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EMC’s acquisitions have resulted in a portfolio of industry leading data protection software, including Avamar and NetWorker.   Yet, over time as we developed the capabilities of both Avamar and NetWorker, the distinctions between the two have blurred.   This made it harder for our partners to determine what product fits what use case.


While it might sound confusing, in fact we should embrace the fact that we can thoroughly cover every use case with the combination of Avamar and NetWorker.  Instead of thinking about either Avamar or NetWorker, we need to talk about the combination of Avamar and NetWorker.


Enter the EMC Data Protection Suite.   There is a version of the suite for backup and archive, but here we will focus on the Data Protection Suite for Backup.


The Data Protection Suite for Backup eliminates the decisions tree of which is better suited, Avamar or NetWorker, by packaging them together into a single SKU.  The Data Protection Suite for Backup is licensed by front end capacity and includes everything your customers need for enterprise-wide backup of files, applications and databases in both physical and virtual environments. This means that you can license the full breadth of EMC’s backup capabilities with a single SKU, that includes Avamar, NetWorker, DD Boost for Enterprise Applications, and Data Protection Advisor.


If you aren’t familiar with the Data Protection Suite, we have a recorded Brainshark for our partners.  And if you have been selling the Data Protection Suite, we have a promotion for our partners in 1Q specifically for the backup package that includes a discounted list price and an added cash incentive for capacity sold between 1-50TB. This promotion runs through the end of March.  For more details, please reach out to your EMC partner manager.


With the shift towards IT as a service, it is the capabilities that matter, not necessarily the packaging.  And as a result, we need to make it as easy as possible to consume data protection capabilities without the complexity of selecting from multiple software titles. This is the power of consolidating capabilities to address all use cases in a single SKU.


More information on the EMC Data Protection Suite can be found on the EMC store.

In the last blog, I hammered the importance of crafting and maintaining a long-term marketing plan. Once written, it will probably be among your most important documents.


But long-term plans are only as good as the potential changes they will help you handle. For instance, as you develop your plan, consider the host of unexpected events that can happen that would alter your path. Examples include: business changes such as mergers, acquisitions and spin-offs; market dynamics changes; organizational changes; corporation priorities; and leadership changes.


Any one of these can affect the direction of the plan, key branding, the focus and intent, and the delivery dates. You have to be on your game and think through all of these scenarios.


Earlier in my marketing career, I experienced the downside of not accounting for change, which, as I said before, is inevitable. My team had a strong plan in place ready to deliver outstanding results. Then executive leadership brought on a new CMO with specific goals for the business.


She did not share with us the big picture and corporate opportunity. She did not communicate well with us and, therefore, did not build trust. She micromanaged every aspect of our marketing strategy, but did not provide context. Perhaps most troublesome was that her leadership team – which should have been connected to us – drove changes to the plan but gave us no visibility as to why.


Eventually we found out that she was carrying out a branding exercise to help the company go private. Had we known or even had context, we could have assisted her and perhaps delivered a more comprehensive plan. If nothing else, the process would have gone more smoothly.


Since then, I’ve included the likelihood of leadership change at some level in all my long-term plans.

change.jpgIt’s so essential to be plugged in to the business’ goals and objectives so you can properly weave in a certain amount of flexibility. Also, this insight enables you to create contingencies you can attach to trusted team members such as sales leadership, key stakeholders, partner leadership and the marketing group. Keep them in the loop on your long-term plan and any subsequent changes and you’ll have an able team ready assist when necessary.


Equally important is to communicate your long-term plan and contingencies to your vendors. Remember, the faster they can adapt to whatever comes along, the less expensive the fix and the quicker you can get back on track.


As you share your long-term plan and contingencies, keep your message simple and straightforward. Do not bog down a process that is supposed to maintain your agility.


Change will happen. Your job is to be positive about it, maintain momentum for your plan, and be flexible. Line up your plans A, B and C so you aren’t caught off-guard and keep the lines of communication open. Do these tasks well and you’ll be seen as a strategic, reliable player in your organization.

The EMC Global Data Protection Index introduced last month shows the business consequences of misaligned data protection strategies.  And the survey results also give us a glimpse into disasters waiting to happen from inadequate protection for next generation workloads.


My previous blog outlined some of the key findings.  In this blog, I’ll give you three questions to ask your customers to uncover gaps in their data protection strategy.


Question: Are data protection silos costing your business?  

For a long time, we at EMC have talked about the risks posed by “accidental architectures.”  The accidental architecture is the result of disparate and often disjointed data protection approaches for different parts of the infrastructure, such as virtual environments, different enterprise applications, and remote offices or branch locations.   Without a unified view of data protection, a siloed approach can lead to holes that expose your customers.

