EMC Offers VARs Stackable Front-End Discounts, New VNX/VNXe Incentives

The changes in EMC's Velocity Solution Provider Partner program enhance EMC's ability to fulfill two continuing promises to its partners, said Gregg Ambulos, the company's senior vice president of global channel operations and Americas channel sales.

"The key areas we focus on are ease of business and partner profitability," Ambulos said. "With these changes, we are communicating what we are doing for partners."

The biggest change is in EMC's deal registration program, where solution providers have traditionally received both front-end and back-end discounts. Going forward, EMC is moving those discounts to the front-end of the sale and letting multiple discounts stack up for greater profitability, Ambulos said.

For instance, if a partner signs a customer deal which is eligible for bonus discounts because that deal provides incremental business, is a net new account, and meets a particular EMC goal for that quarter, all those discounts will be applied up front.

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"Partners tend to focus on front-end discounts, where they can use rebates to improve their bottom line, or invest in their EMC business, or pass part to their sales reps," Ambulos said. "We want to give partners instant gratification. And we want them to have the richest opportunities in the industry."

One long-term EMC solution provider who asked to remain anonymous because of current projects involving an EMC competitor, said stacking the incentives on the front-end is great news for partners who have invested in the program.

However, the solution provider said, partners without the bandwidth to get the necessary specializations will not reap the benefits.

"Strategically, it's a great alignment for the VAR owners because this impacts their ROI (return on investment)," the solution provider said. "(VAR) business owners can see the discount and the ROI right away."

EMC also wants to make it easier than before for partners to do business with the company's VNX and VNXe SMB appliances, which were introduced in January.

The company is expanding its Velocity Incentive Program (VIP) to provide back-end incentives for VNX and VNXe sales, Ambulos said.

As promised at the product launch, EMC has also finally implemented an open distribution model for VNX and VNXe, giving partners their appropriate Velocity program benefits regardless of their choice of distributor, he said.

For all EMC solution providers, the company has also implemented new partner relationship management tools based on Salesforce.com, giving them the ability to go online to manage their EMC profiles, review channel plans, and monitor their program participation, Ambulos said.