EMC debuts unified partner program

Fred Kohout, vice president of worldwide channel marketing at EMC

Fred Kohout, vice president of worldwide channel marketing at EMC

LAS VEGAS – A year after it announced it would retire its venerable Velocity partner brand at last year’s EMC World, EMC introduced its replacement partner program, one that not only brings all of its partner program under one roof, but creates closer links to EMC’s “Federation” allies, RSA, Pivotal, VMware, and VCE.

The new program includes a number of tracks for partners, including places for resellers, system integrators, cloud service providers, global alliance partners, distributors, and others, and partners will be able to qualify under multiple tracks, recognizing that solution providers are diversifying their business models.

“This is the first time we’ve re-architected our partner engagements in a meaningful way in about 12 years. This is a fresh, clean-sheet design that’s designed to be simple, predictable, and profitable,” said Fred Kohout, vice president of worldwide channel marketing at EMC.

The program has been designed to reflect what Kohout described as a move towards solutions selling within EMC itself, and the new program creates stronger links to EMC’s Federation allies. Members with qualifications in any specialization area that applies with other Federation companies’ solutions, for example, will be recognized automatically for those specializations under all members’ programs.

“If you go deep with VMware or any of our federated companies, we are going to reward you across the Federation,” Kohout said.

There have also been other streamlining efforts in the program. For example, the company has gone from some 47 different Web sites for partners down to one, said David Abelow, senior director of business partner programs at EMC.

The program includes three tiers. At the Silver level, a partner has to have technology foundations training for sales system engineers, and also has to have a basic accreditation in marketing to qualify for MDF. A small minimum revenue requirement also applies. Moving up to Gold status requires solutions training for sales staff, solutions and technology architecture training for systems engineers, implementation engineering training for services, and an intermediate accreditation for marketing. It also has a higher revenue minimum. Moving to the top tier, Platinum, adds a much higher revenue minimum, and replaces the intermediate marketing accreditation with an advanced one, and also has three unique requirements: a partner must be a VMware or VCE partner, must have a jointly-developed business development MOU with the vendor, and must maintain an EMC-focused solution centre, either physical or virtual.

The new program introduces the idea of one clip level for a partner across their business with EMC, replacing a regime under which solution providers may have required any number of revenue minimums on different areas where they hold qualifications.

“It’s now the total topline EMC revenues that will count towards their rebates, and partners start getting rebates at dollar one,” Abelow said.

For the first time, EMC is making its own services methodologies, tools, and best practices available to partners, and is making its own services portfolio available for delivery by qualified partners.

“We’re opening up our services portfolio in a more meaningful way,” Kohout said. “We know that services-led engagements drive a deeper, richer connection with clients over time.”

The details of the program were announced here, and EMC is making all of the training materials available now. The new requirements will go live as of January 1, 2015, although partners who qualify for the new program will be able to get new benefits based on those qualifications effective immediately.