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Thought Leaders in Cloud Computing: Jeetu Patel, GM of EMC Syncplicity (Part 5)

Posted on Tuesday, Feb 11th 2014

Sramana Mitra: How big is the business? What scale are we talking about?

Jeetu Patel: It’s in hundreds of millions of dollars. IDC has predicted growth rates that are actually conservative compared to the ones we had in 2013. We are the fastest growing file sync and share vendor in the industry. The other players in the market are Box, Dropbox, and Microsoft. These are the four players that I think will constitute a lion’s share of the market. Then, you have the tier-2 vendors that might go out and take some of the bread crumbs.

Sramana Mitra: What is Microsoft’s strategy? We cover Box and Dropbox quite heavily but I don’t think we’ve covered Microsoft’s strategy in this area. Could you talk about that?

Jeetu Patel: I don’t know if I can do their strategy justice but Microsoft’s strategy is very focused on Windows. It’s not that they don’t have a meaningful market share. Let’s say that Microsoft has X% of the market. The reality is that market share is not based on percentage of enterprises using Microsoft. Whether or not an organization uses Microsoft, the fact is 100% of the enterprises have users that use iPad, iPhone, and Android.

Sramana Mitra: You’re saying that they don’t do device configuration?

Jeetu Patel: I’m saying that’s the flaw around their strategy. Their strategy is primarily around a consumer-based tool that’s focused only on the Windows ecosystem. The goodness about Microsoft is that they have a lot of scale and we don’t underestimate them for a moment. We look forward to competing with them.

Sramana Mitra: Where are the blue-sky opportunities? You talked about 40 players in this space and four of them being the major winners potentially. Outside of that, where do you see problems that you hear from customers that need to be solved, but as yet, none of these players are solving?

Jeetu Patel: Let’s take user experience as a problem. I think we’re still at an early stage in the enterprise of building elegant software for business users. Nothing is really that memorable to look at, if you contrast that with some of the consumer-grade software. One of the blue sky opportunities is the refactoring of some things which are really painful today – things that people do on a daily basis that can get simplified in an elegant and delightful way to the user.

Sramana Mitra: Let me push back on that because I don’t think for a lot of the enterprise software that is deeply penetrated that we’re going to see new players coming in. Maybe the existing players are going to redesign their user interface and make their product more consumer-grade. But it would be very hard to displace major ERP, CRM, or any variety of other kinds of enterprise software vendors.

Jeetu Patel: There’s going to be one or two outcomes in my opinion. If they don’t innovate fast enough and satisfy the users’ usability expectations, there will be new entrants coming in. If the large companies like EMC really think about how user experiences are going to fundamentally transform, then I think you’re right. The larger vendors who have an existing share in the market will be able to grow that share. We’ve actually seen this move to cloud, mobile, social, and big data that is allowing us to capture more share rather than give up share to startups because of that reason.

This segment is part 5 in the series : Thought Leaders in Cloud Computing: Jeetu Patel, GM of EMC Syncplicity
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