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EMC Canada makes tweaks to its channel strategy

InfrastructureEMC

EMC Canada channel chief Michael Kerr fine-tuned the storage hardware solutions company’s channel model to help position partners better as they adjust to the cloud marketplace.

Kerr told CDN that the channel is struggling somewhat with converged solutions believing it takes away services revenue.

Michael Kerr

Michael Kerr

“What it really does is free up time to be more proactive and the challenge is that it’s a different skill set,” he said.

One of the first changes is with the loyalty program called True. The True program was in pilot when EMC introduced it in May. Now True is available in Canada. EMC True offers channel partners who do 80 per cent or more with EMC in backup and storage additional rebates and training certifications. Approximately 10 per cent of EMC Silver, Gold and Platinum partners have already qualified for EMC True when it entered the pilot. Kerr reported that a number of Canadian partners have signed up to True that are among the 30 North American members of the loyalty program. For Canada, channel partners will have two levels:

  1. 100 per cent EMC bookings on storage; and
  2. An 80 per cent level with a qualifier that the partner works with just one other competitive vendor.

“We recognize the realities in the market place and in this geography. 100 per cent may work in a place like Chicago, but in a city such as Calgary it’s different,” Kerr added.

EMC Canada also made changes to the way it provides rebates. Previously EMC paid rebates tied to incent partners to sell a specific product line. In this structure there was a quota for backup and recovery and storage among others. If a partner exceeded the clip level of a particular product line they would then earn the rebate. This structure, however, prevented a solution provider who, as an example, sold $10 million in EMC equipment but was unable to meet any of the clip levels of the product lines.

Drawn from channel partner feedback, EMC Canada is now recognizing each dollar sold will have a rebate attached.

“This was very well received by the partners. It shows that we do listen to them and we fine-tuned the program to make it more profitable for them,” Kerr said.