The survey shows that organizations using three or more vendors for data protection solutions lost three times as much data as those who unified their data protection strategy around a single vendor.  And it also comes at a hefty cost – organizations with three vendors spend an average of $3 million more on their data protection infrastructure compared to those with just one.

Question: Does your data protection strategy match the value of your data/applications?

Not all data and applications are equal.  And with the volume of data generated, it is impractical to think that everything must be equally protected.  This is why your customers need a strategy that spans a continuum of data protection, providing appropriate protection and availability based on the business value of their applications and data.  Mission critical applications need continuous availability, while other applications could be supported by a point-in-time copy.   Additionally, select data may need to be securely retained for long term purposes to meet regulatory and/or corporate governance requirements.  


Yet, the survey shows that only 9% of organizations are using a continuous availability approach as part of their data protection, which would indicate that mission critical applications are not adequately protected.  Additionally, 41% use backup as the primary protection strategy and more than one-third are still storing backup tapes offsite.


Question: Is your data protection strategy up to today’s challenges? 

The agility and flexibility of hybrid cloud are fundamentally changing IT.  At the same time, varying degrees of data protection offered by “born in the cloud” application providers could leave your customers vulnerable to disruption.   


The survey shows that 30% of all primary data is located in some form of cloud storage, yet 76% of those surveyed lack a recovery plan for hybrid cloud.   If not managed properly, hybrid cloud runs the risk of extending the “accidental architecture” and perpetuating a misalignment of protection to the value of the data/applications.   


There are hundreds of data points that our partners can use with their customers from this survey.  We have data at a global, regional and country level for the 24 countries that were part of the study.  My advice to partners: don’t get caught up in the numbers.  Use this project to have a different conversation with your customers to elevate the business importance of data protection. 


All of the findings are available to our partners on our microsite.

It’s a simple question:  Do your customers have an adequate data protection strategy?  The answer, however, is probably not so straight forward.


I would expect “sort of” is probably the most truthful answer.  I don’t think many partners would answer on the extremes of “definitely not” or “absolutely yes.”  


Let’s face it – there are a lot of competing IT priorities, and data protection may not always rise to the top.  Furthermore, it’s probably challenging for you to quantify for your customers exactly what the risk is from a “sort of” protection strategy.  It’s not until something unplanned happens and there is a major disruption to the business that data protection gets more attention.


But, the good news is that we have something that will change your conversation with your customers.  It’s called the EMC Global Data Protection Index.




This new EMC-commissioned primary research illustrates the current state of data protection.  It also introduces an index for you to show your customers what “good” looks like and where they fall along a data protection maturity curve.   The survey was conducted by a 3rd party research specialist, Vanson Bourne, over 24 countries, capturing input from 3,330 IT decisions makers across both public and private industries. 


Globally, the current state of data protection looks like this:

  • 64% of organizations have suffered from a disruption over the past 12 months, either from unplanned downtime and/or data loss.  We estimate this costs global enterprises $1.7T per year.
  • Companies are ill prepared to face the protection challenges for next generation workloads, such as hybrid cloud, big data and mobile devices.  In fact, 51% of respondents don’t have a disaster recovery plan for any of these new workloads. 
  • The number of data loss incidents is fewer than in previous years, but the amount of data lost is on the rise.  The estimated average data loss is 2.33TB, which is approximately 24 million emails – and 400% more data lost than in our previous surveys.


The other part of this study is the maturity curve that quantifies what “good” looks like.  There are a number of criteria we used to allocate points based on responses regarding recovery experience, strategy and infrastructure.   We then created 4 equal segments - Laggards (scoring 1–25), Evaluators (scoring 26-50), Adopters (scoring 51-75) and Leaders (scoring 76-100).  (You can find the full methodology in the report published on the microsite)


What the index tells us is:

  • Only 13% of organizations are “ahead of the curve” on data protection maturity, meaning they are the most advanced with adoption of data protection technology.  They also suffer the least disruption and are the most confident in their ability to recover.
  • 50% of organizations fall into the “Evaluator” category, which means they are starting to deploy some modern data protection approaches, but there are still gaps that lead to lengthy recovery times and also a lack of confidence in their ability to recover.


As a partner, what does this all mean?  One word: opportunity.  This is the opportunity to have a different conversation with your customers on why they need to evolve from “sort of” protected to “absolutely yes.”   How can you get there?  Answer: the data protection continuum.  


I’ll be back next month to give you additional views on the survey and how the data protection continuum can help you to help your customers to move up the rankings.  In the meantime, we recorded a short Brainshark for our partners on this project. 

I remember my first long-term plan like it was yesterday. I worked at a small software company that asked me to build a solution for an all-in-one product (software/server/storage/etc.) for small regional banks. The sales team wanted to branch out with an offering that provided all the value the large banks received as an affordable and quick to implement solution. My task was to envision that package, pull in the partnerships and guide the go-to-market components. I had to determine pricing, partners and target customer. It was the first time I thought, “If I’m going to be successful, I need a long-term plan.”


