Tucci: EMC VNXe Is An SMB Storage Game-Changer

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These days, Tucci is in danger of getting too high rather than too low. He’s getting lots of praise for reinventing EMC. That includes his bet on Intel industry-standard processor technology that led to his decision to bring on board 30-year Intel veteran Pat Gelsinger in September 2009 as president and COO of EMC’s Information Infrastructure Products group. Gelsinger’s job out of the gate was to make sure the company had the right product and channel plan to rewrite the rules in the SMB market.

Gelsinger said he was surprised at just how much work had to be done to set in motion an aggressive channel expansion. “The first time they presented their channel plan to me I found it a little bit humorous coming from the number of VARs and partners that Intel drove,” said Gelsinger. “It was like we lost a digit or two.”

Gelsinger set about changing the EMC culture to get the whole company to make the necessary shift. Part of that included a task force known as S-75 (Sub-$75,000) aimed at getting every last group within the company to adjust to the new reality of a unified product set aimed at the Fortune 5 Million rather than the Fortune 500.

That meant making sure EMC has a big, broad channel that can deliver an SMB product designed for the IT generalist rather than a midmarket storage administrator, he said. By all accounts, what is going on now is an ambitious partner recruitment effort aimed at adding several thousand new partners to EMC’s ranks. That’s a big change for a company that has focused more on partner quality than quantity and been extremely careful about not overdistributing its products. The expansion represents a dramatic increase in EMC’s partner base given CRN’s 2010 Partner Program Guide count of 1,800 EMC partners in the U.S. and only 5,500 worldwide.

“These [VNXe] offerings open the floodgates for EMC and our partner community,” said Gregg Ambulos, vice president of Global Channels Operations and America Channel Sales. He points out that VNXe represents the first-ever “open” product not restricted to a select group of partners. That means a new way of doing business with EMC’s distribution partners so they can quickly on-board new SMB partners. EMC’s new affiliate tier, which requires a $50,000 annual sales commitment, allows partners to resell VNXe after only three hours of free online training. “We want to get out and get to the masses,” said Ambulos.


NEXT: Locking Step With Intel's Processor Push

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