EMC tempts VARs with renewed cloud service provider programme

Channel News

Velocity Service Provider partner programme to triple in size in 2013

EMC is re-vamping its Velocity Service Provider partner programme to help introduce more VARs (value added resellers) to offer cloud services to customers.

Following its introduction at EMC World in 2011, the Velocity Service Provider programme with 33 partners, the renewed programme will seek to build on the 60 service providers currently signed up.

In the UK, service providers have included Colt, Cable & Wireless, as well as global providers such as Verizon, AT&T and Rackspace, and EMC is now looking to expand on this, ditching its “invitation only” approach.

The aim for EMC is to sell through partners rather than setting up its own cloud services, and is intent on meeting future cloud workloads demands by increasing its reach through the channel for cloud workloads.

According to Michelle DeHertogh, senior director of global alliances at EMC, there will be roughly triple the number of partners by the end of 2013, and this means that there will be a lot more VARs joining the programme.

“It is highly likely that half of those that come in will be VARs,” DeHertogh said.  “We are seeing a tremendous number of VARs wanting to stand up  a cloud.”

She added, somewhat ominously: “We likely have more VARs that want to become service providers than we would have room for them to participate at this point.”

The changes to the programme, which will come into effect in January 2013, include greater differentiation between the Silver, Gold and Platinum tiers to separate those who are just beginning to enable service provider capabilities, and those with more wide-ranging cloud offerings.   All current Service Provider partners will have one year to re-qualify for the programme, and some maybe be moved up, though  DeHertogh said none will be moved down a tier as a result.

EMC will also be ramping up the requirements for each level to ensure that service quality levels don’t drop as more partners are added to the programme’s ranks.

Changes to the programme will involve investing more in market development funds, and opening up new sales models for customers, as well as accelerating cloud offerings by allowing backup and storage as a service.

Marketing resources will be made available to help with partner’s marketing plans, as well as support for business plans at all levels to meet the needs of the wide variety of cloud systems being set up, though this will be more self-service for those on the Silver tier.   The programme will also seek to bring resellers together with service providers to to sell on cloud services.

Plans are also in place to expand the programme further in future.  DeHertogh says that though “mom and pop” resellers are not being targeted with its Velocity Service Provider programme at the moment, it is expected that ever more partners will start to provide cloud services to customers, and told ChannelBiz UK that there further changes are likely to extend the programme to allow for even more partners to join in future.

“We see that in 2014 we will be rapidly heading for your self service type level, probably adding another tier at this point,” she said.  “It is definitely heading in that direction.”

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