It took time, but I studied all angles necessary to get this new solution concept from inception to market. I walked through each process, talked to a lot of people; including customers and sales people and predicted the surmountable challenges and the gotchas. In the end, my due diligence and patience paid off. The plan helped the company launch a new product offering to sell into this new market.


What I took from this experience is that having a plan and one that spans more than a quarter is the most essential tool we have in our toolbox as marketers. Rather than engaging in quarter-to-quarter, reactive tactics, long-term plans empower our profession with insightful, visionary strategies that lead to the business’ success and allows for flexibility as changes occur, within the context of the bigger picture and business goals.


The minute you say “long term”, though, people get anxious. They think they’re pinned down for months or years on end with no wiggle room. In reality, a well-crafted long-term plan extends no more than a year to 18 months and becomes a framework for flexibility. Anomalies such as mergers/acquisitions, changes in leadership and sales/revenue goals easily can be handled within the boundaries of a long-term marketing plan.


Short-term plans ride on the wings of narrow objectives such as a product launch or one-time focused event. Long-term plans become a roadmap in which product launches and events are part of a more developed and sophisticated vision.


The benefits of a long-term plan are numerous, including:


  1. You really get to know your target customer. Instead of just focusing on who would buy one product at one point in time, you learn who would engage with you over a longer term and how to connect with them.
  2. You learn more about your business. Focusing on narrow goals does not expose you to the heart of your business. A long-term plan gives you the opportunity to interact with stakeholders throughout the business and give them a voice in the marketing strategy. Having access to these inputs makes marketing more holistic and comprehensive and far more representative of the business as a whole vs. a single product.
  3. You make better use of your resources. Long-term marketing plans let you think about the talent, budget and timeframe necessary to achieve your goals. Once you have the resources in place, you can tap them for pop-up projects without having to scramble and pay upcharges. Knowing the resources at your disposal can save significant money and time on last-minute campaigns or events.
  4. Your marketing becomes fluid. Marketing with a start/stop motion is jarring for targets and makes it hard to create affinity for the business or brand. With a long-term marketing plan, you demonstrate a steadiness and commitment to your products and the business overall. This helps your target trust you and the solutions you’re offering him or her.
  5. You can demonstrate success. Long-term marketing plans feature benchmarks and metrics to measure the impact of your efforts. Using analytics and other sources you can gauge response and make adjustments. You can show executives what you’ve accomplished and the value you’ve brought to the organization through on going metrics based on a plan that spans more than one quarter. This, in turn, earns you credibility you can use to increase your budget, add staff, broaden your reach to other projects, or push back when you disagree with a decision.


Long-term plans give marketers a position of strength. You are able to command business value because you repeatedly prove the thoughtful, innovative and cost-efficient outcomes of your finely tuned planning. Work with your Partner Marketing Manager to bring your long-term marketing plans to life!

Do you have an example of a well-executed, long-term marketing plan? Share it with me below or on Twitter: @AnnaDorcey.

My sister says that when you’re a parent, you look forward to the days when your kids start doing things on their own, with less dependency on you. A time when siblings play and work together, rather than you to being the instigator. She says there’s a sense of pride knowing that you’ve spent enough time with them early on and have built a strong foundation upon which they can flourish. You appreciate what they’ve done, and are excited to see what they can accomplish next.


It’s a similar experience that I have when it comes to our EMC partners. In the IIG content management division, we’ve laid the foundation for growth, including advanced products and solutions with industry analyst accolades, go-to-market support, and innovative channel programs, such as Springboard. We’re starting to see the fruits of our labor.


As we prepare for Thanksgiving in the United States, I want to share a few examples and express my gratitude to our partners who are building upon this foundation and redefining partnership. There are many more opportunities ahead, so if you’re interested in joining or driving some of these efforts, leave a post here, or contact



Springing into Success

Our partners are already embracing the new Springboard program and redefining the way they do business with EMC and each other. I’m thrilled to share that Deloitte has already been accepted as a Master Partner in the program and is gearing up for a successful 2015 with Member Partners that will be announced soon.  Similarly, The Windward Group and Beach Street Consulting have announced a strategic partnership, which marries technical offerings with effective go-to-market approaches from each organization. Seeing these valued partners embrace this methodology is a significant milestone toward our mutual growth efforts.

