The channel is critical in several aspects for EMC as they are customer-facing. Right from educating customers about the benefits of cloud computing and virtualized storage, to deploying EMC storage products and implementing architecture and design solutions, the role of the channel is central and critical.
Speaking exclusively to The DQWeek, Joergen Jakobsen, VP, channel operations, Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ), EMC said, "2012 is going to be the ‘year of channel' for EMC. The channel has worked as a prime growth engine for our go-to-market strategy and has helped shaping up EMC's objectives. One of the focus areas is to make it easier for our partners to do business with EMC. We have reorganized internally as unified channel organization so that channels can access our portfolio including EMC VNX, Data Domain and Isilon portfolio."
Apart from the product portfolio enhancement, the company is also focusing on partner enablement. In line with this, it is adding a unique EMC staff force called Partner Technical Consultants (PTCs) to mentor the partners to have the right skillset, the right learning curve about the industry scenario and product information. PTCs also play a critical role in creating a pool of specialized partners to give the best solution set to their customers.
In addition, the company is also making it easier for their partners to sell, implement and support EMC products. To achieve that, it has started implementing a new deal registration process which ensures partner protection for registered deal opportunities via incremental discounts. Also, it provides incremental discount support in winning new accounts with EMC and significantly improves speed of DR process through internal process improvement.
Jakobsen also added, "In India, we sell almost everything through channel except some global accounts which needs direct selling. Further to Velocity program, EMC is also investing in pre-sales partners' training, accreditation and certification. This has been proven mutually beneficial and we have grown depending on our channel partners. We can analyze the market much better now and act accordingly."
Above all, it is keen on developing a pool of specialized partners who can do as much as system installation and implementation. EMC is looking forward to empower its partners to deliver high-end products like Symmetrix, Greenplum and Isilon (big data and analytics solutions). It will be replicated in tier-2 partners also.
Worldwide, EMC added 1,700 new partners to sell EMC products and solution in 2011. They generated slightly less than half of the channel growth for EMC WW. The large increase in new partners wanting to sell EMC is a testimony to the success of the EMC product range and channel program.