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SMB push as EMC counteracts digital divide

01 Nov 2011

EMC is making its ‘single biggest push into SMB’ with the company – currently on the hunt for new resellers – saying the New Zealand channel will be ‘absolutely pivotal and central to our success’. The push, which Chris Moyle, EMC Australia and New Zealand channel and distribution manager, says has been planned for months, comes as the company releases a new survey which shows Kiwi SMBs believe they are being overlooked in favour of enterprise customers. Almost 75% of the 500 New Zealand IT decision makers surveyed felt they were getting a raw deal when it came to pricing with enterprises receiving more favourable pricing arrangements, while 65% said they feel they aren’t getting the attention they deserve from IT vendors. Only 10% believed technology solutions were developed with SMB needs in mind, a figure which surprised Moyle. He says the survey is a wake-up call for vendors and resellers. Mark Oakey, EMC Australia and New Zealand marketing manager, storage platforms, says the findings are particularly worrying as SMBs face similar technology challenges to large businesses but have fewer resources to cope. "Technology is supposed to enable smaller organisations to be competitive with larger businesses, however this won’t be the case if the solutions don’t meet their needs or simply cost too much. We need to address this before it creates a digital divide between large, mid-sized and small businesses.” New offerings Moyle says while EMC has been in the SMB market for some time, the company felt ‘there was a lot more that could be done’ and has launched new education and marketing programmes as well as extensions to pricing and solutions for its SMB offerings in New Zealand. Among the new offerings is its Campaign in a Box partner initiative, designed to develop sales-ready leads for its VNXe within the SMB market. The first New Zealand partners to take advantage of the campaign, Think IT and Eagle Technology, have both gone live with their campaigns. Distributor Datastor plans to nominate a Wellington based partner in Q4. Other offerings include the roll-out of integrated virtualisation solutions for SMBs, vComplete which includes technologies from EMC, Cisco and VMware which can be implemented as a single solution and an ‘SMB price-ready programme’ for VNXe. An online information resource for SMBs has also been launched. "SMB’s are not tapped into analysts but by getting access to more information they can make more informed decisions,” Moyle says. Growing Business He says distributor Datastor is currently ‘having conversations with prospective resellers’. However, he says the company isn’t looking to recruit ‘hundreds’ of resellers. "This is not a massive numbers game to get resellers simply for the sake of it. It has to make sense. We’re making a significant investment so we want a return on our investment and so do the resellers. It’s a planned, considered approach.” SMB is ‘very much a growing part of our business’, Moyle says. "There are a lot of players in the market with relatively low market share and there is the opportunity for a vendor to make the investment and hopefully break out of the pack – and that’s our desire.”