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EMC's New Partner Program Motto: 'More Simple, Predictable, Profitable'

EMC is saying goodbye to Velocity and hello to the Business Partner Program on Jan. 1, as executives say EMC knows it has to help partners move quickly to capitalize on an increasingly complex IT world.

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Gregg Ambulos (left) and Terry Breen

EMC is getting ready to revamp its decade-old Velocity Partner Program as the types of workloads customers are employing transform over the next few years.

Gregg Ambulos, EMC senior vice president of global channel sales, Monday told partners at EMC's Global Partner Summit that EMC's Velocity Partner Program, which was introduced in 2003, will be replaced by the EMC Business Partner Program starting Jan. 1.

"The 'Velocity' name is going away," Ambulos said.

[Related: EMC's New Software-Defined Storage Play: Meet ViPR ]

The EMC Global Partner Summit was held Monday prior to the opening of this week's annual EMC World conference in Las Vegas.

The storage vendor's executives did not disclose deals about the new EMC Business Partner Program, other than to say that it would help break down the barriers between different types of channel partners and how EMC works with them. Ambulos, in a solution-provider-only keynote presentation later Monday morning, did not unveil any other details, according to solution providers in attendance.

Jeremy Burton, executive vice president of product operations and marketing at EMC, said the Velocity Partner Program has gone through a number of changes since its introduction.

From 2004 to 2007, it was an especially tough program for solution providers because at the time EMC's biggest channel partner was Dell, Burton said. "That was the time we really scared our partners," he said.

Velocity was enhanced in 2011 to include new benefits for service providers, and in 2012 the barriers between different partner types were removed, he said.

EMC has been focusing on helping partners better navigate an increasingly complex IT world, said Terry Breen, senior vice president of strategic sales, alliances and service providers at EMC, Hopkinton, Mass.

"That's why we're making things more simple, predictable and profitable," Breen said.

Solution providers applauded when Breen said EMC plans to replace its Powerlink system over the next 12 months. Powerlink is a part of EMC's partner portal for accessing all manner of EMC partner information and has been criticized for being too complex.

NEXT: EMC's Simplicity Message Getting Through


Rich Young, marketing and corporate communications manager at eGroup, a Mt. Pleasant, S.C.-based solution provider and EMC partner, said he has seen EMC make significant moves over the past six months to simplify its channel partner program.

"EMC is constantly putting together plans for customers that can be cumbersome," Young said. "But it has recently done a really good job of focusing on what we can sell more of, and less on the processing side."

For instance, Young said, the planning document solution providers had to provide EMC on a quarterly basis is now just two pages long, not the 12 pages that EMC required in the past.

"EMC understands we need to move quickly," he said.

Bill Scannell, president of global sales and customer operations at EMC, told partners that, with 60 percent of EMC's revenue now coming from indirect sales channels, the company knows it needs treat its partners well.

Scannell said he had been calling 2013 the "Year of the Channel" until a partner in a recent breakout session asked him what happens on Dec. 31. "We'll call this the 'Decade of the Channel,'" he said.

PUBLISHED MAY 7, 2013

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