EMC Unveils $500 Channel Rebate For SMB Sales

The Hopkinton, Mass.-based vendor Tuesday unveiled two new bundles of existing products from its EMC Insignia small business product lineup. Solution providers that sell the bundles during the second quarter are eligible for a rebate of $500, said Don Chouinard, director of product planning and messaging for the Insignia line.

EMC's move into the small business channel, which started with its 2004 acquisition of Dantz Development and became focused in February with the launch of its EMC Insignia small business program, has been going smoothly, said solution providers.

But they are always looking for incentives to help bring EMC to the small business space, said Van Kotter, partner at NetPath Systems, a Salt Lake City-based solution provider. "Rebates to the VAR gets strong attention," Kotter said.

EMC is using its two new bundled offerings to make it easier for solution providers to bring its technology to small businesses that may not have considered the company's products in the past, Chouinard said.

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Both bundles are based on EMC's Clariion AX150 and AX150i entry-level storage arrays, which the vendor introduced early last week. The AX150 has a Fibre Channel interface, while the AX150i has an iSCSI interface.

The first bundle, EMC Insignia Solution for Exchange, includes an array with five 500-Gbyte Serial ATA (SATA) drives for a total capacity of 2.5 Tbytes, as well as the company's EMC Storage Administrator for Exchange SMB Edition and EMC Retrospect for Windows backup and recovery software. It is aimed at automating the management of Microsoft Exchange data and migrating customers to Microsoft Exchange Server 2003.

It is suitable for small businesses with four to six servers that have not made the move to a storage area network (SAN), Chouinard said. "VARs need to convince customers to stop buying JBOD [just a bunch of disks, or non-RAID] arrays and go for RAID," he said. "Otherwise, if a disk fails, they can lose their data."

The other bundle, EMC Insignia Solution for Data Protection, includes six 500-Gbyte SATA drives in the array, along with Retrospect for Windows software. It is aimed at automating the protection of data on a small business' servers, desktops, notebook PCs and workstations. "Customers realize backups are not getting done," Chouinard said. "Between 40 [percent] and 60 percent of desktops and notebooks are not getting backed up."

The EMC Insignia Solution for Exchange is bundle-priced starting at $12,495, which Chouinard said is some $1,200 less than the cost of the different products when bought separately. The EMC Insignia Solution for Data Protection bundle lists starting at $11,995, more than $900 less than the individual component pricing. Both are currently available, and both qualify for a $500 rebate to the solution provider, he said.

EMC's move into the small business space has made it possible to use advanced technology to protect the data of smaller customers, especially when the cost of such protection is amortized across multiple systems, said Jerry Pape, a principle at Excalibur, a Big Sky, Mont.-based solution provider.

"If you look at the cost to recover a hard drive which has important data on it, the last step for most customers is [Novato, Calif.-based] DriveSavers Data Recovery, the masters of disk recovery," said Pape. "They have a 98 percent success rate. But if a customer has a bad hard drive, the minimum recovery cost is $3,000. The cost to prevent that? About $300 per system."