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Solution providers entering Velocity Cloud Practices receive training from EMC to get certified as an EMC Proven Professional Cloud Architect, as well as access to new EMC cloud solutions and services and EMC's best practices.
The Cloud Builder Practice is slated to be available in the third quarter, while the Cloud Provider Practice is expected to be available in the fourth quarter.
The moves come on top of a concerted effort over the past few years to build EMC into a channel-friendly storage vendor.
EMC's Chairman and CEO Joe Tucci told CRN before the meeting that EMC's business is growing much faster than the IT industry as a whole, and that over two-thirds of that growth is being driven and heavily influenced by the channel.
That does not mean that EMC is turning away from direct sales, Tucci said.
"As long as I'm living and breathing, we're goning to have a strong direct sales force," he said. "It's the power of 'and,' not the power of 'or.' It's not, 'Are you a direct sales organization or a channel organization?' It's, 'Have you mastered how to do both?'"
Today's EMC is not the same hard-charging direct sales company of years past, said Bill Scannell, EMC's executive vice president, Americas and Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), in a meeting before the Global Partner Summit.
EMC's sales reps actually like working with partners in part because of financial incentives to engage with the channel built into their compensation and in part because bringing in a channel partner early into a deal frees them up to move forward and develop new business, Scannell said.
Then there's the big stick EMC wields, when needed, to keep its direct reps in line. "It is a good-sized stick the first time (it is used) and it is the ultimate stick the second time," he said.
Chief among the changes to EMC's channel engagement is Enterprise Select, a program under which the company is moving all of its existing and future new accounts to the channel except for a few hundred enterprise accounts, Greg Ambulos, EMC's senior vice president of global channel sales, told CRN recently.
This builds on the move EMC made about four or five years ago to automatically hand all SMB and midmarket opportunities to solution providers, Ambulos said. "It made this a great place for our partners to establish a good foundation for EMC and work tightly with our sales organization," he said.
NEXT: EMC Makes Enterprise A Channel Play