This is one of a 5 post series on the VCE coalition announcement, what’s in it, and what it means. You can see all the posts together here.
Our partner ecosystem is very, very, VERY important to Cisco, EMC and VMware. As we looked at all the models of what we could do – making sure that it was upside for our partners was first and foremost in all the dialogs.
As I said in the post on the joint Cisco/EMC (and Intel) venture part of the announcement here, I think that while some degree of partner/channel apprehension with anything new is understandable, it’s mostly rooted in FUD as competitors try to find leverage – Marc Farley is a strong player at a competitor (3PAR) and was even doing that yesterday before the announcement as leaks started to become fast and furious. Expect to see more from other competitors of EMC, Cisco, and to a lesser degree – VMware.
It may seems to be a bit complex for those with a simplistic world-view, but the reality is that we’re very focused on enabling as many routes to customer value as we can. It’s analogous to why we’ve launched www.emccis.com – it’s not to compete with all the vCloud partners, but rather to provide a real proof point example. To be a real proof point – it has to be real. Also, it’s important to be pragmatic.
Here’s a question – is HP a partner-friendly company? Surely they are. But, yet – they sell direct, and they acquired EDS. How is that possible? The answer is basic - this isn’t a zero-sum game.
All the Vblock intellectual capital will be shared with VBlock partners. Acadia will also be sharing their intellectual capital with partners as well. The work on integrated pre-sales
In fact, many partners – both systems integrators, and service providers have all started lining up behind Vblocks. Here are just a few examples:
Most of the vCloud Express launch partners are using the VCE coalition, and want to move forward with a formal Vblock model. Examples are Terremark, Alphawest, Savvis, Orange and SunGard.
If you want to see (in spite of some of the stuff competitors are saying negatively in response to our leadership position) an example of how we can work together to accelerate our partners, you can look at Terremark’s vCloud Express page here.
If you want to be a Vblock partner (reseller, channel, systems integrator, service provider) – then we want to partner with you. If you are an existing EMC, Cisco and VMware partner/reseller (and we have a very strong partner overlap) – you will be receiving more tools and support around this new model.
Back in the old days (before I was at EMC – so I can’t comment out of personal experience) – EMC was legendary for an aggressive direct sales force. Channel was anathema to the company. Now – we still have a long, long way to go – and the importance of that lesson was burned into our collective brain. EMC went from “worst to first” in the Everything Channel (www.crn.com) Annual Report Card in 2006, and have won first place in the networked storage category ever since. This is the result of hard work, and focus. Transforming oneself is very hard. It’s a journey, we’re always working on improving.
But – let there be no doubt… Channels, Resellers and Partners are critical to all three companies.
So – if you’re a partner of the 3 companies – I would love to hear your thoughts!