It’s been said in the IT industry that big companies can’t innovate. EMC is at least giving it the old college try with the announcement of the EMC Innovation Network, essentially a framework for feeding research findings through its product development and marketing machine. The key to this plan, according to Jeff Nick, EMC’s senior vice president and Chief Technology Officer, is that EMC will use its global services staff to get new products into users’ storage shops for proof-of-concept faster.
More interesting than the “innovation network”–which so far consists of a lot of people agreeing to a lot of things on paper–is what EMC is promising to move with its products, including highly scalable “Web 2.0” storage. According to Dr. Burt Kaliski, formerly chief scientist for RSA Laboratories and now the head of the research network reporting to Nick, that scalability will be over geographic distance as well as scalability within systems. Targeting Web 2.0 will also be “semantic Web, search, context, and ontological views” of information through software developments. EMC is also looking to get into grids, multi-site virtualization and service-oriented architecture. There isn’t much of a time frame yet for products, of course, but EMC officials are promising at least some fruits of the new R & D network will appear later this year.