InfoArchive Consortium

Talk about taking the ball and running with it! I’m thrilled that some of our partners invested time and resources into one of our key products, EMC InfoArchive, and saw the amazing potential in it. They proactively developed the InfoArchive Consortium, which brings together a like-minded group of solution providers that are able to offer experience, credibility and proven technical capability to customers. Collectively, they ensure that customers benefit from market-leading consultancy and implementation, and the best possible foundation for their archiving system. Companies like Crawford Technologies, Flatirons Solutions, fme Group (new!), IS Solutions, The Windward Group, and Solix, are leveraging each other’s expertise, sales and regional reach, and go-to-market efforts to build successful business opportunities. We’ve already seen huge success with BMO Harris Bank saving $5M annually, and we expect more to come from this great example of pioneering partnership.


AX Preferred.jpg

ApplicationXtender Momentum

The ApplicationXtender (AX) partner community is strong and thriving.  Year after year our partners deliver consistent results and are committed to innovation.  AX continues to have strong customer satisfaction scores and a strong maintenance stream.  Recently, EMC has provided more visibility for our partner solutions by adding a new AX Preferred Solution category to the EMC Solutions Catalog.  We also brought back “Tuesday’s at Two,” which is a webcast focused on helping partners get real-time updates on AX, Captiva and other channel products. But beyond what EMC is doing, we’re seeing a grass roots effort being driven by AX partners who want to share their IP with each other, to improve customer experience and increase their own prospects.


Reinforcing the Foundation: IIG Partner Community

To support our partners in engaging with each other, EMC is about to launch a private community where, among other things, they can share IP, best practices and networking opportunities. We’re excited to see how this open approach generates increased benefits to both our customers and partners, leveraging great products and a strong channel. I encourage you to visit the public IIG partner community, learn how to join the private community, and start having conversations around opportunities to team with complementary IIG partners to expand your business.

If you’ve been around the technology industry for a while, you know that it is a steady stream of product launches.  Vendors use product launches as an opportunity to get attention in the market from press, analysts and our partners.  We like to use major events to launch products, and quite often, the hoopla is about incremental improvements to existing products rather than new products. 


In my nearly 11 years at EMC, I can’t claim that we are any different.  We organize our marketing calendar around major product launches, and we use our own shows like EMC World to make major product announcements.  As for the incremental improvements… well of course I’m biased on the significance of EMC’s product launches…


Don’t get me wrong – I love product launches. But I imagine that it is hard for our partners to keep up with all of the announcements from different vendors. 


So, in case you missed it, EMC introduced two new data protection products in Q3.  Both are differentiated from anything else in the market, which is good news for our partners.  Both are focused on enabling data protection for enterprise applications.  And the best part is that both are now available through ChannelExpress.

  • ProtectPoint:   This is a new product that provides direct integration between primary storage and protection storage – effectively offering the performance of snapshot and the functionality of a backup.   It provides application consistent backup and instant access for granular recovery.   This is another proof point in our direction to simplify the backup infrastructure, eliminating extra movements of the data and streamlining the management of backup and recovery for mission critical applications.
  • RecoverPoint for Virtual Machines:  This is the newest member of the RecoverPoint family focused on operational and disaster recovery in VMware environments.  It is a hypervisor-based software-only solution that provides either local or remote replication (either synchronously or asynchronously) over any distance.   And the great part is there no additional interface – it plugs into vCenter so it’s managed from the vSphere web interface.


Here are a couple of quick ways for our partners to build opportunities:

1.   The next time you’re doing a tech refresh for a VMAX customer, you can add ProtectPoint to the proposal for VMAX3.  Today ProtectPoint supports Oracle databases 11g and 12c, and it works with VMAX3 as well as the mid-range to high-end versions of Data Domain (DD4500 up to the DD990). This will differentiate the combined solution you can offer your customers from anything any other storage vendors can offer.  

2.  For customers that need continuous data protection of mission-critical applications in their VMware environment, the answer is RecoverPoint for VMs.  This product gives your customers any-point-in-time recovery.  Now you can offer granular recovery of single VMs, unlike what’s available with traditional LUN- based replication solutions.


Want to know more?  You can find a short recorded training we did for partners for ProtectPoint and RecoverPoint for VMs.  Also, visit page for ProtectPoint and RecoverPoint for VMs.  Both are available in ChannelExpress.

What is your favorite app? I bet there are a bunch of them that come to mind. Back 20 years ago, what is now a common question at dinner parties would have been met with blank stares.


That is exactly why the technology industry is thrilling. Changes are happening every day that shape the way we live, work and play. However, all of this change means that we have to rethink the same old ways of doing business.


My colleague, Michelle De Hertogh (@MikyDe), can tell you more about how changes in the technology industry are reshaping the partner landscape here, but I’m here today to tell you how EMC’s Business Partner Program enables you to capitalize on one of those industry-changing drivers: the cloud.


According to IDC, 71% of enterprise companies are using or considering cloud. The cloud is showing no signs of slowing down.


