As far as instilling a sense of channel importance within the EMC team is concerned, Henderson reckons the job is just about done. When the company recently announced new network-attached storage boxes, it was a reseller that sold the first one, sight unseen, before the product was even available. It is this power of recommendation that Henderson sees as priceless. A relative newcomer to channel operations, EMC has no glass ceiling preventing partners from selling into enterprise accounts and has not ring-fenced any accounts.
“It’s logical where a partner has a core competency to leverage that. The partner community starts with companies like Accenture and goes all the way down to the high street,” Henderson said. “They have the power to recommend as a trusted advisor and that has far more impact than somebody approaching you with business you didn’t know existed.”
Externally, Henderson also had to break down reseller perceptions that EMC was an enterprise vendor with little or no channel relevance. This, he said, was simply a matter of building trust over a period of time and continually demonstrating that there has been a change in behaviour. To convince potential partners that it is worth doing business with EMC, he and his team have often given them the phone numbers of others that are prepared to provide a reference and talk through their experiences of the model.
Away from work, Henderson likes to go hiking and plans to walk New Zealand’s Milford Track with his two brothers in January. He is also an avid reader of military history, likes the theatre and cheers for the Wallabies, but a young granddaughter is the centre of his attention. As far as work is concerned, he still has unfinished business to attend to.
“As our products come down from enterprise to corporate, commercial and SMB, you discover new partner relationships. We are probably only halfway through that because we will continue to need new partners,” he said.
“EMC is not likely to stop buying companies anytime soon so it’s a very dynamic place to work and that makes it difficult to get bored. I believe I make a difference every day and when that stops somebody else will take over. The organisation has enough respect to listen to my opinion, even if it doesn’t always take my advice. There will come a day when they offer me a pair of slippers and a pipe but not yet.”