EMC World: Global Partner Summit 2014

Well what a week that was. The team here has just returned from the EMC World Global Partner Summit, an event that brought all of EMC’s communities together under one roof.

A pass for 'Keith Clark Clark'

A pass for KC

The event was held at The Venetian hotel in Las Vegas, and I was fortunate enough to attend with MTI colleagues from some of our global offices along with valued customers Babcock Marine, Vocalink, CLS, Publicis, Fraport, Lear Corporation & Mobilcom.

Joe Tucci, chief executive of EMC’s federation, opened the event under the banner of ‘REDEFINE’ and went on to explain what this meant for companies – to redefine themselves from their culture through to their infrastructure and tools, so that they are effectively positioned to develop services that cater for this digital customer.

Holding the keys to this is the ‘Third Platform’ of IT – the post-PC era founded in social, mobile and cloud-based technologies, as well as big data – which allows you to design, develop and deliver cloud services and applications in rapid development cycles, while ensuring all information is fully protected. In other words, building the agility and enablement into your infrastructure that will allow you to thrive in the digital age.

Much more difficult than it sounded...

Much more difficult than it sounded…

Following Joe’s opening address, Ian Parslow and I did our bit for charity – in the form of a water walk! The charity, Charity:Water, supports people in Ethiopia by bringing clean water to areas where it is lacking, and we were tasked with carrying two water cans weighing 50kgs in total. Some Ethiopians have to do this for three hours each day – Ian and I did it for 3 minutes and it was very heavy indeed! But I was delighted to see how much they raised in total.

Then later on that evening, we were delighted to see MTI France SA receive the EMC EMEA Partner Services Quality Award. Our very own Nicolas Naulot, Director, MTI France SA Services, accepted the award alongside Dominique Larrere and Yves Bigliazzi from Publicis.

Nicolas Naulot, Director, MTI France SA Services, alongside Dominique Larrere and Yves Bigliazzi from Publicis

Nicolas Naulot, Director, MTI France SA Services, alongside Dominique Larrere and Yves Bigliazzi from Publicis

Philippe Fosse, the Vice President Channels EMEA, organised a very special Business Partner Executive evening event for a small group of EMEA partners that both Ian and I were delighted to attend.

Ian Parslow took part in a one-hour panel discussion, led by Simon Walsh, the Chief Operating Officer for EMC, EMEA. This was a riveting session that looked at how partners are re-inventing their business models, in order to succeed in a dynamic market, with the help of EMC. We were in great company, with Portugal Telecom and Iomart also sitting on the panel discussing how EMC helps their businesses.

Ian Parslow on stage

Ian Parslow on stage

I was delighted to be able to attend a motivational talk by none other than Bear Grylls during the event. Whilst he may not exactly be the immediate speaker you would associate with an EMC event, it was in fact a hugely entertaining, relevant and rewarding session. One of the key points that really struck a chord with me was when he said: “The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is the word “extra”. Always go the little bit extra.’ Something I challenge myself and all my fellow MTI colleagues to do every day!

The MTI ‘A Team’: Paul, Al, Ian and Garry

Bear Grylls in action

Bear Grylls in action

I also attended a partner Q&A session, which had 4000 people in attendance, hosted by Joe Tucci. One of the questions I asked was whether EMC was considering becoming a channel-only company in the future, given that 11 years ago, channel made up a third of EMC’s business, compared to more than 80 per cent today. The answer was a resounding ‘no’, as Joe sought to defend the role of direct sales forces in the business. You can actually read all about it in an article written on the Q&A in CRN.

What was really great about my time in Las Vegas was the chance to personally reconnect with MTI’s key business supporters in the EMC senior executive team. Having worked closely with this team for more than 11 years, it was great to catch up with them all and spend time with them face-to-face, including:

  • Bill Scannell, President, EMC Worldwide Sales
  • Gregg Ambulos, SVP Global Channels
  • Linda Connly, SVP Global Inside Sales
Myself, Linda Connolly, Gregg Ambulos, Nicolas, Ian and the Publicis guys, and a lovely lady who informs me she is a singer of some sort?

Linda Connly, Gregg Ambulos, Nicolas, Ian and the Publicis guys, and a lady who informs me she is a singer of some sort?

To top it off, we were part of a special select group that were allowed backstage to meet Britney Spears – you can see Britney here with yours truly, with Linda, and a shot of Linda and Gregg – jealous?