EMC Debuts Business Partner Program, Offers Unified Tiers And Benefits

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For instance, Thomaschewski said, a lot of partners have not looked at the kind of innovations they can take to customers working with Pivotal's application development technology, but instead remain focused on hardware sales.

"That is a limiting strategy," he said. "The days of hardware are ending. Something like Pivotal is important for the future. Long View started moving toward Pivotal for application development a year ago. It's not intuitive to us. But we have to do it to remain relevant."

There are two other big changes coming to EMC's new channel program, according to sources, both of which were later confirmed by EMC.

One major change is that EMC is dropping its deal registration program for a couple of its entry-level products, particularly its new VNXe entry-level arrays and its Data Domain DD160 backup appliance.

Deal registration in general is a popular part of any vendor's channel programs, and EMC solution providers expressed mixed feelings about EMC's decision to cut deal registration for its entry-level products.

EMC could lose some partners who depend on registering deals at the entry level, said Keith Norbie, director of server, virtualization and storage for the Eastern U.S. for Technology Integration Group, a San Diego-based solution provider and EMC partner.

"EMC may be hoping a lot of volume resellers take on its entry-level lines," Norbie said. "That will increase volume. But it could cause issues with some partners. If they can't get deal registration benefits, their profitability falls. You pick your poison."

Deal registration in any event is not perfect, Norbie said. "Some volume resellers are calling customers right and left, registering everything," he said. "It's an epidemic. Finding new opportunities to register deals is getting harder."

For that reason, getting rid of deal registration at the entry level could be a nonfactor for most partners, Norbie said. Partners for whom deal registration is the only way they can sell a product probably don't have the ability to support that product after the sale, he said.

Cutting deal registration at the entry level could be good for EMC, Long View Systems' Thomaschewski said.

"If a partner goes in and quotes product just to get in the door, it could backfire on EMC," Thomaschewski said. "You could get partners selling something without proper sizing just to get the deal. Someone could sell a customer a DD160, then later tell the customer they need 20 of them to do the backup."

NEXT: Bringing More Services To Partners

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