The key to EMC’s success in terms of market share has been a focus on selection of likeminded, compatible partnerships that are willing to make the transformation from being sellers of boxed products to solution providers to the customers. Focused on cloud as the trendiest technology for adoption, EMC encourages a compact set of truly dedicated partners who are willing to adhere to the 4Ps of partner engagement. Of course, EMC supports the partners with initiatives like the EMC marketing academy that provide process and training support for partners’ marketing activities.
Please share your views on the EMC 2014 forum theme ‘Redefine IT and Transform to software define enterprises?
EMC has been focusing on migrating its technologies on cloud. So, for this Forum, the message is around how we are taking the cloud story to our product line and bringing it as an offering to the customers. That’s where the concept of SDDC possibilities are coming to play. This is where the whole theme of EMC revolves. Thereafter, we are talking of how all are conceptions around software defined products, and how we deliver that value as a plug-in into every product of EMC. All this ultimately leads up to how we plan to deliver what we call the hybrid solution for future.
Hybrid Cloud is new to India. How many adoption have you seen in this space?
Almost 60% of CIOs say that they are looking to move to hybrid cloud in future and around 35% are already on the journey of Hybrid Cloud. So it is a positive trend.
What is the future you see of Software Define Data Center?
Software Defined Data Centers (SDDC) encapsulates multiple technologies which become software different from hardware – only platform or services, or only platform to a software defined enterprise. It’s a step by step journey and EMC is communicating with partners and customers to tell them what those steps are. Our intermittent assessment services ensure that they understand what they exactly need in their current environment or data center, and how to migrate it to what proportion of private, public or hybrid conversations.
What will be your strategy to strengthen IT agenda discussed in the forum?
Two or 3 years ago we were consolidating our partner relationships because we realized we needed the right selection of likeminded people who are ready to traverse the journey with us. That’s where we consolidated our position and created the framework around partners focused on.
We are back into the top position in terms of market share, which tells us that our strategy of consolidating partners have been successful in delivering results. We have opted to take the same path in our current journey and are talking to our set of focused partners and selective growth partners for our conversations around cloud, hybrid cloud, software defined enterprise. We are focused on helping them train and move to the next level.
A lot of customers have shown interest around software defined enterprise. In today’s market, it is still helping us sell platform two technologies. That’s the path we are showing to the partners and asking them not to lose focus on their business.
On what criteria do you select your partners to work with EMC?
We work with likeminded people, most of who want to embrace next generation technology, have a strong online presence and are not willing to settle for selling old generation of PC and printers models. They are embracing data center solutions, software defined enterprise solutions, and cloud solutions, thus providing momentum to the market. We have helped our partners to deliver value from platform 2 standpoint.
What are the big benefits to partners associating with EMC?
The biggest benefit to our partners is about technology innovation. If a partner is interested in next generation technologies, and providing a complete landscape to the customer, they will be interested in partnering with EMC. That is also the reason why we are talking to only selected ones who can embrace technology with all the relevant expertise and information. We don’t want to make it a Product only or selling boxes, we want it to be viewed as solution sale. That is why our partners are limited in numbers but very valuable in size.
Which industry trends are driving partners towards solution selling?
Solution selling is not a buzz word today. People have migrated from a product only sale to solution sale. The ecosystem keeps on pushing back on selling product boxes. But the job of our team is to ensure that partners add value to the product through their knowledge and experience, and slowly get into the sale of solutions, rather than boxes.
What are the business challenges you see?
The biggest challenge we are facing is around the dichotomy of platform 2 Vs platform 3. Everybody wants to embrace and lead with platform 3 and want to be SMAC ready but I have seen that many companies are not even close to completion of SMAC story around data centers.
We are trying to convert this dichotomy and educating partners and customers about platform 3 and help them on the journey towards mobility and cloud in the organization.
What does it mean to be EMC VSPEX Proven Infrastructure?
VSPEX is our converged infrastructure solution player, in fact it is the largest converged infrastructure player in the country. With a very strong revenue base, this solution creates the overall architecture of data centers and that is where we are trying to embrace a number of quality partners. We understand how converged infrastructure can redefine data center requirements.
Could you tell us something about the new marketing academy for EMC business partners?
The academy has been conceived from the idea that partners should be able to help themselves to create more momentum around pipeline generation that will actually be the driver force behind top line revenues in the years to come. That’s where we are setting up a marketing academy with very valuable inputs from EMC to be able to help these partners take marketing to the next level. It’s limited to the next generation of SMAC alignment.
Please throw light on your partner program?
Our partner program runs on 4 Ps – profitability, pipeline, performance and predictability. Profitability is the strongest P of the four Ps. EMC is very strongly aligns towards profitability with Indian partners. Pipeline is also very important, and that is where the marketing academy helps – in supporting on building the pipeline.
We have started giving quota targets around product lines to partners and making time to advise them on how to meet their goal. Predictability is a criterion we have added recently, and we want to be extremely predictable in the market with our partners. We have distinct rules of engagement around lead management, and since our dedicated efforts with the partners are very pre-defined, we are quite predictable in the market today. If a partner is working with us, he is confident that his whole sale processes will be done through a proper process.