Tacit and Kashya Get Taken Out

    May 9, 2006

What does it mean? First, it means I lost money. Both were good ESG clients. I’m sure you feel sorry.

Let’s start with Tacit. Read Brian Garrett’s latest on the ROBO world and you’ll understand the play. Collapsing remote IT is the natural next step in a world of consolidation. Relieving part time remote IT people of some duties is merciful if nothing else. Putting a WAN optimization player with a WAFS player is inevitable, as they both require each other to really benefit the user. It will be interesting to watch Riverbeds IPO soon. This is a very smart space, because it solves legitimate problems that aren’t getting any smaller.

Now for Kashya. EMC did it because in the brave new world of “network based intelligence”, InVista only runs locally. They now have replication solutions for customers who want to run on the array, in the host, or in the network. Previously, data migration on a local basis was all InVista offered. Second, they did it because as an adjunct, Kashya has CDP, and EMC knows darned well that CDP is smart and should execute all over the place. Plus, they love getting to dump Mendocino even before that relationship really started.

The biggest takeaway is that this is not your cousin’s EMC anymore. This was a bold move – not because of the money, but because of the history. EMC has been notorious for its zealots. Moshe was the king of them – the Symmetrix has arguably been one of the most successful products ever launched in the business. When EMC bought DG for Clariion, it took years of time, and lots of house cleaning to give Clariion a chance (the sales force wouldn’t sell it, the engineering team got limited support because everyone knew Moshe hated it, etc.) – but once it happened, they exploded.

When something is successful at EMC, it becomes the only way to do that thing – at least historically. EMC moved to the next thing only after exhausting every possible defense. But with Kashya they seem to have grown up a bit. The network represents a new frontier to sell software value – but it isn’t even a legitimate market yet AND it (gulp) potentially cannibalizes the likes of SRDF – which has made the company billions over the years. The old EMC would never risk it. The Joe Tucci EMC seems to have figured out that nothing lasts forever, and if you don’t cannibalize yourself then eventually someone else will.

All in all, two smart deals, less money for me, and a few less entrepreneurs.

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Steve Duplessie is the author of the “Steve’s IT Rants” blog, and the founder and Sr. Analyst of the Enterprise Strategy Group.