EMC (NYSE: EMC) today announced enhancements to its Velocity Partner Program to better support its channel partners as they work to deliver solutions to their customers during the pre-sales, sales and post-sales cycles.
Pete Koiliopoulos, vice-president of global channel marketing at EMC, says new to the program is the Velocity Pre-sales Readiness Program with Advanced Accreditations and an EMCTA (EMC Technical Architect) track, the ASN (Authorized Services Network) Specialty for ASN partners, and new incentives to its Journey to the Top rewards and recognition program, which is a program within the Velocity Partner Program.
“All of the changes we make emulate from partner interaction and feedback,” Koiliopoulos said. “We’ve evolved our work with the channel by moving from a products focus to services to solutions. We’re looking for partners to marry hardware, software and services together to deliver a complete solution to customers.”
The Velocity Pre-Sales Readiness Program is available to any EMC partner that wishes to improve on their pre-sales efficiencies, Koiliopoulos says. Various incentives are also incorporated into the Pre-Sales Readiness Program, allowing partners to earn increased cooperative marketing dollars and rebates. EMC will also provide a technical architect to mentor partners when partners take advantage of EMC’s Proven Professional Technology Architect track. The track includes certification on storage platforms, backup and recovery, archiving, virtualization, storage resource management and more.
EMC has also introduced its ASN Specialty tracks for its ASN partners around three specialty areas: storage consolidation, backup and archive, with the goal of leveraging a partner’s investment in EMC products and services to further differentiate themselves from other partners, Koiliopoulos says. Partners that attain a Velocity Specialty are given access to EMC’s Champions Program, where they can view exclusive Web casts, an eRoom for best practice sharing and branding and support opportunities.
“This is being offered only to our top two tiers of partners because that’s who it’s most applicable to,” Koiliopoulos said. “Generally, you’ll be a partner that’s generating more than five million dollars in revenue.”
While there are currently only three specialty areas to choose from, Koiliopoulos says he anticipates EMC will be adding more designations in the future. It’s important that EMC’s partners are able to represent products and services to end-users just as someone from EMC would, Koiliopoulos says.
“We look to partners as an extension of our own sales and resources arms,” Koiliopoulos said. “Our number one goal is to make sure we’re always driving the program to increase partner profitability and to make it easier for partners to do business with us.”
For EMC partners that are also VMware partners, Koiliopoulos says they can also take advantage of the company’s Journey to the Top program, which rewards partners when they sell EMC and VMware solutions.
“VMware created its Alliance Affiliate Initiative to help partners increase their profitability through selling joint solutions,” Koiliopoulos said. “For the partners in (EMC’s) and the Velocity program, we’ll double their rebates from now to the end of the year.”
Currently, Koiliopoulos says partners receive a two per cent rebate on hardware and a five per cent rebate on software. As part of the Journey to the Top program, these margins will double, to four per cent and 10 per cent respectively. When asked if partners can expect to see these same sorts of rebates next year, Koiliopoulos said it all depends on what partners are looking for and how things pan out.
“We’re always looking at ways to show continual improvement,” Koiliopoulos said. “To do this, you want to make sure you’re always paying attention to your partners and have lots of communication (between you). When January (2009) comes around, we’ll see what needs to be re-evaluated and changed in the partner program to make the program more engaging and better for (our) partners.”