EMC to help VARs become service providers

EMC Corp. is about to release its service provider partner program for VARs wanting to get into the cloud business, according to a company official.

Dennis Hoffman, senior vice-president of EMC’s global service providers program, revealed the news Wednesday during an interview at the EMC Forum in Toronto, a day-long seminar for showcasing the company’s solutions.

Related Story: EMC takes three paths to the cloud

The service provider program has been restructured to carriers, outsourcers and service providers, Hoffman said. But system integrators are increasingly worried that as customer organizations turn to the cloud their sales of EMC hardware will suffer. So they want to be service providers.

EMC is willing to help by broadening its service provider program. But, Hoffman said, to qualify VARs will have to show proficiency in EMC solutions.

“Unfortunately there are a lot of people who wish to become service provides because they have to,” Hoffman said, “but the likelihood of their success is very low just because it’s a whole different ball game – it’s capital intensive, its service-centric, the margins are very thin – it’s a tough model. And we don’t want to flood the program.”The promise to open the service provider program to VARs was made earlier this year at EMC World.

Ultimately, cloud computing can make IT departments of organizations more efficient and organizations more agile, Hoffman said.

So far, however – at least in Canada, — for enterprises it’s what he calls a workload phenomenon: Deciding which workloads (such as application development or backup) goes in the cloud, and which are core applications that can’t.

That means that CIOs and IT departments are becoming “portfolio managers” choosing which functions are able to go on public clouds, private clouds or stay in-house. “There’s going to be plenty of apps for all of that,” Hoffman said.” I haven’t talked to a CIO yet [of a large organization] that says 100 per cent of my workload is going to be in the public cloud.” In a separate interview Michael Sharum, EMC’s country manager, said he isn’t frustrated by our conservatism.

“Because the whole ‘big bang’ approach to go [entirely] to the public cloud is a difficult approach to make. And it’s not in our nature to do that. We as Canadians, we try things, we explore, we dip our feet in the water. We don’t ‘big bang’ anything.”

And, he added, its EMC’s job is to provide organizations with core competencies before they move into the cloud.

“You need to clean up your own house and have it operating efficiently before divesting yourself of your applications.”

When he talks to companies and governments about cloud computing their main concerns are trust and security, he said, which echoes surveys done by research firms such as IDC Canada.

But, he said, “the reality is the cyber threat is very sophisticated and it comes at organizations whether the data is in-house or outside of the four walls.” Organizations that have good data protection solutions should be prepared, he said.

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Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of ITWorldCanada.com and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including ITBusiness.ca and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@] soloreporter.com

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