EMC partners fear rebate dive in new channel programme

'We'll be significantly worse off in terms of rebate and co-op marketing'

There will be financial implications for EMC's partners that slip down the accreditation stack from next year, the storage giant's UK and Ireland channel boss Terry Beale has confirmed.

From January, under the Business Partner Programme (BPP) EMC is to introduce a revenue threshold of $1.25m to become a Silver certified partner, $15m for Gold, and $65m for Platinum.

Levels in the decade-old Velocity programme, which is shutting down, are Affiliate, Affiliate Expert, Premier and Signature, and a spread of partners of all sizes made the top tier as they were graded on techie skills.

Some fear that in the new order they'll struggle to hit the designated targets and will be downgraded.

The new rebates tiers have not yet been published, but Beale told The Channel the back-end margin "does accelerate depending on where you fit in the programme" as will "other benefits".

He said the programme reflects changes in the market where resellers want to get into services and services providers want to sell more product.

"The programme itself is very different and has been driven from what the partners wanted," he told us, adding he expected the majority of partners making the thresholds to become Silver or Gold.

The top tier, Platinum, is designed for global or at the least multi-country resellers and service providers, with Computacenter the only UK reseller set to make the grade.

Beale said he not heard dissent in the channel towards BPP, but he is willing to listen to complaints – and pointed out there is a six-month window to migrate.

"The best we can do is announce it early to make sure people have time to change and adapt," he told The Channel.

Rebates will be paid out on all EMC products and services whereas before there were "compensation buckets", and rebates will be accrued from the first sales as gates are to be removed.

"I fundamentally believe that when we go out and explain this in a level of detail, and they make the compare with what they'll need to do in this new market, they'll be happy," said Beale.

EMC partners continue to have concerns over BPP, with one telling us he expects to be "significantly worse" in terms of rebate and co-op marketing funds.

Based on the revenues thresholds "most [existing] Premier and Signature partners will downgrade to Silver," our source claimed.

EMC told us on Wednesday it would put us in touch with channel partners that have only positive things to say about BPP, but we've yet to hear from the vendor. ®

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