EMC shuffles channel deck

A couple of key departures in EMC's channel group are signs the company is standing by its commitment to reorganize and integrate its acquisitions.

EMC Corp. announced on its earnings call earlier this month that it would be cutting management jobs as part of a round of 1,250 layoffs, and it looks like at least a couple of those positions have already gone from the channel group.

John Koury, vice president of global channel marketing, left the company last week, and Nicholas Van Wyk, vice president of worldwide channel operations, left several months ago and has re-emerged at Red Hat Inc. as vice president of operations. Pete Koliopoulos, senior director of channel marketing, will now lead EMC's channel marketing operation.

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"As we integrate companies, people look at what they want to do and some decide to pursue other opportunities," Koliopoulos said, in an interview with SearchStorage.com.

During EMC's earnings call on Oct. 17, CEO Joe Tucci said executive turnover is a given after a series of acquisitions. "You end up with a lot of vice presidents, a lot of senior vice presidents ... We want to increase the number of people calling on customers," he said.

Another symptom of the 30 or more acquisitions EMC has made in the past couple of years is confusion among its channel partners.

"It's no secret EMC is trying to sort out its channel," said Janet Waxman, vice president of hardware channel research at International Data Corp. "Until EMC decides which [companies] are going to be left alone and which are going to be brought under the EMC umbrella," its channel strategy will be up in the air, she said. "I'm not seeing any synergy between Documentum and Clariion. And RSA, what's going on with the brand there … If I'm an RSA partner, will I have to get certified to sell Clariion?"

Koliopoulos said EMC's goal is to present "one face" to its channel partners, and it is realigning its marketing groups across the company to create "a single line of sight" into EMC. He said all parts of the business, with the exception of VMware, are part of the company's Velocity channel program. He acknowledged that RSA Security is not a part of Velocity yet. "We need to see if it's applicable to RSA partners to be part of Velocity … there are still some discussions going on as to how and when they come into the program." He added that RSA already has its own "robust channel program," and not all partners will want to be in storage. "The question is how we build a bridge to leverage one EMC."

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