Here’s how EMC has invested in a partner program that supports you on your journey to the cloud:


  • EMC Cloud Service Providers offer EMC Powered hybrid, private, and public cloud solutions with stronger service-level agreements (SLAs), better customer service, and proven expertise.
  • EMC’s Cloud Partner Connect Program connects Solution Provider Partners (reselling partners) to authorized EMC Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) to offer customers cloud services, including VMWare’s vCloud Air – with minimal upfront investment. Think of it like for the cloud. Log into the EMC Business Partner section of the Partner Portal to learn more.
  • The swim lanes are open in our partner program. As business goals shift and partners’ business focuses evolve, we make it simple for all partner types to become Cloud Service Providers to host superior cloud solutions on their own and/or through  partnering with other EMC Business Partners to meet customers’’ cloud computing needs!


Just like you embraced your favorite app to make life easier and better, organizations are embracing the cloud to make storage expansion easier and better. EMC’s partner program is rooted in helping partners transition to the next generation of IT, which includes cloud, big data and mobile. That is why I’m proud to share that EMC was recently named to CRN’s first ever 2014 Cloud Partner Program Guide for our commitment to providing significant resources to our cloud partner program.


Tell me – how is our partner program helping you drive cloud offerings to your customers? How is the BPP helping you deliver the next generation of IT? I want to hear from you!

I recently came across a quarterly publication of Asian Scientist, that reported how nanotechnology is reinventing medicine (Asian Scientist, Vol. 1, Issue 3, July – September 2014). The rise of the nanorobots has huge implications to our battle against many diseases. For those familiar with nanorobots, they are like drones locking onto the bad cells such as cancerous cells and releasing drugs to kill them off while sparing the healthy ones. Therefore legacy treatments will need to be re-evaluated.


Today, like many doctors, we hold the belief that legacy treatments are the only recognized medical treatment. However, the rise of nanotechnology in the medical field will change the way we look at treatments in the near future.


In the same way, when enterprise IT designs their data protection blueprints, the traditional data protection architecture comes into mind. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Or so they think, or pray!


Traditional data protection strategy cannot meet today’s IT challenges of evolving infrastructure architectures, explosive unstructured data growth, application performance, as well as system and application availability. Accidental or silo-based approach on data protection, in most IT environments, is common place for every new deployment of applications and systems, resulting in IT resource constrain and ineffective management of data movements.


Is there a more robust data protection architecture that eliminates silos, consolidates data protection, and assists enterprise IT in their transformation from cost centers to business enablers?   


Today, many customers have transformed their data protection operations into a service-oriented consumption model utilsing EMC’s Protection Storage Architecture that future-proofs their investments and helps them jumpstart into a IT-as-a-Service. By gaining control and visibility of backup and recovery operations, protection storage usage and centralized management of data movements, down to prescribing data protection policies for business users, enterprise IT can offer data protection-as-a-service (DPaaS) to their business users with chargeback capabilities based on utility or other measureable IT consumption metrics. This integrated approach reduces overall costs, increase in application performance and availability, allows for defined data protection process and management, and gains trust and confidence from business owners.


I see very similar analogies between nanotechnology and EMC’s Protection Storage Architecture (see comparison diagram below). Both challenge conventional thinking and strive to make positive impacts.




EMC Business Partners can tap on EMC’s Protection Storage Architecture for data protection and availability solutions in driving next generation data protection strategies for customers. Customers can start their journey of transformation with EMC’s protection storage solutions such as the EMC Data Domain Deduplication System and scale into a full-fledge DPaaS model as data protection operations grow.


The next time your customer tells you that data protection is cliché and is working fine, create the appeal of DPaaS, starting with the story of the rise of nanotechnology.


Good selling!


Shant Soghomonian (@shants_au) is Director of Specialty Channel Sales at EMC responsible for the Asia Pacific and Japan markets

When I started at EMC two years ago, the role of partner marketing for the Americas was in transition. I had a great team and an opportunity to start with an almost blank slate. We created a new strategy, changing the way we serve our partners in the Americas. We’ve gone from executing with you to empowering you to achieve the goals you’ve set for your organization and yourself. We understand that for EMC to succeed, you have to succeed.


Last year, we were the first manufacturer to pull off a major product launch solely through our global partner community. We downplayed traditional analyst and  media relations and used the strength of you, our partners. It turned out to be one of the most successful launches in EMC’s history. That’s how powerful we are working together.  Here is a picture of me at our partner PC Connection; they were one of the seven key partners in North America to help us successfully pull off this launch. As you can see, I was having a lot of fun!Anna at Launch.jpg

As I blog, I hope to collaborate with fellow partner marketers out there in learning how to excel in marketing - not only based on some of my experiences and expertise from around EMC, but I want to glean insight from all of you. This blog will let us learn from one another. We’ll examine long-term and short-term marketing, budgets, campaigns, career advancement and organizational responsibility. If it’s important to you and your growth, we’ll talk about it here – success and challenges.


