Emulex wants to establish deeper relationships across the channel. With the unveiling today of new updates to the Emulex Connect program the company is adding a new loyalty program, enhanced reseller training tools, a simpler deal registration process and more Web enablement.
According to Howard Lo, Emulex senior director of field marketing, the driving goal behind all these enhancements is to establish relationships with more partners, many of whom wind up reselling Emulex products via the OEM relationships that Emulex has with server and storage vendors. Lo says the changes to the Emulex channel program are designed to benefit not only the partners that Emulex directly touches, but also solution providers that wind up selling Emulex products as part of a larger solution.
Lo says that 75 percent of Emulex’s revenue comes through OEM partners. But whether it’s through channel partners of OEM vendors or by participating directly in the Emulex channel partner program, Lo says 60 to 70 percent of Emulex’s revenue comes through the channel in one form or another.
A major goal of the loyalty program, says Lo, is to reward Emulex partners that resell either Fibre channel or converged solutions that include Fibre channel technology. Despite the fact that Fibre channel technologies are much faster than rival Ethernet-based technologies, the Fibre channel portion of the storage market is under pressure from Ethernet-based technologies.
Lo says it’s clear that Fibre-channel based products still have their place in the market, especially in higher-end cloud computing scenarios where I/O bandwidth is at a premium. As such, Lo says much of Emulex’s focus in terms of expanding its channel reach with focus on managed service providers.
In fact, extending its reach into that market is why Emulex recently moved to acquire a controlling interest in Endace, a provider of tools for monitoring IT networks.
Emulex also plans to be more aggressive about delivering qualified leads to partners and additional training that will make it easier for partners to sell converged infrastructure solutions that include Fibre channel technologies, especially 16 Gb products that Lo says outperform rival storage architectures.
Ultimately, Emulex is trying to build a channel ecosystem that stretches across not only partners that resell its products, but also channel partners that are using its technologies to deliver a variety of services. Once that ecosystem emerges the amount of cross-selling across resellers, service providers and OEM vendor partners that all have a vested interest in Emulex in common should substantially increase.