ARC 2010: Enterprise Network Storage3:01 PM EST Thu. Nov. 04, 2010
EMC was solution providers' choice for best Enterprise Network Storage partner by a very comfortable margin, with partners giving it a clean sweep in every category: Product Innovation, Support and Partnership.
EMC's ascent to the top of the storage channel has been a couple of years in the making, especially as its relationship with Dell, its largest reseller partner, grew less close, said Jamie Shepard, executive vice president of technology solutions at ICI, a Marlborough, Mass.-based solution provider and EMC partner.
EMC embraced the channel rapidly and has built a strong distribution base, through which it provides whatever support solution providers need, Shepard said. EMC is also one of the few vendor partners that really listens to its solution providers, he added.
"EMC used to have its [Authorized Services Network] program, but I told [EMC Executive Vice President Americas] Bill Scannell the program meant nothing," he said. "So they broke it up into specialties. Now, if I get the right specialties, I get a larger percentage discount than some of the direct guys. We're beating Dell right and left on price."
In the past year, EMC also segmented its customer base, so accounts with 250 or fewer seats are considered SMBs and therefore are not on EMC's direct-sales list.
EMC has focused on being easy to do business with and on enabling partner profitability--while minimizing conflict, said Gregg Ambulos, vice president of Americas Channels.
"Five years ago, we were at the bottom of the ARC survey," Ambulos said. "But we went out and focused on our partners and [are] making sure our partner loyalty ratings improve while growing our partner base. It's been our core focus for five years. So we're proud to get this award, to see our partners compelled to say we're doing well."