EMC exec defends hefty MozyPro price hikes

An EMC Corp. executive Thursday said the company has significantly increased the price of its MozyPro hosted backup service for servers to support upgraded features and reliability needed by large customers. The company earlier this week acknowledged the new price schedule, which is slated to take effect on Saturday.

Analysts say that EMC should be raising prices for customers storing server data on MozyPro, but nevertheless is running the risk of losing customers to other vendors of such services.

Doug Chandler, an analyst with Framingham, Mass.-based IDC noted that some disgruntled users may blame the new pricing scheme on last fall’s acquisition of MozyPro developer Berkeley Data Systems by EMC. “If you were a Mozy customer for a while, you may see this as the other shoe dropping,” said Doug Chandler, an analyst at IDC. Such users may be saying “‘we were afraid of this and now it’s happening.’ Some customers [may now] look for another service.”

Roy Sanford, vice-president of EMC’s software as-a-service business unit, noted that the MozyPro increase affects only the MozyPro online backup and recovery service for servers. Prices for the desktop version will remain the same, he noted.

Sanford contended that the product’s prior single licensing scheme was not practical for the scalability and application demands of a server. The MozyPro server hosted service is already significantly different from the MozyHome and the MozyPro desktop offerings, Sanford said. The high-end offerings support server operating systems and “in many cases server-level applications like Exchange and SQL [that] are much more robust applications than you would typically see on an individual PC,” he added.

Chandler said that despite potential unrest among MozyPro users, EMC had little choice but to boost prices so it can meet the demands of corporate users. “The reality is that any of these services are going to take a real amount of investment to [incorporate] the availability and service levels that businesses really need. There’s going to be costs associated with” upgrading the service, Chandler said.

Sanford said the company has no plans to charge enterprise-level prices for home users or small and mid size business customers of the Mozy service.

Earlier this year, EMC brought out the MozyEnterprise backup service, which includes acquired and EMC-built technologies, as part of an effort to compete with new offerings from storage rivals Symantec Corp., IBM and Dell Inc. All are looking to attract a growing number of large companies looking to evaluate hosted storage offerings.

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