Fred Kohout, EMC’s Vice President, Global Partner Marketing
By Mark Cox
Last year at EMC World, EMC announced its intention to replace its Velocity programs with a single partner program in which all EMC partners would simply be EMC Business Partners. This year at EMC World, following the retirement of the Velocity name in January, EMC unveiled its new EMC Business Partner Program, which unifies all EMC partner programs under one umbrella program, and which builds bridges to EMC federated companies VMware, RSA and Pivotal, and to VCE, the EMC-Cisco joint venture.
“This is the first time we have done a major rewrite in our partner engagement in over a decade,” said Fred Kohout, EMC’s Vice President, Global Partner Marketing. “With massive transformations around cloud, Big Data, mobility and security, it’s important that we have partners that can lead and drive that transformation. This is about building an ecosystem of partners.”
Kohout said that the old program, and its lines between different partner types like VARs, SIs, MSP and cloud service providers had become obsolete, as the lines between those types of businesses increasingly became blurred.
“Today, partners are having multiple business models and routes to market,” Kohout said. “So in a partner program, they wanted a lot more flexibility, a focus on solutions and services, and support for the Third Platform, including support for solutions across EMC and its federated companies.”
EMC responded by constructing a program which not only rewards partners who make deep and broad investments to EMC, but also to its’ federation of companies and VCE. More emphasis is also placed on partners bringing high-value solutions and services to market with EMC.
“If you go broadly with EMC, we are finding ways to make it more beneficial for you,” Kohout said, “You can share benefits and training credits across tracks — and these are just our first steps.” The BPP tracks include: EMC resell, distribution, cloud service provider, system integrator and outsourcer as well as the RSA SecurWorld program.
Partners qualified in VMware, Pivotal, RSA and VCE programs receive similar cross-program training credits.
“If you go deep with VMware or any of our federated companies, we are going to reward you and provide you with leverage,” Kohout said. “We have built links to VMware, to RSA, to Pivotal, although that program is in its infancy, and to VCE, even though it is not technically in federation.” EMC will also offer qualifying partners additional incentives for reselling solutions built using a combination of EMC, VMware, Pivotal and VCE technology.
“We will build an ecosystem of partners that can lead the transformation needed today and gain market share, and will reward these partners that go broad and deep with EMC,” Kohout added.
The new Business Partner Program places much greater emphasis on go-to-market enablement with Cloud Service Providers and Global Alliance partners.
“Solution providers represent a significant portion of EMC’s revenues but that Third Platform really takes a new type of partner,” said David Abelow, Senior Director, Business Partner Program at EMC. The growth of the cloud has led to a dramatic increase in the number of Cloud Service Provider (CSP) partners over the last year.
“We have fundamentally realigned our go-to-market efforts with CSPs,” Kohout said. “It’s all about predictability of earn rate for many partner types like solution providers, but for others like CSPs, its more about how they go to market.”
Accordingly. EMC is now offering CSPs new go-to-market features like Cloud Service Provider Bid Desk, an EMC lead development service and Cloud Partner Connect Program, where EMC matches resell partners with CSPs to resell, refer or white label their EMC powered cloud offerings.
“We will be helping them to sell their own services offerings with Cloud Partner Connect Program, and have doubled down on resources for this, helping them sell their own offerings,” Kohout said. “That’s a considerable change in focus.
“Through the Cloud Service Provider Bid Desk, EMC direct sales will bring cloud opportunities to CSPs,” Kohout said. “It’s live now in North America, being piloted in Latin America, and will be piloted later this year in EMEA and APJ.”
EMC is also realigning its go-to-market strategy with Global Alliance partners, who are typically large integrators.
“We have shifted to be able to invest wherever it makes sense in the relationship,” Kohout said. “It’s a wholesale difference from Velocity about how we work with them to reflect their go-to-market, within this common construct.”
EMC also announced the new Partner Solution Innovation Center for Global Alliance partners. Located in Bangalore India, it will feature subject matter experts working with Global Alliance partners to validate and create unique, industry focused solutions featuring technology from EMC’s federated businesses.
EMC will now offer qualified partners expanded access to resell and deliver an enhanced portfolio of EMC Consulting Services.
“We think this expansion of services to partners will be a big attraction,” Kohout said. “They can resell our services, engage with EMC, and at the Platinum level we are opening up tools to they can use our best of breed practices.” Partners will also be eligible for greater performance incentives that recognize and reward partners for excellence in service sales.
Rebates for Solution Provider partners for selling EMC products, software, and services have been enhanced in the new program because rebates now start at the first dollar of sales and increase at a graduated rate as specific revenue thresholds are met.
“Once they hit the clip level, we will pay the rebates back to dollar one,” Abelow said.
The Solution Provider track also features a new, elite Platinum tier for partners that achieve expert levels of accreditation and certification in the resale, design and implementation of EMC solutions.
The new program goes live in January 2015
“We announced we would be doing this last year, but our partners need time to migrate to the new program,” Abelow said. “Comparing Velocity to the Business Partner Program is comparing apples to oranges.” While the requirements differ by track, each requires competencies in presales, sales, technical, implementation around services and new marketing requirements to get.
EMC also announced new ‘Partner Only’ products. These are the VNXe3200 array, an easy to use, Flash-optimized hybrid storage array that can be set up in minutes, and the Data Domain DD2200 deduplication storage system, an entry-level system designed specifically for the needs of small-to-midrange enterprises.