A Fortune 500 data storage company is expanding its network into Durham.
Thursday marked the grand opening of EMC Corporation’s first U.S.-based Center of Excellence—a conglomerate of the variety of services EMC provides—and Cloud Data Center in Durham. The 450,000 sq.-ft. facility will expand its cloud-computing capabilities for their customers. Cloud labs integrate hosting infrastructure with software development.
This addition to Durham’s business scene will greatly benefit the local economy, state officials noted. N.C. Gov. Bev Perdue and Durham Mayor Bill Bell spoke at the event.
“This is a special milestone in EMC history as our [company’s presence] in North Carolina dates back to 1977,” Joseph Tucci, chairman, president and CEO of EMC, said at the event.
EMC has provided manufacturing, research development and sales-and-service facilities throughout the Research Triangle and in Greensboro and Charlotte. The new facility in Durham, however, is the first to include all those services under one roof, Tucci explained.
The new facility will house the company’s state-of-the-art center for cloud computing and includes 130,000 square feet of labs to support the company’s global research and development initiatives.
“Cloud computing is about expanding [Intellectual Technology] capabilities,” Tucci said. “It consolidates a huge amount [of data] and allows someone to have massive access to computer service.”
Durham’s facility is the seventh global Center of Excellence. Other centers are located in India, China, Egypt, Israel, Ireland and Russia.
“The Centers of Excellence perform essential services for EMC business units, including engineering and research-and-development, customer service, translation services, IT and technical support and customer executive briefing,” according to a Sept. 15 EMC news release.
Although a government or a major company could set up its own cloud-computing system, EMC’s ultimate goal is to expand the service to small businesses and individuals, Tucci said.
After Tucci spoke, Perdue said the combination of North Carolina’s strong education system and business climate attracted the company to further invest in the state.
“We provide [EMC] with the talent needed for them to work,” Perdue said. “EMC had to be aware of the value of a job-ready market when it decided to open here.”
Tucci said the large number of universities in the Triangle area as well as the state’s past efforts in developing math and science programs in its schools were major factors in the company’s decision to invest in Durham.
Perdue said N.C. and EMC share many of the same values, adding that if EMC did not like the state’s business climate, tax rates or workforce, then it would not have chosen Durham to expand its operations.
In his speech, Bell noted that the company’s presence in Durham is significant because the city does not have the resources to create jobs with the ease of a federal government. He added that the company has brought opportunities for future economic growth.
The Center of Excellence is expected to bring hundreds of jobs to the Durham community, something that is needed in the slow economy, Bell said.
“We expect at least 150 jobs on-site and hope that the company can bring in over $3 million in property tax for the city and county,” Bell said in an interview after the event.
According to the latest numbers from the Employment Security Commission of North Carolina, the state experienced a 10.1 unemployment rate in July—the highest since Aug. 2010.
“Unemployment has been unusually high [in N.C.] because we had high structural unemployment going into the recession,” Perdue noted. “But the good thing is that North Carolina has been successful in attracting and creating new jobs.”
Tucci said the company hopes to match North Carolina’s innovation with its own.
“This has been a stubborn recovery,” Tucci said. “It is innovation that will get us out of this recession. We’re creating jobs in America, and we are going to continue to do that.”