I want to pull back the curtain here at EMC and let you see how we conduct our marketing efforts and how we are evolving as an organization, even showing some examples of what doesn’t work well. Sometimes you actually learn more and have future success from a post-mortem analysis of an initiative that doesn’t quite hit the mark.


We’ll also dig into an area that I know we all struggle with – social media marketing and social selling. This new era provides tremendous opportunity but also poses so many challenges as this is about everyone in an organization getting involved, not just marketing. We’ll dissect those obstacles together and figure out how to solve them. Hopefully, social media is already an emphasis in your organizations, but for some it’s still a big question mark and everyone wants to know how to make it most effective.


My hope is that we will have an open dialogue using the platform of this blog. Let’s start the conversation by sharing your biggest marketing challenge. What keeps you up at night when it comes to getting visibility and sales for EMC solutions and services? Chances are your peers are encountering the same hurdles and together we can overcome them.


If you'd like to continue the conversation on Twitter as well, follow me @AnnaDorcey.

Throughout my time at EMC, I’ve had the opportunity to speak with many of you about your opportunity for growth through our expanding storage and related product lines. But typically we’ve not discussed the opportunity within our enterprise content management (ECM) division, the Information Intelligence Group (IIG).


Today, I’d like to introduce the new head of WW IIG Channel and Alliances, Karthik Manimozhi, as he explains two opportunities within IIG where you can connect the dots to your existing EMC relationship to capture additional revenue. You can also read Karthik’s recent blog “Leadership. Partnership. Success.” to learn more about what industry analysts are saying about the value of the IIG product line. Also visit the two links that Karthik references in this video: Syncplicity “Love at First Swipe” and InfoArchive success with BMO Harris Bank video.




Want to tap into this opportunity? Contact or leave a post here.



In my last blog Why Marketing Enablement for the Channel, I discussed the importance of incorporating marketing enablement into a channel strategy.  Many companies have begun to recognize enablement as a key function to help with the flow of information.  This flow is critical as the relationship between a vendor and its channel partners can be a delicate one.  Channel partners are an extension of the vendor’s marketing and sales force and, in most cases, a serious source of revenue.  Marketing enablement, like sales and
technical enablement ensure partners have information in a timely manner and that they feel part of a vendor’s trusted circle.  But the benefits go beyond just information flow.  Below I discuss five ways marketing enablement benefits the channel.


#1 – Improved Partner Experience:  As I mention above, the relationship between a vendor and its channel is a delicate one.  In most cases, partners are not selling one vendor’s products and solutions, but multiple vendor’s products and solutions.  It’s each vendor’s responsibility to make things easy for their partners.  But this isn’t always the case.  Vendors are often running at full speed internally
trying to get campaigns developed and new programs launched.  Add to it that some vendor’s product portfolios are deep and wide, making it even more difficult to find the right information at the right time.  Hence the rise of enablement functions like technical enablement, sales enablement and now marketing enablement.  These functions minimize partner’s frustration and help improve the partner experience.  Additionally, some partners don’t have sophisticated marketing departments.  This is when marketing enablement can really help a partner and decrease frustration.


#2 - Decreased Time to Market: Marketing enablement for the channel serves as the bridge between the internal marketing teams and the partner marketing teams.  This bridge can literally be like a highway, getting information to partners quickly, making it easier to find, and providing them with easy to use building blocks for success in their marketing efforts.  When partners have to go searching for the right campaign assets, or they need to find the right messaging on new products, new campaigns, or even new brand changes for a vendor, it takes time; time away from generating awareness, developing a pipeline of leads, staying in front of their installed base, and closing sales.  Directing partners, having a plan, making things easy to locate, understand, and utilize is critical to decreasing time to market.


#3 - Improved Communications: No partner likes to feel out of the loop, especially when they are trying to sell products and solutions for you.  As I mention previously, the channel should be considered an extension of the vendor’s workforce.  Therefore, communication is very important.  An effective marketing enablement team includes functions like events for partners, communications to partners, online engagement, and programs and tools.  This type of structure helps bridge the gap by providing predictable access to new material, updates on products, promotions, campaigns, and guidance to help partners succeed as well as a fresh and ongoing look at online and offline tools to make marketing easier.  Additionally, if partners are representing a vendor, it’s inevitable that they will be asked questions from customers.  Making sure they are prepared with the right answers and messages also helps decrease customer frustration and prevents partners from looking like they are disconnected.


