EMC gives channels seven months to make investments

EMC's new channel programme starts in 12 months time, but partners will start planning on using it from May when the formal announcements will be made. The old Velocity scheme is now gone, and the replacement uses the term EMC Business Partner, still with three tiers, but will make it easier for partners in one of the areas – either the core storage/backup, or RSA security-based products, or part of the alliance with integrators, to work in adjacent areas.

The aim, says Gregg Ambulos, SVP global channels, is simplicity, predictability and profitability for partners. “This will provide the cornerstone for EMC's channels for the next ten years,” he told IT Europa. And distribution, now sorted after years of consolidation, will also follow the same three tiers. “I'm pleased with what we have done on go-to-market,” he says.

It also provides a route to the other EMC sister businesses, VMware, and Pivotal. Pivotal, which covers software development will be increasingly important, especially to ISVs, as what he calls the new platform three (big data, mobility) partners emerge.

There will be opportunities for existing partners to work with ISVs and the other new partners. “We see a role in bridging and introducing the new players in this federation structure.” Getting the Pivotal relationships working seems to be important.

He also revealed that EMC is finding increasing interest from IBM partners, particularly those following the new products using flash. All partners will have the seven months from the May 2014 announcement to decide “where to place their bets”. He says that it will not be possible for partners to continue to back and service all platforms, and they will need to decide what sort of investments to make with EMC.

The partners will each get a letter in May with an indication of the likely level of their status with EMC next January, and what they need to do to lift it to the next level. So it could be an interesting time while the channels sort out where they want to be in a year's time.