EMC has hinted that the replacement for its soon-to-be-canned Velocity partner programme will be based around a traditional "Olympic medal" tier structure to make it "more commonly understood".
At its Global Partner Summit (GPS) event earlier this month, the vendor announced it was to rebrand the programme from 1 January next year. Its existing Velocity programme has been around for 10 years.
Although the name Velocity is set to be replaced, and a new tier structure is being considered, EMC insisted the move is an "evolution" of its existing programme offering.
Speaking to CRN, EMC's worldwide channel marketing vice president Fred Kohout said no structural changes were final yet, but that the tiered basis of the programme is here to stay.
"We are going to keep tiers – because you have a competency-based programme, you have to have tiers. My sense is that that we are looking at this on a much more generic level, though," he explained.
"Analogous to the name Velocity, what does Signature [top-tier level] really mean in the market place? There are other tiering conventions that people use, such as Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze – the Olympic medals – those reflect a more widespread understanding of what it is to be a Gold partner in somebody's programme versus a Premier partner."
When asked if he felt the tiers needed to be clearer, he said "on the one hand, always, but on the other hand, I think we need to get our tiers lined up to more commonly understood terms."
From the start of 2014, EMC partners will be referred to as Business Partners, which the vendor claims realigns resellers closer to its brand. Some larger resellers were concerned that the move means their commitment and investment might be undermined, and would allow smaller competitors to appear as closely aligned to EMC as their own firms.
Kahout said this would not be the case, and that EMC could keep both large and small partners happy.
"We are reacting very literally [to those claims from larger resellers]. The fact is, we will keep a tiered structure that will allow them to distinguish and deliver the brand into the marketplace and keep their stature in the programme," he said.
"Those smaller partners can draft off the EMC brand; that is the value. As it is today with the Velocity name, they have to go out and work twice as hard to get recognition for ‘Velocity' as a brand. Now, they will be associated directly with the EMC brand, and that is powerful."
EMC claims to be working closely with partners of all sizes and types to develop the new programme.
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