#4 - Improved MDF Effectiveness: For vendors who distribute Market development Funds (MDF), it’s important that these dollars are
utilized effectively for maximum ROI.  In a time where budgets are increasingly scrutinized and often times decreased, giving away dollars to execute marketing can be a risky endeavor.  This is another reason why marketing enablement is a necessity.  Setting partners up to succeed, making sure they have clear guidance and best practices on how to execute marketing tactics, making sure they have current assets, access to tools and procedures, and even brand guidelines increases the odds of better ROI.  An effective marketing enablement program includes a concierge model that connects partners to vendor-qualified and -approved marketing agencies.  This means you know who is executing against your MDF dollars and you can limit the use of poor performing marketing agencies.


#5 – Increased Brand Protection: I can’t stress this enough, the channel is an extension of a vendor’s workforce.  This means in
a sense, regardless of whether they are selling one vendor’s solutions or multiple vendor solutions, they are representing the vendor’s brand, image, and reputation.  It is imperative that they understand what the brand means, understand logo usage, messaging, and legal guidelines.  The risk of them not understanding means they could misrepresent a product in the market, they could misuse a logo or tagline, and they could violate a legal policy that could put them and the vendor at risk.  Marketing enablement provides continuous guidance on branding guidelines and branded templates.  This is even more important to a vendor with multiple brands.  Protecting your brand and what it represents in the market is critical not only to your channel, but to your direct sales force and field personnel as well.  They are the ones who will most likely feel the impact of a misrepresented product or solution, company or brand.


For the 8th consecutive year, EMC has been recognized with top honors by CRN’s 2014 Annual Report Card (ARC). Last night, August 19, at The Channel Company’s XChange conference in San Antonio, TX, CRN announced that Solution Providers have chosen EMC as the channel leader in Backup & Recovery Software, Enterprise Networking Storage and Network Storage (SMB).


For nearly three decades, this distinguished study has served as a benchmark for excellence throughout the IT channel, recognizing the technology vendors most highly praised by their Solution Provider partners.


This recognition is particularly meaningful because honorees were selected based on the results of an in-depth survey by The Channel Company’s research team. More than 2,500 Solution Providers were asked to evaluate their satisfaction with 81 vendor partners on each of 18 criteria in terms of product innovation, support and partnership.


Robert Faletra, CEO of The Channel Company, publisher of CRN, shared some additional feedback on how important this recognition is:


“IT today is about solving business problems, and it requires more than just stellar products.  Solution Providers are looking for vendor partners that embrace the IT channel, working with them hand-in-hand to meet their customers’ needs. CRN’s Annual Report Card is the definitive word on who those vendors are, coming straight from the solution providers themselves.  The ARC has been recognizing the vendors that deliver their solutions through the channel in the most effective ways for 29 years, and we congratulate EMC as one of 2014’s top honorees.”


The EMC team at the CRN XChange Event in San Antonio, TX

The good news doesn’t stop there. EMC’s CEO, Joe Tucci, and Global & Americas Channel Sales Vice President, Gregg Ambulos have recently been named to the prestigious 2014 CRN Top 100 list in the August issue of the publication. This annual list recognizes leaders among channel-friendly North American tech businesses. These 100 leaders, hand-picked by the CRN editorial staff, represent the top influencers, sales leaders, innovators and disruptors in the IT channel.


The CRN Top 100 list is based on feedback gathered from technology Solution Providers throughout the year by CRN editors with rankings reflecting each company’s channel influence, effectiveness and visibility, along with its business and sales impact on the IT channel.  Among the criteria considered are channel sales volume, channel investment and resources, channel advocacy, and performance in research projects conducted by The Channel Company's CRN Intelligence research arm, including its esteemed Annual Report Card and Channel Champions reports.


Joe Tucci was named as one of CRN’s ‘Top 25 Most Influential of 2014’ list, recognized for his work to rewrite the rules of computing yet again. Gregg Ambulos was named as one of the ‘Top 25 Channel Sales Leaders of 2014’ for his efforts to lead the charge on our new Business Partner Program, which brings partner programs together under one umbrella and delivers a simple, predictable and profitable experience.


These special achievements are exciting news to share with you - our partners. The EMC Business Partner Program team will continue the hard work to provide you with products, resources and support to transform your business. And, most importantly, thank you for your continued partnership and support of EMC!



Cloud is born to rule the IT world and it is here to stay for a very long time.


We have heard of the different cloud computing models of public, private and hybrid. However, what are the major considerations for CIOs when adopting the right cloud computing models for the long haul, in coping with the increasing demands of business users and exploding data volumes?


CIOs predicate meaningful IT investments on the organization’s business focus and demands. However, syncretism in the organization driven by IT providers and business users doesn’t help in defining the right cloud strategy either.


