EMC has contracted a third party to survey some of its partners about its divisive new partner programme as it looks to improve it, according to partners, which have praised the vendor for listening to the channel.
The Business Partner Programme was fully launched in January, just under two years after it was first unveiled to the channel. The programme introduced massive new revenue barriers: to gain top-level status, resellers' EMC sales have to break the $65m (£41.4m) barrier. For Gold, partners must achieve annual sales of $15m, while the barrier for Silver is $1.25m.
Many partners expressed concerns about the changes when they were first announced in the hope EMC would change its mind before implementing them, but this never happened.
But now, eight months into the new programme, partners are being questioned about their experience with the new scheme. CRN understands a survey, conducted via a third party, has been sent to certain partners recently to gauge their opinions with a view to improving things, although EMC declined to comment.
The revenue barriers enforced in the new programme remain a contentious issue, according to some partners, which claim the issue is being flagged with the vendor. But other issues are coming up too.
Ian Parslow, senior vice president for sales at EMC partner MTI, said the way the programme works penalises companies with a pan-European presence, and he is lobbying for this to change.
"For a pan-European partner like MTI, we would prefer to be judged on the pan-European status, not our [individual country] status," he said.
MTI does half of its EMC business in the UK and the remainder is split between its French and German operations.
"We are Gold in the UK and only Silver in France and Germany," he added. "But combined across Europe, that would give us Gold. If you add up all that business together, we'd easily achieve Gold, but... we get penalised."
Parslow praised EMC for taking note of its partners' views.
"It is probably the right thing for any organisation to do," he said. "If you launch a programme, you have got to gauge the satisfaction around that. EMC employing a third party shows good housekeeping – so long as they take note. It is good to revisit and EMC has done the right thing, as long as they listen."
EMC partner Union Solutions' chief technology officer Alex McLoughlin said his company is holding up well since the BPP was introduced.
"We are aware of the changes," he said. "They have probably not been communicated clearly enough by the vendor and naturally other partners have concerns. However, for us, it's business as usual and a single vendor making big changes has little impact on our ability to deliver solutions and managed services profitably for our customers.
"When vendors fall behind in technology innovation, that's when we start worrying."
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