EMC puts former SAS exec in charge of Canadian operation

EMC has welcomed back an employee who took a tour of duty with one of the world’s largest business intelligence vendors by appointing him to lead its Canadian operations.

The storage specialist said Nick Lisi, former vice-president of sales at SAS Canada, will be in charge of a team that has been reorganized under three groups. These include its Technology Solutions Group, which handles project management and professionals services; a sales group that encompasses enterprise, small business and channel clients; and a software group to build opportunities with products built upon those EMC acquired through Documentum and Legato.

“The scope of what we have to talk about today is so much more expanded,” Lisi said. “We were definitely a long way from the times when more than 50 per cent of sales came from hardware.”

Lisi said the expanded management team is intended to bring greater alignment around EMC’s efforts to work in a variety of marketing opportunities, including content-addressable storage and storage virtualization.

“We want to make sure they’ve got the right resources from a pre-sales and sales perspective within our traditional geographies,” he said.

Lisi, who was EMC’s district manager for Ontario before leaving for SAS, said he sees a complementary overlap in the kind of products and services offered by the software giant and the world’s largest private software firm.

“The initial premise for any good BI solution, whether is SAS’s or anyone else’s, is you need good data,” he said. “That’s the foundation on which customers can build – if you know where data is and can manage the movement of data from remote or legacy systems – to get that data into the infrastructure required to perform the necessary extract.”

EMC recently launched Insignia, one of its first products specifically aimed at small business customers. Though EMC Canada has formed a partnership with Tech Data around Insignia, Lisi said the firm’s emphasis would remain on the enterprise, though he said channel partners would continue to play a role. EMC currently puts about 50 per cent of its products through resellers in Canada. 

“There’s been a recognition that they play a very important role,” he said. “This is one of those things that’s continued to become more mature and more relevant to the Canadian organization.”

On Monday, EMC said it had ranked No. 1 in the worldwide storage software market in terms of total revenue for the 12th consecutive quarter by research firm IDC. It also led the storage replication market with more than twice the revenue share of its next closest competitor.

In Canada, EMC is in a similar position, according to Jennifer Ewen at Toronto-based Evans Research. EMC has a leading market share position in storage resource management software, said Ewen.

“Those acquisitions have really paid off for them,” she said, adding that EMC continues to perform well in its traditional hardware categories. “Its partnership with Dell has given real leverage in Canadian market.”

Lisi replaces Ross Allen, who left EMC Canada to become president of Bell Canada’s Infostream.

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