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EMC, Samsung launch storage alliance

Samsung will sell EMC Clariion-class storage systems under its own StorageMax brand name, as competition from tech giants IBM and HP heats up.

Storage giant EMC this week unfurled the details behind its deal to work with Samsung to sell systems in the growing Asian market.

Under the alliance, Samsung will sell EMC Clariion-class storage systems under its own StorageMax brand name, according to the companies. Over time, the two also will develop products together.

The deal is the most recent in a series of partnerships for Hopkinton Mass.-based EMC, which has had to contend with increased competition from large companies such as IBM and Hewlett-Packard. Along with storage systems, these companies can provide customers with servers, PCs, services and other technologies. Plus, they have extensive, global sales teams.

By forming an alliance with major PC server makers that don't have strong storage offerings, EMC can better squeeze its way into full-service technology contracts. It can also reach a larger audience through the existing sales teams of its partners.

Dell and EMC have a similar deal that targets, among other customers, small and medium-size businesses in the United States. Another agreement with Fujitsu-Siemens concentrates on Europe.

Samsung will initially focus on its domestic market, particularly smaller and midsize businesses, and tie sales of its servers and other equipment to storage sales. Although Samsung concentrates on components and consumer electronics in North America, it sells the panoply of corporate hardware in Asian markets.

"I will make an effort to focus on SMB (small and midsize business) markets. My sales mission is to reach $17 million in storage products," Kim Han-Su, vice president of Samsung's electronics computer and Internet systems division, said in Seoul, South Korea, this week.

EMC and Samsung had earlier announced an agreement to team up, but they did not provide details of the deal at the time.

"Samsung holds technologies that are useful to EMC," said Joel Schwartz, executive vice president of EMC. "We are exchanging engineers and researchers between our research centers."

Yong-Young Kim of ZDNet Korea reported from Seoul. CNET's Michael Kanellos contributed to this report from San Francisco.