy Dow Jones Industrial Average has taken up its flirtation with 11,000 again. And if you've been distracted by the Alito hearings or the banged-up Governator, then you may have missed EMC's house-on-fire entry to 2006.
We know the storage juggernaut has grand designs on expanding beyond commodity arrays, loves software plays, and thinks services rock. That's 2005 talk. Still, I wouldn't have predicted its first announced move in the new year would be to spend $30 million to add grid software to its portfolio. (See EMC Unveils Grid Gameplan.) Think that's too much? Join the club.
Then came an interesting mixed message from Hopkinton: Revenues are up, so we're cutting 1,000 personnel. Huh? (See Resolved: A Slimmer EMC.) EMC got hammered for burying the lead in that one, and for taking a course of action that might look counter-intuitive. But as one of the financial analysts tracking the company pointed out, EMC has done little to no cutting in the wake of some sizeable acquisitions in the last 18 months Documentum, Legato, and WMware, to name a few. So some rationalization was probably in order.
Yesterday, of course, EMC acquired Internosis, a company that sounds more like a skin condition than a provider of third-party services for Microsoft installations. (See EMC Buys Windows Expertise.) It's a good complement to the Exchange-chasing that's been a major storage driver for the last several quarters, and it adds to the OS bona fides EMC got with VMware.