EMC tweaks partner program in response to partner feedback

Changes for 2016 include allowing Authorized partners to qualify for the Silver tier at mid-year, increasing the Silver rebate payout, and changing revenue tier thresholds in some markets, which include Canada, but not the U.S.


Gregg Ambulos, Senior Vice President, Global Channels, EMC

The clock is likely ticking on EMC’s existence as a separate company with the pending Dell acquisition drawing closer. But the company’s channel program is likely to last much longer; an eighteen month period for the full integration of significant channel programs is not uncommon. Accordingly, EMC is continuing to develop and enhance its program for the long term.

“Last year, we introduced a new channel program, with the emphasis on it being simple, predictable and profitable,” said Gregg Ambulos, Senior Vice President, Global Channels, EMC. “It has been very well received. But as with any program, there are things that can be improved, and based on partner feedback and recommendations, we have taken steps to enhance it.”

The program established three tiers – the standard metallic Silver, Gold and Platinum, each with their own revenue thresholds and rebate payout structures. Ambulos said that partners had requested more rewards for the Silver partners.

“Accordingly, for 2016, we are increasing the Silver rebate payout,” Ambulos said.

Other measures to increase profitability include better alignment of GAF [Goal Achievement Forms] with rebate eligible products

“Last year, the GAF included services, but they weren’t paid on that, just on hardware and software,” Ambulos said. “So we removed the services quote from the GAF, so services still counts towards the tiers but not the rebate payout.”

The EMC True loyalty program introduced last year got good results, and Ambulos indicated it would continue in 2016. It has also been expanded into EMEA.

Revenue tier thresholds have also been changed in select markets. This will include both Canada and Latin America, although the U.S. thresholds will remain the same.

A perk has been given to EMC’s entry-level Authorized partners, who don’t yet have the performance to qualify for any tiers.

“They had a one year compliance period before they were eligible to become a Sliver partner,” Ambulos said. “This year, Authorized partners who meet the qualifications for Silver at mid-year can enter the Silver tier in mid-year. It makes the road to that next tier smoother and faster.”

The program has also been simplified through the integration of the VCE channel program and its resources within the broader EMC partner program.

“VCE used to be a separate track, and it is now embedded within the solution provider program,” Ambulos said. “While the criteria stays the same and way we pay the partners stays the same, the partners benefit because the VCE business now has the heft of entire program and is better integrated with the core team in the field, whereas before it was a separate line of business.”

Training and enablement for partners has also been enhanced. EMC Ready training, introduced last year for the direct sales force, has now been expanded to the partner community for 2016. An enhanced business academy consultative selling curriculum, which is new this year for EMC internal sales, is also being made available to the partner community.

Several measures have also been implemented to make it easier to do business with EMC. Deal registration is being simplified. Earned MDF is being standardized and the submission and claims process for MDF is also being made easier. EMC is also launching a single My Quotes quoting tool.

“We used to have two quoting tools, one for direct and one for channel,” Ambulos said. “Having just one will make us more nimble and reactive.”