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By | Chris Mellor 9th January 2015 10:43

'IDC, why did you play down EMC?' IDC: WAAAAHHHH

Redefines object Marketscape, won't say why

Comment When IDC produced its new object storage marketscape there were significant changes compared to the year-ago marketscape chart. Notably EMC’s presence was much reduced, which we pointed out, mentioning “the fading presence of EMC, where ViPR and Isilon object storage has not, apparently, built on the surge established by Atmos.”

We saw a slice of the report – not the whole thing – courtesy of Cleversafe; it being a paid-for report by IDC. That company’s Ashish Nadkarni, storage systems Research Director, took to Twitter with a quartet of tweets critiquing our story, saying:

- Errors in your article … suppliers are not rank stacked, no demotions or promotions per se

– suppliers get categorized based on product and market capabilities and strategies

- @emc mkt share did not diminish but product eval switched to #EMCECS instead of #Atmos

– mkt share is relative, doesn’t show the sum of all #OBS capable products, only those evaluated.

We were puzzled by this, particularly about EMC's treatment. Its ECS (Elastic Cloud Storage) was introduced in May 2014, after the 2013 Marketscape came out but Atmos and other EMC object storage systems are still being sold. ECS does not replace Atmos, as far as we know.

The 2014 IDC report abstract says: "The (scale-out) OBS market subsegment, which is part of the file-and-OBS market, is an example of an emerging market. In this IDC MarketScape, IDC attempts to assess the capabilities and strategies of key vendors of OBS solutions."

A year ago the 2013 report abstract said: "The (scale-out) OBS market sub-segment, which is part of the file-and-OBS market, is an example of an emerging market. In this IDC MarketScape, IDC attempts to assess the capabilities and strategies of key vendors of OBS solutions."

It's no different.

IDC describes its Marketscape product thus: "IDC MarketScape provides a clear framework in which the product and service offerings, capabilities and strategies, and current and future market success factors of IT and telecommunications vendors can be meaningfully compared. The framework also provides technology buyers with a 360-degree assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of current and prospective vendors.”

If it arbitrarily changes the basis for a supplier's product inclusion from one report to the next, as it has apparently done with the Marketscape diagram, then comparisons can't be meaningfully made.

One reason to have successive reports is to compare the present with the past and see how things are changing. IDC’s tactic here makes that impossible with EMC.

We asked IDC what has changed since the 2013 report, apart from ECS being launched, to justify removing Atmos from consideration of EMC's position in 2014.

IDC declined to answer, apparently being upset that we ran the story without checking with it first. It feels that, we understand, talking with us after the fact just rewards this behaviour. Boo-hoo.

Sources inside EMC consider that IDC's treatment of the company has been peculiar as regards releasing the graphic (through Cleversafe) without the explanation. Hopefully IDC's intentions will become clearer later. ®

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