“EMC is a technology company. We have said we don’t compete, we’re not going to set up our own data centers to offer cloud services – we’re helping our service providers,” said Howard Elias, President and Chief Operating Officer, EMC Information Infrastructure and Cloud Services, at EMC World 2011. As Elias laid out EMC’s role as a cloud-enabler, the company unveiled a new program designed to provide EMC-based cloud technology and services to its service provider (SP) partners (see interview clip below).
EMC describes its Velocity Service Provider Partner Program as enabling “service provider partners to create, deploy, market, sell and deliver EMC-powered public and private cloud services,” with 30 partners joining the program at launch. These include such varied companies such as ACS, AT&T, Bluelock, Cincinnati Bell, CSC, Hosting.com, Peak 10, SunGard, Terremark and Unisys. Some of these no doubt will want to deliver their own public cloud services, while others will help customers build out private-cloud infrastructure, or some combination of both.
Elias’s words and the SP program stand in stark contrast with the strategy that EMC competitors Dell, HP and IBM have taken, where those firms are building out or have built out data-center capacity to become SPs themselves. In Dell and HP’s case, this is more of a stated intention, whereas IBM has offered its own cloud services off-and-on for about 10 years. But then again, IBM’s largest chunk of revenue comes from its services business, something Dell and HP are not close to matching at this point.
The new EMC program puts some skin in the game by providing increasing sales, marketing, planning and education benefits to partners as they invest in EMC solutions. EMC is also making available business development and services creation resources to enable partners to develop differentiated offerings built on EMC technology, marketing support including marketing development funds, campaigns, field execution, and sales enablement tools. Channel partners who want to become EMC-based service providers or who support EMC service providers will also get some enhancements to their program and will be eligible later in the year to earn a Service Provider designation from EMC.
“Services [of all kinds] are important, growing, adding value to partners and customers, but we’re not trying to become a services company in lieu of being a technology company,” Elias re-iterated. “We actually want technology to take out the steps that are necessary in services so that other value can be created.”