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EMC's blockbuster $2.1 billion acquisition of RSA Security could help raise the profile of security as a crucial part of core IT infrastructure, but solution providers are concerned that the direct sales-oriented culture of EMC could erase the recent progress RSA has made in improving its channel relations.
"EMC has a reputation for being a very aggressive sales organization that has been known to take deals direct, even if the partner has helped mature the opportunity," said Tim Hebert, CTO at Atrion Networking, a solution provider based in Warwick, R.I. The vendor also has made sweeping changes to its channel model and changed certification requirements without getting feedback from partners, he added.
With EMC known as a high-pressure sales organization and security traditionally seen as a trust-based industry, it's difficult to see where the synergies would lie between the two vendors, said Pete Venuta, vice president of sales and marketing at Information Security Technology, a St. Paul, Minn.-based solution provider that partners with RSA.
Still, EMC has a solid strategy for bringing RSA into the fold, said Mark Teter, CTO of Advanced Systems Group, a Denver solution provider that works with both EMC and RSA.
"Security has been somewhat of a peripheral aspect in IT operations, and this will most likely be the acquisition that finally brings security into the core infrastructure," Teter said.
RSA fits into EMC's information life cycle management (ILM) strategy and will help the vendor attain its goal of becoming a full-fledged information company, he added.