Mike Koehler manages the development, go-to-market execution, and delivery of EMC's services portfolio. Previously, he was a senior vice president at HP, where he was responsible for market expansion and improving revenue. He also played a key role in HP's acquisition of Electronic Data systems Corporation (EDS), leading the integration of EDS' IT Outsourcing (ITO) and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) businesses into the HP framework. He talks about why EMC has a renewed focus on services and what customers are demanding.
Why is EMC talking services? Are you moving away from being a product company?
Even though, we are a products and technology company, services is going to play a very important role. Not that we are going to move away from a product company ever, but the skills and capabilities that the company needs to grow over time have more consultative nature to them. EMC has begun to recognize the market shift on how technology is being consumed and sold. So, we are moving from a transactional-based product selling organization to more of a consultative-led engagement. At the same time, we are not talking services from a traditional point of view or trying to build a generic services company. But we want to build our services around technologies that matter the most --things like cloud and big data for example. We then look at the entire life cycle starting from strategy, design, implementation, operation, education and support for customers who want to consume those technologies.
Managed services has started to play an ever-increasing role in enterprises. Interestingly, your service organization has a very strong focus here. How different are you from others in the market?
Everybody's definition of managed services is quite different. People think that they sometimes want managed services. But when you take a closer look, you can see that customers want a way to align their expenses with the consumption of the technology. It is a little bit different than managed services, but the market has created that environment. So while building a managed services offering portfolio, we considered what customers really want. We continue to enhance our managed services portfolio in line with this philosophy. If we go to the traditional aspect of managed services, it looks more like outsourcing. But we know that we are not going to do that. That is for the HPs and IBMs of the world to take.
But what's wrong in taking it up, if that's what your customers are asking for?
We are not there to take care of the end-to-end IT infrastructure of customers. But a lot of customers want us to be their managed services arm for storage platform. That's less about financial transaction and more about storage skill sets. We don't engage in managed services if it's just about 'running your mess for less'. There really has to be a transformational agenda underneath it. We run the existing infrastructure, make it better and help the customer move to the next-generation infrastructure. That's where we engage a lot. The majority of customers we have on managed services today are on some journey of that transformation towards the 'next-gen' technologies. So there is a consultative nature underneath it.
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.