Report: EMC in talks with SAP to build hosted services

SAP exec confirms companies are talking about joining EMC's virtualization technology and SAP software to create hosted service

EMC is discussing a partnership with software maker SAP to jointly develop a suite of hosted storage and application services for businesses, according to a report today by the Reuters UK news service.

According to the Reuters report, an SAP executive confirmed that the companies are talking about joining EMC's virtualization 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 declined to comment to Computerworld about any discussions with SAP. SAP officials did not respond to a request for comment.

In September, SAP unveiled its first suite of hosted software for midsize organizations, 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 Inc.

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 Framingham, Mass.-based market research company 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."

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

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