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1Acquiring Dominance EMC’s Rise to Power

From its origins as a New York furniture reseller in 1979 to its rise to become one of the top IT vendors in the industry, starting with storage solutions and expanding to content management software, security and virtualization, EMC has built an empire through acquisitions and expanding its product lines. And the company, with its reseller origins, has established a solid reputation with the channel.How did this industry icon rise to reach such a pinnacle of success? Here are a few of the milestones along the road, and facts about EMC.

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Founded by Richard Egan (the E) and Roger Marino (the M), EMC soon expanded its product lines to memory boards and then to disk drives and networked storage. That was just the beginning of the empire-building process that enabled both founders to retire as billionaires. Sadly, Egan committed suicide in August, while suffering from terminal lung cancer.

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But the product that established EMC as a real player was Symmetrix, a high-end enterprise storage array first introduced in 1994 and revved several times over the years until the company introduced the most recent version this year, the Symmetrix V-Max.

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Looking to get into the value side of the storage business EMC acquired Data General in 1999 for $1.1 billion, primarily to get the Clariion line of SAN disk array products. EMC’s move was widely viewed as a tactic to help the company compete against IBM which was offering more affordable options in the market at the time.

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Before everyone was talking about virtualization on industry standard servers, EMC recognized the potential value of such technology. The company acquired now-market-leader VMware in 2003 for $600 million.

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Documentum started as software company specializing in document management and grew through its own series of acquisitions to ultimately create an entire platform for enterprise content management. EMC acquired Documentum in 2003 for $1.7 billion.

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RSA Security was founded by the creators of the RSA encryption standard, and is the organization which also runs the annual RSA security conference. EMC acquired RSA Security in 2006 for $2.1 billion, further broadening its product technology offerings to include security.

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Data de-duplication giant, Data Domain, became the prize in a bidding war between two storage giants this summer – EMC and its smaller rival NetApp. EMC ultimately won the war, paying $2.1 billion for Data Domain.