EMC in talks with SAP to build hosted services

EMC is reportedly discussing a partnership with software maker SAP to jointly develop a suite of hosted storage and application services for businesses.

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EMC is reportedly discussing a partnership with software maker SAP to jointly develop a suite of hosted storage and application services for businesses.

In the report, by Reuters, an SAP executive confirmed that the companies are talking about joining EMC's virtualisation technology and SAP software to create the hosted service. The official did not divulge any specifics about what types of online services a mutual partnership may eventually produce or when they could become available. An EMC spokesman and SAP officials declined to comment to us about any discussions.

In September, SAP unveiled its first suite of hosted software for midsize organisations, called SAP Business ByDesign. The company set a goal of selling the service to 10,000 customers by 2010, a goal that analysts called unrealistic.

Over the past few months, EMC has turned up its own efforts to produce a software-as-a-service component to its storage hardware and software business. In January, the storage systems vendor unveiled MozyEnterprise, the first offering in its new Fortress line of hosted software.

The MozyEnterprise is based on technology that EMC gained in September with its purchase of Berkeley Data Systems.

EMC has said it will extend MozyEnterprise using its own technology alongside that from the former Berkeley Data Systems. For example, EMC officials have hinted at plans to add hosted content management and security products.

That should enable EMC to significantly broaden its appeal to a much wider end-user audience searching for simplified and low-cost remote business and storage tools, said Doug Chandler, an analyst at IDC.

"[MozyEnterprise] is Step 1 in their eyes of building out more applications," noted Chandler. "[EMC] will make [Fortress] expandable and appealing to companies who want to get a lot of things.

"I think we'll see more [systems and storage vendors] move in that direction."