EMC on Sunday opened its EMC World 2012 conference with its first Global Partner Summit, during which the company introduced several initiatives aimed at making it easier for its solution providers to build their cloud practices and take advantage of new services offerings.
The Global Partner Summit, which the company estimated is bringing about 3,000 channel partner personnel together this week in Las Vegas, is also a chance for the storage giant to show the moves it is taking to turn its direct sales reps into true allies of its VARs.
The company also showed solution providers the latest model in its VNXe SMB array family -- the VNXe3150 -- which includes a quad-core processor and an SSD tier.
The VNXe3150 is slated to ship in the second half of the year both as a stand-alone array and as part of EMC's new VSPEX reference architecture. VSPEX provides blueprints on how to build data center infrastructures, including EMC storage, Brocade or Cisco networking, VMware or Microsoft virtualization, and industry-standard servers from any vendor.
New for EMC is EMC Cooperative Services, its first series of services designed specifically for channel partners.
These are based on services developed by EMC Global Services, including health checks and performance assessments, and will give new capabilities to partners who cannot deliver those services now but who are willing to invest in services-related skills, said Jason Mundy, EMC's director of global services marketing, who talked to CRN before the Partner Summit.
"(Partners) can maintain the face in the relationship to the customer," Mundy said. "They own the contract. They own the delivery. They own the entire engagement and the relationship."
Also new from EMC are Velocity Cloud Practices, a group of capabilities tied to its Velocity channel program aimed at helping solution providers to build private or public clouds.
The first of these, Cloud Builder, gives solution providers who invest in cloud-related services the skills needed to build private clouds. The other is Cloud Provider, which is focused on helping partners who are service providers and who are looking to provide public clouds to customers.
Cloud Builder requires solution providers to invest heavily in cloud capabilities, Mundy said. "You have to teach them the end-to-end opportunity in the cloud, how to find the business justification, how to build the business case, how to design or architect for the cloud," he said.
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