EMC asks new channel boss to assess EMEA distie strategy


EMC asks new channel boss to assess EMEA distie strategy

Microscope contributor

EMC has appointed Nicolas Leblanc as EMEA channel boss and tasked him with assessing and preparing the distribution channel for a tender process.

However the storage behemoth is in no rush to push through changes too quickly, as it sifts through the fallout from a similar exercise in the UK. 

As revealed earlier this week, EMC global channel head Willem Hendrickx resigned after more than eight years with the company. 

Kristian Thyregod, EMC head of global channel marketing and global distribution said Leblanc - previously regional partner sales director for EMEA south - was now leading the team which is overseeing individual country supply chains. 

"There are four classic parameters that we are looking at in terms of selecting a distributor," he said, naming them as market reach, channel management, developing Velocity partners through the programme and demand creation. 

With 38 distributors across the region, rationalisation appears likely but Thyregod warned EMC would not "not get too ahead of ourselves". 

Also under consideration is the potential to unify distribution contracts across the region and Thyregod agreed that as its portfolio moves downstream, it may consider working with broadliners to dig further into SMEs. 

EMC is not yet ready to issue a Request For Information (RFI). "We don't want to rush," Thyregod said. 

This appears sensible in the wake of a similar process that took place in the UK during the fourth quarter when EMC sent an RFI to existing partners Avnet and Magirus and potential newcomers Azlan, Arrow ECS and ComputerLinks. 

It had been expected that two distributors would prevail but Arrow ECS was added to the UK partner roster.

However, rumours circulated locally that EMC was continuing with efforts to remove Avnet, which held the dominant market share.  

"The UK RFI was a complete cock up," said one of the distributors, "the point was to get rid of one distributor, EMC chose Avnet, it announced to partners that Avnet had been canned and then retained it."  

Another said it had "jumped through all the hoops" EMC had asked of it and expected a restructure of the distribution landscape, describing the tender as a "joke".  

The departure of Avnet is now looking less likely than ever, as it sent out a well timed release recently to herald the accolade it received from EMC in November as 'UK Distributor of the Year' for 2009. 

Sukh Rayat, EMEA senior vice president of sales at Avnet, told MicroScope it had a healthy market position with EMC in the UK and was investing to grow the franchise. "For me, it is business as usual," he said. 

Thyregod said EMC had never intended to cut Avnet from its channel and would be watching the supply and demand dynamics in the UK to ascertain if carrying three distributors was the right tactic.


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