CRN Exclusive: EMC Passes Enterprise Services Baton To Partners

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Bob Olwig, vice president of business strategy at World Wide Technology, a Maryland Heights, Mo.-based solution provider and EMC partner, called Enterprise Select a very significant change to EMC's channel program.

"Enterprise Select is all about incentivizing EMC's direct reps to leverage the reseller channel and to support the channel in larger accounts," he said. "World Wide and EMC have already been collaborating on accounts that EMC did direct in the past. EMC is not going away. But the client now gets to work with us."

Getting the partner into big enterprise accounts is important for EMC, Olwig said.

"In today's multiproduct world, EMC realizes the importance of the other part of the IT infrastructure besides storage," he said. "With World Wide's close relationship to Cisco, VMware and other vendors, EMC recognizes our importance to their customers."

Another major channel priority for EMC's direct sales reps is to adhere to newly published rules of engagement.

Those rules, which are available to partners globally, provide guiding principles for how EMC's sales teams work with partners, and are a major improvement over the rules last posted about five years ago, Ambulos said.

"One rule is to bring a partner into a deal no later than the second sales call," he said. "Or if a partner has a registered deal, EMC [sales reps] cannot take it direct. If they do, then there are ramifications for the sales team. All these rules have been tied into the EMC sales comp plan."

Other rules give partners the lead on services opportunities in channel-only markets or registered deal, prevent EMC from talking about prices with partners' customers, and stop EMC reps from directly engaging with partners' customers unless authorized by the partner to do so.

Breaking a rule means significant penalties, Ambulos said.

"If you break one of these material rules, then the sales team could lose their credit for the transaction and any compensation," he said. "They could lose the whole deal. The sales leadership at EMC has made it really easy for me. They understand that we need to get a lot more reach within the marketplace, and that our partners are there to help drive our overall productivity and are an extension to the EMC sales team, and we need to work in a collaborative manner. So the bottom line is, there's wood behind the arrow."

EMC's new rules of engagement were approved by EMC's partner advisory board, of which World Wide Technology’s Olwig is a member. Olwig said that since the rules were approved he has not heard of any particular conflicts.

"EMC has always had some rules," he said. "The finalization of the rules of engagement shows that EMC is focused on its channel relationships."

NEXT: New EMC Partner Capabilities Grid

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