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EMC, Avanade Enter Consulting Alliance

Storage giant EMC Corp. entered a global alliance this week with Avanade Inc., the joint venture consulting organization between Microsoft and Accenture.

The alliance means the pair will team on joint professional services engagements and development activities for Windows 2000, SQL Server and Exchange customers. EMC will also contribute its Symmetrix and Clariion storage systems and software to the Avanade Showcase Solutions Center in Seattle.

The companies were hosting a joint demonstration of Windows 2000 Datacenter Server, SQL Server, Symmetrix and some .NET technologies this week at Computer Associates World in Orlando, Fla.

Avanade deployed EMC storage systems internally, apparently as another part of the deal.

The deal offers obvious benefits for both parties. EMC gets a leg up on new storage business when Avanade begins building Microsoft technology-based infrastructures for clients. EMC also can steer storage clients Avanade's way when those clients are interested in Microsoft enterprise infrastructure expertise.

EMC has been moving aggressively to win market share within the rapidly growing Windows-attached storage market. The company purchased Data General and acquired its Clariion storage line, which gave EMC a presence in the Windows mid-market.

Then EMC was the first non-server vendor to attach itself to Microsoft's Datacenter Program for Redmond's high-end Windows 2000 Datacenter Server operating system. Microsoft later created a separate Datacenter infrastructure program for EMC that Compaq and Hitachi eventually joined with their own storage arrays.

Microsoft and Accenture formed Avanade in April 2000 to focus on high-end Microsoft technology infrastructure consulting. The company has about 1,200 employees worldwide.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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