EMC takes the gloves off with VMware

In strategy shift, EMC is becoming more forceful in selling own products alongside VMware's.

Despite the addition of new services for VMware customers, Elias notes that EMC does not resell VMware technology, largely because EMC does not make servers. EMC competitors are allowed to resell VMware technology, and that will not change, he says.

"We want to position very clearly to the marketplace that VMware is a stand-alone subsidiary, they are driving their own strategy out into the marketplace, and we want to protect their ability to work with even [EMC] competitors," Elias says.

Elias says EMC's shifting VMware strategy is not related to Greene's firing, and that EMC has been gearing up to become a VMware Authorized Consultant for nearly a year.

Reichman thinks getting rid of Greene has allowed EMC to take a more forceful role in pitching its own products and services to VMware customers, however.

"I think Diane Greene was not a big proponent of EMC, and to tell you the truth I think that may be part of the reason she was ousted," Reichman says.

Maritz, who was an EMC employee for only a few months before being appointed to lead VMware, is "incrementally more friendly toward EMC," Reichman says.

Many VMware customers already use EMC technology because of its longtime prominence in the storage market, even though EMC has basically been playing Switzerland and not forcing customers to choose EMC storage, Reichman says. "They didn't want to jeopardize the revenue stream from VMware by making people feel you had to use EMC storage," he says.

EMC competitors are probably concerned that EMC might now be positioned to take market share away from them, but according to Reichman they can be glad that EMC appointed Maritz, rather than a "hard-line EMC insider" who might be inclined to push VMware partners away. Maritz himself told Network World in September that he doesn't expect any changes in the EMC-VMware relationship.

"To some extent, I think [competitors] are probably concerned, but I don't think this is such a strong move that any of those guys are going to give up," Reichman says.

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