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EMC unveils partnership plan

Any company willing to pony up $35,000 will gain access to EMC's APIs, the standards that determine how to talk to EMC's storage hardware and software.

EMC will announce tomorrow it's making it easier for software companies to take advantage of its high-end data storage system.

The new program, called Infostructure, will let any company willing to pony up $35,000 get access to EMC's APIs--the standards that determine how to talk to EMC's storage hardware and software. The company plans to announce the move at its analyst conference.

The program formalizes existing partnerships with selected companies, said Colin Bailey, a marketing manager at EMC. What's new is that any company may participate, and licensees will gain access to a broader range of APIs, Bailey said.

EMC is a top-ranked company when it comes to selling storage that attaches to mainframes and Unix systems. However, it faces increasing competitive pressures from IBM, HP, Hitachi Data Systems, and others. One part of its effort to keep the revenue flowing has been an increasing emphasis on selling software as well as its storage hardware.

One reason for the program is to try to encourage companies "to grow our software business," Bailey said. Releasing the standards will make it easier for companies to make packages of products that include EMC software, such as what's used to manage EMC's Symmetrix storage and backup products.

EMC will conduct an "aggressive recruitment program" to encourage companies to sign on. EMC will work with standardization organizations to make its APIs industry standards, Bailey said.