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Changing the perception of EMC is job one for EMC Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Jeremy Burton, a 20-year industry veteran hired by Tucci just 10 months ago to bring some of his SMB marketing DNA to EMC’s SMB attack. To dramatize just what kind of record-breaking impact the compact VNXe systems are going to have on the market, Burton at Tuesday's launch event plans to stuff 26 people into a Mini Cooper auto, setting a new “Guinness Book Of World Records” mark. If the Mini Cooper stunt isn’t enough, Burton is also recruiting his 10-year-old son Edward to demonstrate just how easy it is to set up and configure VNXe on stage before a crowd of industry analysts, press and customers at the event at The Equitable Center in New York.
“It has never been simpler and there has never been an opportunity to make more money with EMC gear,” said Burton in a clarion call to partners. “We are pressing the reset button on a number of perceptions around EMC: not affordable, too complex.”
The way Burton sees it, VNXe is somewhat of a Trojan horse that is going to come up underneath competitors such as NetApp and even Dell with ground-breaking price/ performance. “This is not something that we have kind of bent and shoe-horned into making it look like an SMB product,” he said. “We think we’ve got it right. It took us that long [three years] because we wanted to make sure that we had the characteristics that were going to be successful in the SMB space.”
The Soul Of A New Machine
Douglas Wood, EMC vice president of integrated systems and components who oversaw the VNXe product development team of 140 engineers, said that from the outset the system was designed to drive the high value EMC is known for into a volume product. The team essentially brought an enterprise-class storage system to the SMB market, he said. It did so by leveraging EMC’s shared software assets to hide complexity with automated best practices and features Unisphere-driven click-and-point storage provisioning to work with SMB standard software offerings such as Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint and SQL Server in VMware, Oracle VM and Microsoft Hyper-V virtualized environments.
VNXe also was designed to maximize partner profitability, said Wood. “We took two-thirds of the physical hardware costs out of this box and increased performance and flexibility,” he said. “In doing so we made room in the market for EMC’s profit as well as our partners’ profits.”
The product also includes more than 60 patents that are pending, including system architecture, service and support technology that is unprecedented, said Wood. “This is not just a ‘hot box,’ ” he said. “It is a box with an ecosystem for service and support that surrounds it.” That includes a tight software link to EMC’s Powerlink customer service Web portal.
Wood boasts that the breakthroughs that come with VNXe and the unified product family open the door for partners to go beyond transactional sales to build long-lasting customer relationships around storage capacity expansion, software renewal and warranties. VNXe and VNX provide a wealth of new money-making solution plays for partners in the sub-$75,000 SMB storage market, said Wood.
NEXT: The Partner Effect