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As long as I’m living and breathing, we’re gonna have a strong direct sales force. 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? And then you have to be concerned about the profitability and the business success of your partners. If you're going to call them a channel partner, I want them to be successful. And I want them to worry about our success. And I do believe we’re doing that well.
And it's a visceral, deep belief. It’s not something I’m saying because you’re here from CRN, or I want to make you happy so you write a better story. This is a deep belief.
I also got the question, why do you think this is working better now than in the past? And I said, well, when we were growing up in the beginning, we were a direct sales organization. I can recall, when we bought Data General, [which] was primarily a channel [vendor], we were going to make it from an 80 percent channel, 20 percent direct to a 20-80. That was a strategic plan. That was our DNA. So obviously we’ve changed our DNA.
The second thing we did after that was we had a very close and very good relationship with Dell for quite a number of years. The good part about it was, it worked very well. The bad part about is, our channel partners always resented that relationship. And not only resented it, they felt that Dell would use its superior pricing because of its size to put undue pricing on them.
One of the positive things that came out of our separation from the Dell relationship is that we were now free, more free, and the channel partners were more open to us building a tight relationship with them.
CRN: Did you look at the profitability of partners before and after the Dell relationship? Have the margins gone up in the wake of that?
Tucci: Yes, they have. It’s now a religion inside of EMC. We worry about the profitability and the viability and the success of our partners.
CRN: We’d love for you to compare the profitability within that mid-tier storage with NetApp, IBM, HP, Dell, all of them.
Tucci: We have that. Would I share that publicly? No. ... We want partners to believe it’s the best deal with us. We’re going to give them the most competitive products. We’re going to give them the best support. We’re going to have them make good margins. Meet and exceed the business plans that we’re putting together that are very competitive. If we give them the best products, the best support, competitive margins, it's a good formula.