According to Gartner, hybrid cloud is the new kid on the block and is turning enterprise IT into a hybrid IT organization (“Hybrid Cloud is Driving the Shift from Control to Coordination”, Gartner Research, Sep 2013). Enterprise IT is losing control of the IT function within the organization as business users or consumers buy public cloud services from multiple service providers, bypassing IT. Business users often cite reasons such as the lack of IT support, unreasonably long gestation period for IT service fulfillment and cost. How should CIOs strengthen its IT function and win back business users’ confidence?


I don’t think the answer simply lies with putting in place a layer of governance and restricting business users from deploying their own public cloud infrastructure outside the confines of IT management. CIOs need to revisit their cloud strategy every 3 to 5 years and adapt to the changing IT and business needs of the organization.


The hybrid IT model promotes the concept of enterprise IT adopting a multiservice operation that consists of the pooling of public, private and/or non-cloud services and providing value to business users as a trusted service broker instead of the “break-fix” IT model. This requires a considerable breakaway from a coterie’s mindset in adopting a pro-business IT model and putting into reality, the framework for Infrastructure-as-a-service model with emphasis on people and process.


EMC Business Partners are set to gain from the increase in hybrid cloud adoption among enterprise IT. As a trusted IT advisor, now is the time to have a hybrid cloud conversation with your customers in shaping their hybrid IT structure. And what’s more with EMC’s Hybrid Cloud solutions, including proven cloud backup solutions for private cloud deployment and cloud service providers for public cloud deployment, the vision and goal for becoming a hybrid IT organization is not just a far-fetched and cloudy ambition. 



Shant Soghomonian (@ShantS_AU) is Director of Specialty Channel Sales at EMC responsible for the Asia Pacific and Japan markets.

Fred Kohout

Dive into the Data Lake

Posted by Fred Kohout Jul 28, 2014

EMC Isilon helps your customers rise with the tide of Big Data.


NOTE: This is a first look at the solutions we announced on July 8 and what they mean for our partners. Stay tuned for additional segments focused on VMAX3 and XtremIO.


No matter how many times I see the numbers, I’m still blown away by the projected growth in unstructured (aka “Big”) data: from 4.4 zettabytes last year (just writing “zettabytes” is a statement in and of itself!) to 44 zettabytes in 2020, according to IDC. That means it’s going to double every two years.


This represents an enormous – and potentially game-changing – opportunity for those businesses that can 1) make all the data accessible in an efficient and protected way, and 2) apply analytics to gain business insight for competitive advantage. But how to do that when existing data is stored in unconnected “silos” or “islands of data” on different platforms using different protocols? Businesses have cobbled together solutions, such as copying the data across platforms and then performing multiple analyses. This is inefficient, however, and that’s a big problem at a time when IT budgets are under the microscope – and line-of-business leaders expect IT to help drive business success, not just keep the lights on.


That’s where EMC Isilon’s concept of the data lake comes in – and where the new Isilon solutions announced earlier this month can help you jumpstart conversations with your customers so you can make sure they don’t drown beneath the rising wave of Big Data.


An Isilon data lake consolidates multiple, disparate islands of storage into a single cohesive and unified data repository.  The advantages are immense:

  • A high degree of interoperability as it supports different kinds of protocols and interfaces. For example, the Isilon Scale-Out Data Lake natively supports multiple protocols like SMB, NFS, File Transfer Protocol (FTP), and Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) for traditional workloads, Object for next gen cloud apps, and HDFS for emerging workloads like Hadoop analytics. On top of this, we’ve partnered with key strategic partners to create solutions for emerging challenges, including VCE Converged Infrastructure, Hadoop Big Data Analytics, media service from Atmos, and Data Lake “aaS” from Rackspace.
  • The highest levels of security as this is centrally and consistently managed across the data lake, without the range (and potential vulnerabilities) of policies and protections in a siloed world. This is particularly important given that a lot of Big Data consists of extremely confidential and highly regulated information, such as medical and financial information.


A key point: the Isilon Data Lake is a scale-out solution. Given the inevitable growth of data, and the need to control costs, an organization must be able to start with the right-sized system, and then add capacity as needed. Scale-out is what Isilon does. This solution can grow quickly, efficiently in both capacity and performance. A single Isilon cluster can scale from 18TB to 20PBs and to 200GB/sec of throughput. That should cover the biggest of Big Data!


Don’t forget that when having these conversations with your customers, you also have two new Isilon nodes to serve as the backbone for a data lake or other Big Data need. Your recommendation will likely depend on your customer’s use case:

  • If they have strong transactional requirements (say in creating media content or high volume financial transactions), then the S210 is the ticket.
  • If the need is for high concurrent throughput  (such as for content streaming or Hadoop analytics), then the X410 comes into play.


These new solutions put a lot of new use cases into play for you. I encourage you to check out this Data Lake White Paper and visit the Redefine Possible site for more background on how EMC Isilon can help your customers meet their Big Data needs.

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