Editor’s note: Look for growth from EMC this quarter. But the storage tech giant, which has big operations in the Triangle, also faces transformation costs, concludes Krista Macomber of Technology Business Research.

HAMPTON, N.H. – EMC will achieve moderate top-line growth in 2Q15 per TBR estimates, but its bottom line will be dragged down by transformation-focused spending.

TBR expects EMC to post 2Q15 corporate revenues of $6.2 billion, up 5.1% from the year-ago quarter, driven by EMC’s majority ownership of VMware. We estimate core EMC Information Infrastructure (EMC II) revenues dipped a slight 0.3% as EMC incrementally increases the footprint of its federated businesses (EMC II, VMware and Pivotal) in high-growth, high-value markets such as hybrid cloud and software-defined IT as demand wanes for legacy businesses such as high-end SAN storage arrays.

EMC II’s revenue transition to high-growth technology segments such as flash and scale-out NAS storage is driven in part by its horizontally focused business model, which facilitates agile and focused portfolio investment and go-to-market strategies. However, balancing a series of federated entities adds messaging complexity for EMC, limiting the crispness of its go-to-market execution as customers seek trusted advisers to navigate their transition to new IT architectures.

Furthermore, EMC’s increasing reliance on VMware for growth and differentiation drives EMC II to focus alliance efforts closely with VMware, limiting the unit’s ability to partner freely in a market demanding openness and driven by unpredictable workload requirements.

We expect these headwinds to contribute to a slowdown in corporate revenue growth for EMC during 2H15 and 1H16. This revenue growth deceleration will compound financial investment in areas such as R&D, acquisitions and channel-driven, go-to-market programs to drive its transformation, driving the company’s operating margin down in 2Q15 and 2015 overall.

The key for EMC to maximize its ability to capitalize on opportunities and accelerate revenue growth is sharpening go-to-market execution. For EMC, this primarily means continuing to embrace openness, articulating the delicate balance between integration and openness that its federated companies are learning to strike and investing in programs that connect cloud service providers with EMC technologies.