EMC ramps up cloud services and support

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EMC (NYSE:EMC) has marked the start of its first global partner summit by announcing the launch of several cloud programmes and services initiatives, as well as the expansion of its channel-only product line.

The storage giant treated partners to a channel-only day at its annual EMC World conference in Las Vegas for the first time yesterday.

EMC used the day to announce the rollout of its Velocity Solution Cloud Practices certification scheme, which is aimed at partners that want to deploy private and private clouds.

Partners have a choice of two certification tracks to follow. The first, Cloud Builder, will launch during the third quarter of 2012 and is for partners that want to rollout private clouds based on EMC’s technology.

During one of several keynote addresses at the event, Howard Elias, president and chief operating officer of EMC’s information infrastructure and cloud services division, explained: “Cloud Builder is a set of competences and capabilities, education and knowledge transfer [that] allow you to develop your own private cloud for your customers.

“You will be able to take components [of EMC’s technology] and integrate it together, [for instance] VSPEX or VBlock, but you will be putting on the management, orchestration, metering, billing and all the operational best practice [piece] on that,” he said.

The second programme, Cloud Provider, is aimed at VARs that want to be service providers and is expected to launch during Q4 2012.

Elias said: “The concept here is, what additional help and support do you need from EMC to become your own IT-as-a-Service provider?”

Partners that complete the Cloud Provider programme will then qualify for entry into the vendor’s Velocity Service Provider Programme, which was launched at last year’s EMC World event.

The firm also unveiled its new Co-operative Services scheme to help supplement the support partners already offer their customers.

Partners have the option to white-label these services, added Elias. “We have the belief that, for the products you sell, you have the right to first refusal on [offering] those services.

“In any [services] scenario [where you work with EMC], you own the offer and the customer relationship," he added.

Further to the services and cloud programme announcements, EMC also debuted another new addition to its burgeoning portfolio of channel-only storage products.

The latest arrival is a unified storage product called the VNXe3150 and is aimed at organisations that want to deploy private clouds.

The product’s launch comes hot on the heels of EMC’s announcement last month about VSPEX, a pre-configured storage device that supports virtualisation software from Microsoft, VMware and Citrix.

Pat Gelsinger, chief operating officer and president of information infrastructure products at EMC, said the product was the latest in a long line of channel-only offerings the company is planning to bring to market.

“You will see us continue to push down to lower price points and [introduce] channel-only products,” he said.

“You will see these emerging across all product families and divisions I'm responsible for.”

Caroline Donnelly is the news and analysis editor of IT Pro and its sister site Cloud Pro, and covers general news, as well as the storage, security, public sector, cloud and Microsoft beats. Caroline has been a member of the IT Pro/Cloud Pro team since March 2012, and has previously worked as a reporter at several B2B publications, including UK channel magazine CRN, and as features writer for local weekly newspaper, The Slough and Windsor Observer. She studied Medical Biochemistry at the University of Leicester and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism at PMA Training in 2006.