Thursday, June 19, 2008

The politics of Enterprise Storage

Yesterday, I was talking to a friend of mine about which way he thought the big shots in Enterprise Storage companies would contribute to political campaigns. It is no wonder that billion dollar storage companies employees are willing to back their favorite candidates with donations. It is the way of the world. My buddy thinks that executives should contribute to the party that backs open markets and free trade since all the companies are engaged in global commerce and work with worldwide supply chains. I think that the executives of big companies are more pragmatic, and either contribute to all parties or the one that they feel can benefit their company the most.

Since we deal in the NetApp marketplace I was most interested to see where they contributed. Because NetApp has changed its name from Network Appliance recently you have to look in two places now. It turns out that EMC's employees are much more generous to presidential campaigns in this race than NetApp's:

Presidential race:
NetApp
Network Appliance
EMC
IBM


Lobbying firms are also well funded by the storage industry:

NetApp
Network Appliance
EMC
IBM

I think it is great that the executives of these companies get involved in politics, They have worked hard to build great companies and I hope that they are contributing to the people and parties that they believe can help their companies, employees, and stockholders the most.

Only the executives in the firms can judge whether they are getting a return on investment on their Lobbying efforts. NetApp does not seem to be spending very much on lobbying currently, in comparison to EMC and IBM. It will be interesting to watch and see if as they grow they invest more in lobbying.

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