EMC To Launch New Three-Level Partner Program

The Velocity Partner Program, which represents a multimillion-dollar investment in the channel, features a number of increased partner benefits and requirements. The program will feature three partner levels: Velocity Reseller, Velocity Partner and Premier Velocity Partner.

Velocity Resellers are required to have at least $250,000 in annual EMC sales and have at least one EMC-related marketing program, one quota-carrying sales representative, and one EMC presales engineer per region. Engineer certification tests include 12 Web-based and one instructor-led course that spans 10 days. As a result of meeting those requirements, Velocity Resellers will get 1 percent in co-op funds as well as incentive-based and performance-based rebates.

Velocity Partners must have at least $5 million in annual EMC sales, 2 EMC-related marketing programs a year, 25 percent of their sales forces per region accredited as quota-carrying EMC reps, and 25 percent of their engineers deemed EMC certified professionals. Benefits for Velocity Partners include 2 percent co-op funds, 1 percent rebates for meeting sales goals and 3 percent rebates for reaching "stretch" goals.

Premier Velocity Partners are required to have at least $15 million in annual EMC sales, 50 percent of their sales force accredited EMC quota-carrying reps, and 50 percent of engineers deemed EMC-certified professionals. In addition, Premier Velocity Partners must also have four representatives attend EMC's annual Technology Summit, as well as one executive sponsor, alliance manager and senior technical manager dedicated to the EMC relationship. As a result, such solution providers will received pre-launch product training and get 3 percent co-op funds, 3 percent rebates for meeting sales goals and 5 percent rebates for reaching "stretch" goals, and also be eligible for membership in both the EMC Authorized Services Network and EMC Partner Council. All three levels are eligible for agent or referral fees and a host of training, education and sales support programs.

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Terry Richardson, vice president of global reseller and OEM sales at EMC, says the Velocity Partner Program will help make EMC a true channel company. Despite recent strides, EMC's channel ranks are still relatively small -- there are only about 300 VARs and less than 30 dedicated channel sales reps in North America. Still, Richardson said EMC has invested more than $20 million in its channel business and that the company expects big results from the new endeavor. "This is as much a branding program as anything else," Richardson says. "We want to make EMC an established brand in the channel."

The storage leader's new program will be the culmination of a major transformation from a direct-sales company to a channel company. As the economy began to decline in 2001, EMC implemented rules of engagement to help reduce channel conflict, committed its direct-sales force to its largest enterprise accounts and upped its support for VARs. Currently, EMC has 1,800 direct accounts, but partners are allowed to work on those customers. But Richardson says that below the named direct accounts, there are approximately 51,000 customer accounts or active potential accounts that are less than $500 million in annual revenue that EMC direct sales is not allowed to touch. Richardson says EMC's direct sales reps will be penalized for selling to those partner accounts.

The new Velocity Partner Program, however, doesn't protect EMC VARs from direct-selling from Dell, which recently extended its alliance with EMC until 2008. The Dell-EMC alliance, which manufacturers, co-brands and markets midrange storage systems, represents about one-third of EMC's Clariion revenue.