EMC doubles down for silver tier channel partners

A year after replacing the Velocity partner program with a newly designed plan called Business Partner Program (BBP), EMC worldwide channel chief Gregg Ambulos sharpened his pencil to add more benefits and program structure.

The biggest change will come in the Silver tier as partners in the Americas (including Canada) and EMEA will get a larger rebate from a single digit payout to double digits. Gold and Platinum tiers remain the same.

“The market dynamics have changed and we decided to reduce and adjust the revenue thresholds in Silver,” Ambulos said.

These changes in no way reflect the declining Canadian dollar, Ambulos added. These changes were in an across the board fashion and focused on the addressable market. “We wanted to make sure that the bar does not slide and we want to be fair to EMC and the partners and reward them for hitting their objectives,” he said.

Under Silver will be a new level called Authorized Partner for those solution providers who are joining EMC. They too will get an annual compliance requirement, but if that solution provider meets or exceeds it by mid-year they get automatically enrolled in Silver, Gold or Platinum and start earning benefits from there.

EMC also plans to introduce a new quoting tool called MyQuote that will replace the two older systems called Channel Express and Direct Express. Direct Express was specific for the EMC direct sales team. Ambulos said that MyQuote enables both the partners and the sales organization to be more collaborative and hopefully nimble in terms of customer response times. MyQuote will also be available around the clock and is mobile.

“This is a sign that we want everyone talking the same language and one same thing so we do not cause any confusion. If you look at distribution MyQuote is going to be easier for them because they do not have to change from direct to partner anymore,” he added.

The recently launched True loyalty program will be expanded beyond Canada and the U.S. to the rest of the world. The True program provides rewards to those EMC partners who are exclusive with the vendor on back-up and storage and to those partners who do around 80 per cent of their business with the Hopkinton, Mass.-based vendor.

According to Ambulos, the VCE integration into EMC II has been completed and that means the VCE channel program will be rolled into BBP. Ambulos found that the solution providers with VCE overlapped with EMC partners and it necessitated this kind of consolidation that will also allow for better co-ordination.

“We are not over-distributed right now, but we always are looking for establishing new relations to get the reach we want in the marketplace. We’ll look at the partner profiles and if they have a background in storage that matches our core tenants. We will look to bring in the right partners for the right reasons,” he said.

EMC is also retiring the Coop term for Earn MDF; the same guidelines apply.

Julie Christiansen. Senior Director, Global Partner Strategy and Operations at EMC, told CDN that for channel marketing the company wants to strike a balance with the solution provider partners to provide them with a more liberal structure, while also maintain an approval process. “We would like to go-to-market together especially if there are similar requirements on how those dollars are spent. With Earn MDF we want to make it easier and reduce the administrative burden for the partners so that it can be more liberal and not everything has to go through us, but joint marketing will have a huge impact for EMC and the partners and we would like to do that together,” she said.

One thing Ambulos made clear is that these changes and additions were not made in any way because of the mega $67 billion deal from Dell made late last year.

“It’s not fair to comment, but I will say we are fired up about what going to happen. It’s an exciting time right now, but we are still independent and when the time comes we’ll work together. Right now we’ll do our thing and they do their own thing,” he said.

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Paolo Del Nibletto
Paolo Del Nibletto
Former editor of Computer Dealer News, covering Canada's IT channel community.

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