Demand for online backup services will grow, EMC chief says

EMC expects demand for its Mozy online backup service to continue growing, despite the challenging business environment and weak consumer demand, the company's top executive said.

"Because it's so new, I think there's opportunity there in a bad market," said Joe Tucci, chairman, CEO and president of EMC, in an interview on Tuesday.

"There's a relatively small percentage of the people in the world who back up their PCs using a service like Mozy," he said.

Mozy and rival services allow consumers to back up and recover files over the Internet, helping to protect them from losing data if their hard drive fails or their laptop gets stolen. Mozy allows users to backup 2GB of files for free and charges US$4.95 per month for users willing to pay for unlimited storage.

A version of the Mozy service is also available to companies, with prices starting from $3.95 per month and an additional $0.50 for each GB of storage they use.

Looking ahead, demand for online backup and recovery services will continue growing, Tucci said.

"It's almost a brand new market. Even though it's got a million users, that's nothing compared to the world's population of PCs. That's such a small penetration that I suspect, even in a tough economy, that will grow," he said.

Whether or not revenue from consumer services will ever rival the revenue EMC earns from large corporations remains to be seen.

"You never say never. The enterprise business we have is so big, it's going to take a long time to catch it," Tucci said.

"Is it going to be a billion dollar business someday? Yes, it could, but that's a lot of growth from where it is today," he said.

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