EMC turns channel friendly

EMC turns channel friendly

EMC will sign a broad-based distributor and appoint a channel manager before the end of the week, as part of a renewed push into the mid-sized business arena.

At the launch of its Direct Matrix Architecture (DMX) yesterday, Australia/NZ managing director, Steve Redman, said the vendor aims to cut its fulfilment time from weeks to days to satisfy the buying behaviour of most Australian businesses.

“Our business is geared towards $1 million or $500,000 purchases," Redman said. "All of a sudden the CLARiiON (EMC’s strongest performing product in the 2002 fourth quarter) is selling for $30,000 thousand and people want it within a day."

Redmond would not identify the distributor directly but indicated it would be either, Ingram Micro, Tech Pacific, Express Data or Lan Systems.

A storage specific distributor was likely to be appointed down the track, he said.

EMC will also pad out its Value Added Resellers (VARs) to complement the 14 or so existing partnerships it has with the likes of Dimension Data, SecureData and Tripod.

Redman said the new VARs would not be obvious until it could be determined which were covered by the distributors and which were not. The distributors would be responsible for managing all EMC resellers while VARs would have a direct relationship with the vendor.

VARs would also have some sort of relationship with the distributor, most likely for quicker fulfilment, he said.

In addition to a channel manager, the vendor is scouring the personnel market for two channel representatives that will assist in bolstering sales through resellers.

On the whole, the recent announcements favouring a tighter relationship with the channel are a marked change in the storage vendor’s delivery model. Historically, EMC has been perceived as a direct sales machine focused on the high-end enterprise market.

The so-called “radical” modular construct of the vendor’s new DMX product suite is undoubtedly the premise behind the shift. EMC claims the new architecture, which has been three-and-a-half years in the making, will “revolutionise the storage industry”.

“DMX is not a Symmetrix 6.0," Redman said. "There is no Symmetrix 7.0 or 8.0. We’ve specifically not named it that because it is an entirely new architecture.”

DMX allows high-end storage capability – high availability, reliability and performance and immediate recovery – at a bearable cost for mid-range enterprise because it is modular and can be built on a “pay as you grow” basis.

The product set is serial based giving every Fibre connection a direct path into the cache, or from the cache into the disk, thereby alleviating the bottlenecks and latency associated with traditional parallel technology (switches or BUS components). It also means the architecture is not physically limited in its ability to scale, the way BUS and switch is.

“It is a matrix interconnect, 128 direct paths between the directors and the global cache,” according to the EMC product brief. “Each path can sustain 500MB per second for a total system bandwidth of 64GB per second."

The top-end functionality of DMX provides the basis of a dual attack for EMC. It will compete head-to-head with IBM’s Shark range - that has been gaining traction in the mainframe space over the last 12-18 months - and Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) 9900 Lightening series.

Redman said CLARiiON resellers, such as Dell, were already talking about how DMX might suit their SME customers.

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