Ok, I plead guilty to felony language abuse. But what about EMC buying Dantz, makers of Retrospect?

At the risk of imputing more smarts to Mark Lewis of EMC than he probably deserves (although he surely isn’t dumb) this is EMC’s way of getting even deeper into Dell’s shorts.

A little context: remember a couple of years ago when Dell got tired of HP’s high printer margins? They cozied up to Lexmark and came up with a Dell-branded set of printers that has been growing rapidly.

EMC sees the writing on the wall: big storage margins equals big risk that Dell will snuggle up to some other commodity storage vendor and come up with a Dell-branded line of storage and oops! there goes a couple of billion in revenue. By buying Dantz EMC is offering a more complete product offering that will make it more difficult for Dell to reproduce with some Taiwanese white box RAID vendor.

Honestly though, I don’t think it will be that big a help. The low-end backup market has a number of players, such as Yosemite, who are all for sale and have decent (by Microsoft standards) products. EMC’s calculus is probably that if the “less then $50 milllion” (I’ve heard $45 million) purchase price buys them another two quarters of Dell business it will be well worth it. So EMC must be pretty worried about Dell leaving the fold. They should be.

If Dell is smart they will dump EMC in 2005 and take all the margins for themselves.