Austin's Spanning will soon get a new owner: Dell

Posted August 10th, 2016

When the news broke last October that Dell Inc. was buying data storage company EMC Corp., Jeff Erramouspe did a quick mental calculation on the impact it will have on his company. 

Erramouspe runs an EMC subsidiary, Spanning by EMC, that is based in Austin. The six-year-old company provides data backup and recovery for cloud applications. 

"My first reaction was 'I know Dell sells a lot of Office 365 and Spanning has a backup product for Office 365, so this should be good for us,' " said Erramouspe, whose title is vice president and general manager of Spanning. 

EMC purchased Spanning in 2014 for an undisclosed amount. The fast-growing cloud backup company was founded in Austin in 2010 and now employs more than 70 people, with the bulk of that workforce in Austin. 

RALPH BARRERA/AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFFJeff Erramouspe, left, vice president and general manager of Spanning, talks with Mat Hamlin, director of products, right.

Although EMC has other employees in Austin, Spanning is the only wholly-owned EMC subsidiary based in Central Texas. When Dell Inc. closes on its purchase of EMC later this year, Spanning will then become part of the Dell empire.

The $60-billion tech deal has received mounds of publicity since it was announced in October 2015, with most of the coverage focused on how Dell found the money to pay for it. 

There has been little attention paid to what the impact this deal might have on many of the smaller subsidiaries owned by EMC. 

In an interview with 512tech this week, Erramouspe said being purchased by EMC nearly two years ago helped Spanning gain access to a top-tier technology sales force that sells to large corporate or government customers. 


"Through the EMC salesforce, we get access to a much broader set of customers," Erramouspe said. "Virtually every Fortune 500 company in the world purchases some product from EMC."

He said EMC helped tap into "middle-market" customers that have 1,000 to 2,000 employees. 

Though he couldn't reveal their sales figures, Erramouspe said the company has grown "quarter over quarter" ever since EMC acquired them. 

EMC's decision to purchase Spanning was driven a desire to grow its cloud computing business. EMC is hoping to attract customers looking for the "hybrid" approach to data storage, which involves mixing Internet-based computing with keeping some data on private servers. 

Ralph Barrera/AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFFSoftware engineers with Spanning, a local data backup and recovery company and the only EMC-owned company headquartered in Austin.

Erramouspe said from his perspective, the Dell and EMC merger makes sense because the two tech giants don't have many overlapping customers.

"If you look at the top 5,000 global accounts, there is a relatively small subset where EMC and Dell have a strong position," he said.

In addition to providing data backup and recovery for Office 365, Erramouspe said Spanning also provides data protection for Google apps and Salesforce products. 

According to Spanning's website, some of the company's customers include Austin-based jewelry company Kendra Scott, shoe company Birkenstock and fitness tracker company Jawbone. 

Being owned by Dell could give Spanning an edge, Erramouspe said, because of its geographical proximity to Dell's Round Rock headquarters. 

Spanning's offices are located in downtown Austin, and he said there are no plans to move. 

"Doing business face to face is one of those things that seems to help things move a little bit smoother a lot of times," Erramouspe said. If the company was headquartered in another city, Erramouspe said they might not get as much face time with Dell Technologies executives. 

RALPH BARRERA/AMERICAN-STATESMANSenior Software Engineer Joel Rosinbum brings his dog Ivy to work daily. Spanning is a local data backup and recovery company.