EMC expects to have anointed its first UK cloud partners before the end of 2012 and has created new roles for two experienced staff to help them get up to speed.
The storage giant used its EMC World summit in May to take the wraps off its EMC Cloud Builder and Cloud Provider Practices, which are designed to enable partners to deliver private and public cloud services respectively.
EMC claims that about 20 of its top-level Velocity partners have shown an interest in the new badges. JT Lewis and Andrew Bant are to enable them in their newly created roles of partner global services lead and cloud provider practice lead.
Earlier this year, the vendor announced plans to transfer its enterprise account business to the channel and sell direct only to a "hard deck" of 150 mega accounts. From January 2013, this hard deck will be finalised and EMC sales staff will no longer be rewarded for selling services to smaller firms.
Talking to ChannelWeb, UK head of channel Terry Beale said it is vital to enable the channel to pick up the slack before January.
The demand for cloud is also now too big to ignore, he added.
"Customers are voting with increased activity with Amazon and Google to buy IT as a service, so it is vital we help our partners implement a services-based model," he said.
Countless server, storage and networking vendors have launched private and public cloud certifications in the past two years – among them HP, Cisco and IBM – but Beale stressed that EMC is a safer bet for the channel than most.
"Creating this is not cheap and [the reseller] has to get it right," he said. "We do not intend to create our own cloud offering and compete with the partner, and our sales people get rewarded for selling a cloud service from a partner."
Bant and Lewis will fine-tune requirements for the two certifications in Q3 before the first partners are assessed in Q4, Beale indicated. Most resellers will try for both as most customers will opt for a hybrid cloud solution, he added.
EMC is also talking to its distributors with a view to creating similar cloud-based services that smaller resellers can take to market, Beale said.
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