by Paul Kunert
EMC has slashed entry-level NAS and SAN prices by 25 per cent, allowing resellers to compete effectively without having to apply for special pricing — which often took days and deterred some SME customers.
Partners have been handed an XL spreadsheet with six baseline configurations and prices for both the Cellera NS 20 and the Clariion CX310, which now include free unlimited host licences — something rivals already offered.
The SME market is highly transactional, where customers want price and quick availability, but this was something the vendor could not always offer, said Sean Horne, EMC district sales manager for the south of England.
"Our main aim is to make it straightforward for resellers to do business with us," he said, adding that the paper-based configuration tool would take away the need for EMC to touch SME deals and would reduce its costs.
Horne said it could take up to three days to turn around requests for special pricing, and partners had requested a simpler mechanism to stop them losing out on sales.
The previous process had been a little cumbersome, agreed Denise Bryant, EMC distribution director at Magirus.
"EMC has not been as strong in the volume space as it could be —this should generate higher market share because special pricing is now instantaneous," she argued.
The logical progression is to take the XL spreadsheet online. Horne at EMC said this was work in progress and could be launched next year along with distributors carrying pre-configured kit.
"We are developing a web tool. The idea is that resellers will be able to configure, get live pricing and availability and buy online," he said.
The SME external disk market — products from £7,500 to £25,000 — had not traditionally been EMC’s core strength, said Eric Sheppard, IDC programme manager for European storage systems research.
He said the UK small business array sector during the third quarter had been worth well over £30m, but EMC had only seven per cent market share.
"This is an important move for EMC if it wants to improve market share in that space — it positions it to compete well in a price-sensitive market that is not very loyal," Sheppard said.