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EMC Courts SMBs

You've heard it before: A major storage vendor has launched an initiative aimed at pushing SMBs (small to medium-sized businesses) into networked storage.

Specifically, EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) today unveiled a Making Storage Simple" program aimed at selling its SANs to SMBs (see EMC Takes Simple Approach).

For the project, EMC has beefed up its channel program and forged partnerships with a trio of companies SMBs are quite familiar with -- Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC), and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT). Software and hardware from these companies will be combined with EMC's wares in a series of turnkey solutions.

EMC's program is not to be confused with Hewlett-Packard Co.’s (NYSE: HPQ) Simple SANs project launched last fall (see HP and QLogic Aim Low). And try not to confuse the EMC Express Solutions packages of software and services for SMBs with the IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) Express Portfolio of products and services aimed at midsized businesses (see IBM Launches iSCSI SAN).

So what's different here? For one thing, other players, such as Dell Inc. (Nasdaq: DELL), HP, and IBM are also server companies that have played in the SMB space before with success. Since EMC has traditionally been an enterprise storage company, its full-bore entry into the SMB market underscores the potential it sees there.

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