EMC has begun offering free services training to the channel as part of a raft of new enhancements to its Velocity Partner Program.
EMC general manager of commercial and channel sales, David Henderson, said encouraging services development was aimed at giving resellers access to higher margin revenues.
"Our mantra is very much focused on the profitability of a partner's relationship with us and sharing in the margin," he said. "While it sounds like a simple thing, free services training has major implications on the profit and loss of a partner. In one go you get certification as well as access to services which can offer margins of 20-30 per cent."
Looking to leverage the VMware channel and popularity of virtualisation technologies, the vendor is also offering partners the ability to double their margin on EMC products sales if they also incorporate a VMware transaction into the deal. EMC acquired VMware in 2004.
"Everyone is jockeying in virtualisation - EMC, NetApp, HP and IBM - so how do you motivate partners to align to a vendor in that situation? We have gone back to partners and said that we will double their gross margin on a VMware transaction," Henderson said. "If the partner can demonstrate VMware on an EMC platform, we will automatically provide them with an extra 5 per cent rebate on the hardware."
To further build up communications between both channels, Henderson said he had also appointed a dedicated VMware business manager within the EMC channel team. David Hooper is tasked with devising and managing partner initiatives and communications incorporating both product sets.
Henderson estimated there was about a 40 per cent overlap between the EMC and VMware partner communities, but hoped this would lift as more initiatives were launched.
Other new EMC channel initiatives include the launch of a Velocity Advantage Program based around revenue and sales targets for tier-two partners buying through distribution.
"We are putting profit below the line as opposed to at a transaction level," Henderson said. "Transaction is all about doubling your margin, so we have launched this program to give tier-twos access to corporate advertising and rebates for the first time against EMC revenue targets.
"We're trying to cover all areas and put profitability back into the partner."