Express Data has terminated its distributor arrangement with EMC after two years.
The pullout follows the software vendor’s decision to review its distribution arrangements as it moves into the SMB space.
EMC channels and alliances general manager A/NZ, David Henderson, initially told ARN that Express Data was one of three distributors being considered.
But when contacted, Express Data managing director, Ross Cochrane, said his company had decided to end its links with the vendor.
“Our relationship with EMC is one we have jointly-agreed to terminate,” he said. “We are not participating in the review.”
Henderson then said Express Data had been on a shortlist “some time ago” but the contenders had now been reduced to two.
“We have had conversations with Express Data and have decided to go our separate ways. There’s no finger pointing, no accusations. It’s a clean break,” he said.
EMC will complete its review this month, with Henderson indicating it was highly probable that Australia and New Zealand would each be serviced by one distributor.
He estimated an upfront cost of up to $200,000 in pre-sales and post-sales technical support, plus training, to set up each distributor.
“When we consider our drive to expand over geographical and vertical markets, we are looking at a substantial organisation with more coverage, a significant customer base and technical ability. We are not talking about a niche distributor,” he said.
The distribution review follows EMC increasing the amount of products in its portfolio that it considers suitable for the channel. Recently, it has acquired Legato, Documentum and Vmware and announced a full refresh of its product ranges including Symmetrix DMX, Clariion and Centera.
The shift to the mid-market has also led to EMC forming a new Commercial Sales division. This will see four telemarketers and five sales staff targeting SMBs and generating leads for the channel.
Currently, some 65 per cent of EMC’s enterprise business is through the channel.
“This [new division] is driven by EMC’s product range expanding to the point where an entry-level SAN solution costs under $10,000. That opens up a whole new market segment in the SMB space,” Henderson said.
EMC has also announced a new certification program aimed at enabling partners to provide packaged solutions including services.
Henderson said the vendor was putting together implementation training, which was more sophisticated than straightforward installation training.
It includes showing partners how EMC devices fit with other systems, allowing resellers to derive more service revenues and build stronger customer relationships.
The new commercial division is headed by general manager of commercial operations, Michael Helder, formerly its operations general manager.
Helder said EMC’s telemarketing operation has already generated many opportunities for partners. An online system also allows partners to configure their own solutions.