Joe Tucci's open letter to Data Domain employees go me to thinking: what is so great about EMC? And why did I choose to work here (and why have I have chosen to remain)? What would a Data Domain employee want to come to EMC? Why would anybody?
So I thought I would give a few of my own observations. The sample size is me. I am not going to say a single thing about their alternative, NetApp, because I have never worked there. This is just about what makes EMC, in my opinion, such a great place to work.
1) Good Leadership. I can't say that I have a ton of experience working with the senior leadership. But the very limited professional contact I have had has consistently left me very impressed with the level of intelligence and critical thinking at the top. There are some fearsomely bright people at the head of the company. This is, I think, a good thing. I am not going to name names, but is a quality I have seen in every senior leader I have interacted with.
2) Your input matters. Even more than the first, this matters to me: input matters. You can reach into engineering quickly and effectively. Provided your requirements are sound, well articulated, and sensible, you will be listened to. This is equally true from a business process point of view, and from a marketing perspective. If you have an opinion that is relevant and you can express it clearly, your input will be valued. To this day I still find myself pleasantly surprised that such a large organization values input from so many diverse places. What this really means is that you can make the world (or just EMC) a better place. If something is wrong, you can almost always get it fixed. If something should be done differently or better, you can make that happen, or get an audience with somebody who can. There is no reason to (ever) sit around and complain, because almost everything that matters in your day to day life can be made better if you are willing to put in the effort.
3) You control your destiny. Not to different from the last point, but EMC is not about static job descriptions and punching time clocks. Not from my perspective. There are things you have to get done. But beyond that, there is a huge amount of freedom for individuals to determine what incremental benefit they want to bring to their career and to EMC. Want to blog? Go for it! Want to contribute to the annual innovation conference? Go do it. Want to work on an initiative that will help others in the field? You got it. I have never been discouraged from doing something that contributes to the ability of the organization to compete--even if it doesn't immediately and directly contribute to "the number". As I said, the fundamentals can't be forgotten, and the basics have to be taken care of, but beyond this there is a huge amount of latitude for an individual to improve the company and contribute.
4) Effort and leadership is rewarded. At the end of the day, I have always found that effort is rewarded. Those individuals who make exceptional contributions (either to sales, or to other corporate goals) are invariably rewarded. I asked a leader at our new hire training: "what is the one thing an individual can do to best make a difference?" Or some such sentiment. Todd's reply (hope you are reading this Todd, because your guidance has stuck with me for almost 5 years now!) was simple: "speak up!" And I have never found a case where EMC punishes those who speak up, on the contrary, those who speak up are rewarded. This is not a company where no good deed goes unpunished.
Does the other alternative that the Data Domain employees have before them offer these things? I don't know. This list isn't intended to be comprehensive, as there are other great things about EMC that aren't included here, and I bet that other EMCers would have their own, possibly very different, list. And it isn't intended to be a list of things we are and they are not.
It is just intended to be a short list of why I think the folks from Data Domain would be welcome here, and why they would prosper. And make no mistake: they would be welcome, be me, and by everybody else here.
Edit: Polly Pearson answers the question in a different way on her blog here: "The Start-Up Within". It is a very good answer (and I agree with the finances, diverse portfolio, benefits, resources, etc.) I just wanted to share my own more personal take on it.