EMC's partner programme overhaul is not set to kick in until next year, the vendor has confirmed, after it spends 2014 preparing the channel for the "significant" changes.
Last year at its Global Partner Summit event EMC World, the vendor said that as of 1 January this year, its 10-year-old Velocity partner programme would be scrapped in favour of a new one in which resellers would be referred to as Business Partners.
But today EMC said that while from now, partners are called Business Partners, the full effects of the overhaul will not be seen until 2015. The vendor insisted this was always the plan and that the overhaul had not been put back.
"2014 is the year of transferring information," said Terry Beale (pictured), EMC's UK channel boss .
"It's the year we announce it and get partners ready for the full-blown programme which is in January 2015. As we go through [the changes], it takes a while for partners to get ready for the new programme because it's pretty significant... it will cross a number of different EMC business lines."
Beale added that VMware, which is owned by EMC, will likely undergo a channel overhaul by next year too. He said: "It's too early to talk about the VMware side but I believe that would be part of the plan. But there's a lot of work to be done before then."
Last summer, EMC partners reported that one of the vendor's plans for its programme change would be the introduction of new, regional account managers. Beale would not be drawn on unveiling some of the other main changes due for next year, but did say that now its "hard deck" of direct-only accounts had been trimmed to just 100, EMC is ready to beef up channel support even more.
"[In Q2] we will change the process in terms of changing how people quote – partners will have a channel-only quoting tool," he said.
"We created the hard deck so now [only] partners can quote in that space. The hard deck was 150 and we've brought it down to 100. It was always the plan – an aspirational plan – and thanks to a lot of hard work we've reached that."
Last year, some partners raised concerns that having the "Business Partner" title for all resellers would mean they would be unable to differentiate themselves, but Beale insisted that a tier-based system would still be in place this year, although the names of each tier might change in the future.
"You will still have tiers and we're working through the biggest change – [which will come into place] over the next six months – which is how we train and develop [partners] to suit market changes," he said.
"By the time we get to 2015 they might change the names [of tiers] but I can't predict that. There will be differences."
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