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EMC Pounds ILM Pulpit

is leveraging partnerships and acquisitions to become a one-stop shop for storage networking. And its battle cry in this campaign is the king of all buzzwords: "Information Lifecycle Management" (ILM).

EMC today announced it is turning technology acquired in a partnership with OuterBay Technologies Inc. in December 2003 into an ILM partnership with Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL). (See EMC Puts OuterBay Inside.) EMC also is exploiting a relationship with consulting firm Accenture established in July 2002 to provide services to help companies manage and protect data (see EMC Services Tap Rivals' Hardware).

The announcements highlight EMC's seriousness about the new trend toward ILM, which translates into vendors' offering as wide a range of storage networking products as possible, using services that take the product selection process out of customers' hands.

Indeed, the ILM battle is shaping up to be a vicious and protracted one in the industry, and EMC's taking the gloves off to enter the fray. Besides today's announcements, the company plans press statements this week about how EMC's Legato products have replaced ones from Veritas Software Corp. (Nasdaq: VRTS) and other vendors in specific enterprise accounts.

The software element of ILM is key for EMC, traditionally a hardware player. EMC spent $3 billion for software providers Legato and Documentum last year, which enabled the company to handle unstructured data in ILM applications (see 2003 Top Ten: Mergers & Acquisitions). But a hole remained in its ILM strategy: the ability to handled structured data stored in enterprise databases.

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