Tucci says his promise to partners is: "I am not going to cut off their choice. I am going to win a bigger share of their business. How do you do that? You make sure you help them make margin that pays their rents and people, and gives them a profit. You have got to make sure the products are ones customers want. That is where ease of use and installation comes in. You have got to be easy to deal with: Do you pay them on time? Is doing configurations with you a nightmare or easy? There are a whole set of things. It's all about being easy and fair to do business with."
Partners say Tucci has remained true to his word on offering "choice" particularly with regard to EMC's acquisition of market leading virtualization powerhouse VMware. Tucci kept VMware as a separate subsidiary and has insisted that the company remain independent so it can provide the best virtualization technology for all vendors.
Jeremy Burton, the executive vice president and chief marketing officer of EMC, said "empowering" VMware to work with competitors is something most CEOs would view as "weird."
"Very few technology CEOs could have pulled that off," said Burton. "[Tucci] has a practical mind, and he doesn’t have a big ego."
Jamie Shepard, executive vice president of Technology Solutions for International Computerware Inc.(ICI), EMC's global services partner of the year based in Marlborough, Mass., says he has seen the bullying of partners firsthand with the push on by vendors to get partners to commit exclusively to a single vendor technology stack. What's more, he says, that is causing some vendors to lose their focus and make a "mess" of their technology portfolio.
A number of vendors, Shepard said, are telling partners that they have to "make a choice" with a threat that it's either us or them. That is not the case with EMC, he said. "EMC knows that customers are going to decide on the best solution," he said. That drive to offer best-of-breed solutions has led to key EMC acquisitions of software innovators like VMware, Avamar and most recently Isilon Systems and Greenplum, said Shepard.
Shepard said EMC's commitment to offering partners and customers choice is not idle talk. "EMC not only talks the talk," he says. "They walk the walk."