Storage-hardware solutions developer EMC Corporation has launched its R&D center in Beersheba and nominated Ofir Kra-Oz, formerly CTO of Israeli startup CloudShare Inc., to lead it.

EMC will officially inaugurate the R&D center in late May by EMC Information Infrastructure Products president and COO Pat Gelsinger, the company’s second in command, after chairman, president and CEO Joseph Tucci.

“The center is being established here because of the proximity to Ben-Gurion University of the Negev,” EMC Global Centers of Excellence CIO COO Sanjay Mirchandani told Globes.

“We did our homework and were impressed by what we found. We want to have a presence wherever there is high capability, and that is the case in Beersheba.”

The R&D center is just one part of many changes that EMC is undertaking in its operations in Israel, he said. It plans to consolidate its operations, which will be run by Dr. Orna Berry, at a single premises in Herzliya Pituah.

EMC’s Israeli development centers are currently scattered in Herzliya, Ramat Gan and Netanya, which employ 500 of the company’s 700 employees in Israel. The new center will have 50 employees.

“We’re ready to move forward in Israel,” Mirchandani said.

“We have an excellent team, and we added Orna to it. We love what we’ve created here.”

In contrast to Intel Corporation, which conducted wellpublicized negotiations to obtain government support for its fab in Kiyrat Gat, EMC prefers to downplay the incentives it obtained.

“This was only one of our considerations,” Mirchandani said.

“If there weren’t the highest capabilities in the field here, subsidies wouldn’t have helped.”

Globes: If you weren’t at EMC, would you still adopt cloud solutions so quickly? Mirchandani: “We push the envelope of cloud performance a little faster, but we are also a reference point for our customers.

This results in IT activity to renew itself and shake itself up, because the way we work changes. Sometimes it’s harder, but that’s a good direction.

“I still think twice about what we’re doing, and my colleagues around the world are also headed in our direction.

It’s not a matter of speed, but a question of how far the company is prepared to go and whether it feels a commitment to the direction of cloud computing.

For us it’s clear: the technologies are an important part of our contemporary computing infrastructures.”

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