EMC Launches Services Partner Offensive To One-Up IBM, HP

EMC has already enrolled about 12 partners in the United States to provide services in the same manner as EMC's Professional Services organization. The program, which includes rules of engagement, will be officially rolled into the EMC Velocity channel program July 1.

Better terms and conditions for EMC's service-enabled VARs will win partners away from IBM, HP and other EMC competitors, said Russ Greene, director of global services partners and alliances at EMC. The difference between EMC and its competitors is that EMC service-enabled partners can take every bit of the services on deals they win, said Greene. The windfall is huge on big deals, given the 30 percent to 40 percent profit margins that are standard on high-end services deals, Greene said.

"We want to get some mind share from our competitors," he said.

EMC expects about 20 partners to be enrolled in the program--which began as a pilot offering in April--by the end of July, Greene said. "This has been an enormous success," he said. "The channel is eating it up."

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The program goes in the "opposite direction" of IBM and HP, which are offering agent programs but taking more of the high-margin services revenue themselves, Greene said. IBM and HP are not members of the EMC services network, he said.

"HP today is pulling back on the amount of services that they are allowing their partners to go out and deliver," said Greene. "They are moving more to an agent relationship where they want partners to resell their services. . . . We're going in the direction that is the opposite of our competitors."

Greene said the requirements to become a player in the EMC-enabled services program are stringent, noting that the vendor is looking for "quality not quantity."

Service-enabled VARs must first be nominated by a member of EMC's field channel organization in conjunction with the vendor's midmarket commercial sales organization. After that, the service-enabled VAR must go through an accredited 10-day course priced at of $7,000 per employee. In addition, that the partner must pay a $10,000 annual fee for support from EMC's technical support group.

"I am chasing the best, the brightest, the most competent, the ones that when you do it they are going to invest, drive sales and deliver the highest volume possible," said Greene.

To assist partners in closing a deal, EMC will offer a mentoring executive at a rate of $1,250 per day, said Greene.

The initial program includes services offerings around the Clariion line, said Greene. The NS 600 will be added in July, providing a complete midrange SAN and NAS portfolio, he said.

"We've got to give services to some of our partners if we want to go out and compete effectively," said Greene.

Dell Computer has a separate services agreement with EMC that is not part of his organization, Greene said. Since EMC formed a joint alliance with Dell 20 months ago, it has done joint services training of more than 2,000 Dell employees.