EMC Debuts Business Partner Program, Offers Unified Tiers And Benefits

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The change in deal registration could make selling entry-level products harder for partners with no value-added offerings, Thomaschewski said.

"We have to provide business value," he said. "You can't do that by pushing a deal and then leaving. Who is going to clean up the mess? Another channel partner."

The move to drop deal registration for entry-level products will help speed up partner sales at the entry level, Ambulos told CRN.

"We want less friction on the low end," Ambulos said. "Partners have to come to the price support center now to get price relief. Distributors will take the lead at the entry level."

The move should accelerate and improve the entry-level sales process, Ambulos said. "We don't have any real volume products today," he said. "But with VNXe coming up, we want to streamline the process."

EMC also is adding services to its new EMC Business Partner Program.

EMC, which five years ago moved its services business to partners who get certified, is also providing its services best practices and methodologies to solution providers at the Gold and Silver tiers, making them available to partners for the first time, Ambulos told CRN.

"We are now offering services rebates to partners who sell them to customers," he said. "We want to reward them for selling the services, and help their overall margin profile."

However, Ambulos said, EMC does not want to conflict with partners' own services. "You can guess that partners who sell their own services get much higher margins," he said. "We don't want to add conflicting services. We want to complement partners' own services business. A lot of big partners with their own services capabilities sell our services."

EMC has been approaching channel partners to offer them more services, which is in general a positive move, Thomaschewski said. "But in some cases, those may be services we currently offer on our own," he said. "So we have to be careful about how this might impact us."

Partners have until Jan. 1 to prepare for the new program, but Thomaschewski said that may not be enough time for all partners to get ready.

"This program will throw a lot of partners' business strategies in the air," he said. "We'll see a lot of changes. Partners who are now at the Signature level, the highest level in the Velocity program, may have to move down a level in the new program.


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