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ORLANDO, Fla.—According to CEO Joe Tucci, EMC plans to develop a storage service offering to penetrate the SMB market, where it has “relatively little share today.”

Speaking in an interview with eWEEK editors here at the EMC World partner conference, Tucci would not reveal details of the planned offering, but said, “We’re way beyond planning. We’re into some form of execution, but we’re not into the launch phase yet.”

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Tucci admitted that offering storage as a service represents some risk to the company’s traditional on-premises business, but said that if EMC didn’t take the risk, someone else would do it for them.

“I see much more incremental opportunity than disruption, but to the extent that it’s disruptive, I don’t care,” he said. “Successful companies have the ability to disrupt themselves first.” He added, “This isn’t for the faint of heart.”

Tucci said the risk is marginal for EMC in the SMB (small and midsize business) space, where, “We don’t have a storage disk business to protect.”

EMC also recently launched an Innovation Network community to stimulate creative thinking by its members, which Tucci said is how the company will continue to bring new products to market.

Tucci said tolerating failure is necessary in order to allow people to think creatively. “This might sound crazy, but you have to have an environment which encourages failure,” he said.

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