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EMC sweetens incentives to boost partner mindshare

EMC Channel Chief Greg Ambulos with partners

Knowing most solution providers do business with a number of vendors, and that navigating different partner programs can be a challenge, IT infrastructure vendor EMC Corp. is making several changes to its Velocity partner program to make it easier – and more profitable – for solution providers to give more of their business to EMC.

“We’ve really taken the program and made it global and consistent,” said Michael Kerr, director of channels for EMC Canada, in an interview. “We’ve made it more simple, more predictable in terms of understanding rules of engagement with our sales force, and more profitable, either in up front margin or backend rebate.”

RELATED STORY: EMC bolsters channel program for cloud services

The vendor wants to reward partners that invest in EMC, said Kerr.

Among the specific changes, Premier and Signature partners will receive new rebates for selling targeted EMC technologies, including VNX and VNXe unified storage, Avamar and Data Domain backup and recovery solutions, and the VFCache Flash caching solution.

In another change, partners will no longer need to earn an implementation certification to achieve a specialty, allowing pure-play resellers a more direct path to achieving specialties. As well, there will no longer be a revenue requirement for achieving specialties. To achieve the top (Signature) tier of the program, three specialties will be required.

More products will be eligible for financial benefits within the Velocity specialties, and EMC also announced a doubling of its investment in demand generation programs. As well, recognition of specialties for tier promotion will now be recognized quarterly, instead of annually.

“We recognize investing in a specific vendor is a significant proposition, so we’re trying to make it as profitable as possible in as short a term as possible,” said Kerr.

Kerr said they see partners wanting to consolidate more of their business with fewer vendors, and EMC wants to make it easier for them to choose EMC as one of those vendors.

“What we’re working toward is making it compelling for them to consolidate the number of partners they’re working with,” said Kerr. “We want to make our share of their overall business revenue higher, because you simply become more relevant to them.”

In other program news, EMC indicated that the Isilon partner program has now been integrated into EMC’s Velocity program. Kerr indicated there are other programs from acquired companies still to be merged over time, but 90 per cent of EMC’s products are now covered under Velocity.