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Interview: EMC’s Gregg Ambulos on Digital Transformation and the Power of the Portfolio

This interview first appeared on the EMC Partner Post blog, written by Jennifer Hoye.

These days global digital transformation is not only a hot topic—it’s THE topic— for businesses and organizations. And, as we head toward the third platform, the need for businesses to evolve and transform themselves becomes increasingly apparent and critical.

I recently sat down with Gregg Ambulos, EMC’s senior vice president of Global Channel Sales. He offered insight into this digital transformation, the significant market opportunities it presents across all market segments … and what this means for EMC Business Partners.

Below, I’ve captured highlights from this discussion.

Q: What are you hearing in meetings today with EMC Business Partner executives?

Gregg Ambulos

Gregg Ambulos

GA: Cloud everything, and the whole digital transformation and experience. It’s all moving at the speed of light; and organizations need to transform with it, or they just won’t survive.

Organizations have to start placing bets. They’ve got to say:

Who are the players that will do more than just take advantage of market opportunities today? Who are the folks that I can place a bet with that are going to help me capture the opportunity in the 2nd and 3rd platforms?

And, they need to transform their businesses, their whole business models—and quickly—or they could be in trouble. This convergence is happening and executives know that if they are slow to react, then they’re placing their businesses in jeopardy.

Executives are looking to place a bet—and their money—where they’ll receive the greatest return. And, only EMC delivers a complete solution; and is positioned to help customers transform their businesses for the future.

Q: Can you talk a little bit about the EMC portfolio? You recently referred to it as having “no gaps.”

GA:  That’s right. As that pertains to flash, we’re in a really good position because we have the industry’s broadest portfolio and have both all flash array (AFA) and hybrid flash array (HFA) offerings. We’ve got the VNX and VMAX lines, and we have XtremIO. EMC offers best-in-class flash solutions to meet all customer needs—regardless of size, budget, or IT requirements. Simply put, our portfolio leaves NO GAPS.

There’s an enormous total addressable market (TAM) for flash today. In fact, the HFA market is FOUR times the size of the AFA market. HFA presents an $18.9B market opportunity.

And, this is the way it’ll be over the next four to five years. The transformation is happening … But, this is exactly why it is important for a company to offer a portfolio without gaps.

XtremIO is hands down, the industry’s best AFA. Yet, XtremIO doesn’t cover every use case—and VNX is a really solid offering, as is VNXe. And, depending upon the use case, we have to make sure we position the right offering—whether HFA or AFA—for that particular customer based upon their use, requirements, and the applications they are running

Q: Would you say that a use-case strategy will be an important focus in the near future?

GA: Use cases are absolutely critical. And performance requirements. And price point. There are advantages to both [AFA and HFA] technologies based upon what the customer is looking for.

For example, it might clearly be an XtremIO opportunity … Maybe a tier-1 app, a big database. In this case, you’re going to be looking at potentially XtremIO as the answer. But, if the customer is running a tier-2 app, or an application that’s tied to high transactional rates, then you’re probably looking at VNX as the potential solution.

You’ve got to make the right call for the customer. And, that means you need to learn and understand customer/prospect requirements before initiating ANY customer or prospect discussion. This can make all the difference, particularly in the entry-level and midrange.

Q: What are some of the things EMC is doing to make it easier for your partners to sell EMC flash offerings and to grab a piece of this huge market opportunity

GA: Right now, we’re providing training and enablement to help both EMC Field Sales and our EMC Business Partners take advantage of the significant market opportunity.

We’re particularly focused on making sure that channel partners are aligned to how EMC Field Sales is going to market All of our communications and training is in concert, and designed to help our partners build out their skill sets and capabilities … And, to ultimately, be more successful.

Continue to invest in EMC, and we will continue to invest back. EMC helps its business partners, and their customers, keep pace with the rapidly evolving digital world. We encourage our partners to talk with their prospects and customers, understand their requirements, and then position the best EMC offering for their needs. The $18.9B HFA market opportunity is real and EMC enables its partners to claim their share.

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