New EMC Presales Advisory Council Brings EMC, Partner Engineers To Talk Tech3:16 PM EST Fri. Nov. 02, 2012
EMC has quietly formed a new organization, the Presales Advisory Council, which brings together EMC and solution provider pre-sales engineers to discuss strategic technical directions for the storage vendor's product lines.
Fred Nix, a member of EMC's operations team for worldwide pre-sales and the leader of the Presales Advisory Council, said the group's function is to advise, and engage and represent pre-sales engineers from both EMC and its partners in developing product road maps and communicating technical plans to both sides.
"We're looking for people who are passionate about EMC technology," Nix said. "We need them to be strong communicators and public speakers. And we want people who are looking ahead at coming technology and want to help EMC and its partners."
This is a unique opportunity for TCs, or technical consultants, which is EMC's term for its own pre-sales engineers, Nix said.
"We're looking to give TCs globally an opportunity to speak as one," he said. "They will represent us at customer meetings and industry events. And they will have a wide-open kimono to our road maps. And they will be speaking for our partners."
Both the EMC TCs and the partner pre-sales engineers also will be able to communicate EMC initiatives, such as a push to get the IT industry to train more data scientists able to manage and interpret the results of big data enquiries, Nix said.
The EMC Presales Advisory Council currently has 40 members, of which about five are EMC solution providers. Nix said it plans to add more members from both sides.
NEXT: Serious About The EMC Presales Advisory Council
The genesis of the Council, which first met about two weeks ago, lies with Chad Sakac, senior vice president for global pre-sales technical resources at EMC and one of EMC's best-known technology promoters in the channel.
"He decided he wanted to have a pre-sales advisory council that could be the global voice of pre-sales for the field," Nix said.
Steve Kaplan, vice president of data center and cloud solutions at Presidio, a Greenbelt, Md.-based solution provider and a member of the EMC Presales Advisory Council, said he has been on many advisory councils during his long history in the channel, but that the new EMC group is unique.
"It's a great strategy," Kaplan said. "We're not just talking about problems. Vendor councils always have a big focus on problems with the vendor taking deals direct to customers. This new EMC council focuses on technology, and on what strategic technical directions EMC is heading. Other vendor councils also talk about technology, but it's buried in the rest of the schedule."
The new EMC Presales Advisory Council seems serious, Kaplan said. "EMC is asking partners to do their homework, do presentations and provide feedback," he said. "EMC is spending a lot of money on this."
Kaplan said he is not concerned that the majority of the members so far are EMC TCs.
"Is there enough partner representation?" he said. "From my perspective, sure. I'm there."