EMC has insisted its new Business Partner Programme (BPP) is so "imaginative" that top-tier partners currently fuming about the prospect of being demoted will soon forget all about it.
Last week CRN revealed the vendor is planning to bring in a whopping $65m (£39m) revenue target – including services – for its new Platinum top tier as well as a $15m barrier for those looking to achieve a Gold badge and a $1.25m target for those eyeing up the Silver tier, both including services.
The current programme has no revenue requirements, meaning smaller partners that have invested in gaining top-tier Signature status face being thrown to the bottom of the pile under the new regime, which will come into full force on 1 January.
EMC's head of UK channel Terry Beale (pictured) told CRN that the vendor had no choice but to introduce such a high sales target on its new Platinum tier.
"If you imagine you are a global organisation, the numbers that are being described aren't that large," he said. "So the Platinum [tier] is something we have to do. The consolidation that is happening across the channel across EMEA and globally [means] some partners which are global have to have a programme that suits them. That's what the Platinum programme is about."
Beale could not divulge how many partners he thinks will be able to achieve the new top-level status, but CRN understands only Computacenter will make the grade, with the remaining handful of Signature partners becoming Silver or Gold under the new scheme.
Beale insisted those partners will still be considered highly by EMC.
"In whose eyes are they downgraded? Because in my eyes they are not downgraded. In every EMC salesperson's eyes they will not be downgraded and the capacity we will build up with them until January will ensure they are not downgraded in front of our customers," he said.
"I don't think anyone I know at other suppliers is coming up with such an imaginative programme. Once they get into what the solutions look like... it will become significant.
"I can totally understand in the short term why they think [they are being demoted] but as they get closer and see the richness in the development behind [the BPP] I think they will soon forget about that and they won't feel downgraded."
The Velocity scheme has been in play for more than 10 years and Beale said it would "look very strange" if EMC continued to run the programme in light of the rapidly changing tech landscape.
But some resellers said they will lobby the vendor to scrap the high revenue requirements before they are brought in next year.
Beale said EMC always listens to partners.
"All I am getting is very positive noises from partners, but we always listen to partners," he said. "If you look at the amount of work done prior to the programme by listening to the voice of partners to come up with it, I'm convinced it meets partners' requirements."
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