Second only to your people, your information is your organization's most important asset. EMC provides the technologies and tools that can help you release the power of your information. We can help you design, build, and manage flexible, scalable, and secure information infrastructures. And with these infrastructures, you'll be able to intelligently and efficiently store, protect, and manage your information so that it can be made accessible, searchable, shareable, and, ultimately, actionable.
You can also use EMC information infrastructure as the foundation for implementing your information lifecycle management strategies, securing your critical information assets, leveraging your content for competitive advantage, automating your data center operations, reducing power and cooling costs, and more.
In short, with an information infrastructure, you can avoid the potentially serious risks and reduce the significant costs associated with managing information, while fully exploiting its value for business advantage.
EMC works with organizations around the world, in every industry, in the public and private sectors, and of every size, from startups to the Fortune Global 500. Our customers include banks and other financial services firms, manufacturers, healthcare and life sciences organizations, Internet service and telecommunications providers, airlines and transportation companies, educational institutions, and public-sector agencies. EMC also provides technology, products, and services to consumers in more than 100 countries.
Our differentiated value comes from our sustained and substantial investment in R&D, our thousands of technical R&D employees around the globe, the industry's broadest portfolio of systems, software, and services, our ability to create total integrated solutions—all designed from top to bottom by us—and our commitment to delivering the best Total Customer Experience in this or any industry.
To strengthen our core business and extend our market to new areas, we have, over the past four years, acquired and integrated more than 40 growth-oriented software and services companies. We operate R&D centers in Belgium, Brazil, the Netherlands, Ireland, China, India, Israel, Russia, Singapore, and the U.S., and manufacturing facilities in the U.S., Ireland, and Brazil. We hold the most stringent quality management certification from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO 9001), and our manufacturing operations hold an MRP II Class A certification.
2008 marked the largest revenue year ($14.9 billion) in EMC's 30-year history and EMC's sixth year in a row of achieving double-digit annual revenue growth. In fact, from 2003 through the end of 2008, EMC's total consolidated revenues have grown at a compounded annual rate of 19 percent.
Today, we employ approximately 40,000 people worldwide, more than 40 percent of whom work outside the U.S. We are represented by approximately 400 sales offices and scores of partners in more than 60 countries around the world. We have the world's largest sales and service force focused on information infrastructure, and we work closely with a global network of technology, outsourcing, systems integration, service, and distribution partners.
We are committed to acting in a socially and environmentally responsible manner and to being an attentive and thoughtful neighbor in our local and global communities. We are a publicly traded company, listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol EMC, and are a component of the S&P 500 Index.