EMC ( IBM) launched a new company to tap into growing demand for so-called
cloud computing. The company's new Dech unit will deliver "cloud" services -- sharing and storing information over the Web. Decho combines two separate EMC businesses; online backup specialist Mozy, and Pi, which stores personal data such as emails and files. EMC's shares were up 5 cents to $10.12 in early trading, despite a broader slump in tech stocks which saw the Nasdaq slip 0.6%. Companies such as IBM ( IBM), Microsoft ( MSFT), Cisco ( CSCO), and Sun ( JAVA), are all touting online cloud services as a way for customers to avoid the cost of expensive up front hardware and software purchases. IBM, for example, recently launched a set of services for scheduling meetings, and developing online social networks, and Microsoft also unveiled a cloud-based version of Windows last month. EMC, which spent $76 million to acquire Mozy last year, and snapped up Pi for an undisclosed fee in February, is finally fleshing out its long-term cloud storage strategy. "There is an immense untapped business opportunity as personal information management inevitably migrates into the cloud," said David Goulden, EMC's chief financial officer, in a statement Monday. Decho will use its own hardware and software infrastructure to store data from small businesses and individuals, which can be accessed via the Internet. Internet services such as Flickr are already widely used for the likes of photo-sharing, although EMC is looking to store a wealth of personal data, including photos, videos, personal documents, and financial records.
Decho's first offering will be Mozy's online backup service. EMC says that the unit will offer additional cloud services in the future, although the storage specialist hasn't specified what these will be. Mozy, which gets the bulk of its sales from consumers, has recently been targeting small businesses, so additional services in this area seem likely.