EMC is upping its SMB partner game by making its popular VNXe storage appliance a 'channel only" product.
EMC Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Jeremy Burton Thursday told several hundred solution providers at the XChange Americas conference in Denver Thursday that effective Oct. 1 the VNXe storage appliance will no longer be on the EMC direct sales rep price list.
"Go talk to an EMC sales rep and ask for an EMC price book and you won't find VNXe," said Burton, referring to the storage giant's first offering built from the ground up for the SMB market. "It's a channel only product."
The 'channel only' status for the VNXe storage appliance comes with the product, which was launched in January, now being carried by 1,000 EMC solution provider partners. The VNXe storage appliance represents a watershed offering for EMC and its channel partners. The product, which is priced at under $10,000, was designed to bring record breaking performance to SMB customers at price points below rivals like Dell, NetApp, IBM and HP.
"So far it has been incredibly well received," said Burton. "From my perspective, we have just got to sustain the investment. This has got all the hallmarks of a great channel product."
EMC channel leaders said the 'channel only' status will provide a sales kick for the VNXe storage appliance in enterprise accounts where solution providers will be working with EMC direct sales reps on closing deals. Up until now, EMC direct sales reps could take the product to enterprise customers on their own. There are two exceptions on the channel only status: sales over 25 VNXe units and bundled deals with other EMC products.
David Powell,vice president of managed services for TekLinks, an EMC partner headquartered in Homewood, Alabama, called the channel only status for the VNXe storage appliance more evidence that EMC is now the number one company in the channel. "EMC has the product, technology and channel friendly commitment," he said. "EMC does not just pay lip service to the channel. They look for ways to help us be more successful."
Burton, for his part, said VNXe has opened the door to a wide range of changes around sales, support and marketing at EMC aimed at expanding the company's partner reach. He sees more changes coming that will benefit EMC partners including "channel only" marketing programs.
"We are going to build (marketing) programs and we are going to apply co-op and MDF (Market Development Fund) dollars to run with and through the channel, before EMC even runs them," said Burton. "We have never really done that. I think the channel will see that as another sign that we really get it."
"EMC turned the corner quite some time ago on making channel a priority," Burton said. "The partners should look at this as another line in the sand that we have drawn that we would never have drawn in the past."