EMC has introduced an SMB element to its Velocity partner program for channel partners selling its new Insignia line of software and hardware.
It will provide online training modules, sales support, pre-sales technical assistance, lead referrals, performance-based rebates and co-op marketing. It is due to launch in April.
Partner and alliances manager, David Henderson, said the certified program would give SMB resellers access to enterprise solutions and expand business opportunities by providing more dedicated services to customers.
"The program is all about opening up what have traditionally been high-end advantages for the enterprise and delivering them to the SMB market," he said.
"It isn't a matter of trying to sell some shrink wrapped software and a piece of tin. They need to take a solution to the customer and act as an adviser. The nice thing about becoming a trusted adviser is that you have a customer for five years instead of five minutes."
Henderson said the tiered structure of the program was based on SMB specialisations rather than sales.
"It is about where a partner wants to focus their business," he said. "We try to line up programs that suit particular types of partner," he said.
Henderson said the SMB focus stemmed from its acquisition spree last year.
The vendor currently had 10-20 SMB partners involved with the program but hoped to stretch it out to 50, he said.
"We aren't interested in working with thousands of partners, because it does require a commitment and a strategic decision by the partner to invest in building this capability within their own businesses," he said. "We will be working with partners that can help us gain geographical and vertical coverage."
EMC is currently conducting partner forums in Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland.