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EMC snags storage software maker

The data storage company beefs up its software offerings with the purchase of Avalon Consulting Group, a maker of media-management software for the television broadcast industry.

    EMC today added to its storage software lineup by purchasing Avalon Consulting Group.

    Denver-based Avalon, which will operate as part of EMC's Media Solutions Group, is a maker of media-management software for the television broadcast industry.

    The deal is complete, with EMC paying almost $50 million for Avalon, an EMC representative said.

    Hopkinton, Mass.-based EMC is the world leader in storage systems, but its success selling storage-management software has played an important role in its dominant position, say analysts.

    "It is a smart move, and EMC has been bulking up on their software products for the last year," Technology Business Research analyst Brooks Gray said. "(The) broadcasting industry definitely will see a lot of demand for storage, and EMC is the player to go to."

    EMC led the storage-management software market last year with an 18.2 percent share, compared with 17.3 percent for second-ranked IBM/Tivoli, according to market researcher Dataquest.

    "Avalon is a company with a premier solution in the television broadcast industry, and it's used by the majority of broadcast stations to have instant access to archive files or archive video footage," EMC spokesman Dave Farmer said. Avalon's software is particularly useful for quickly retrieving archived footage for breaking stories, he added.

    "As rich media becomes much more of a usable and sharable information form over the Internet...this type of archiving and access software becomes much more of a requirement," Farmer said.

    For the second quarter, EMC saw net income increase about 50 percent, topping $2 billion, in part driven by strong storage software growth. Revenue in that area grew 96 percent year-over-year to $351 million.

    "It makes sense for EMC to continue to segment its business, and if they have to make software acquisitions catering to some of these new markets they want to target, that's not really a bad way to do it," Gray said.