One of my Acct Managers was at a customer site this week and an interesting discussion came up that is pertinent to all of our customers and prospective customers. The customer reached out to him because they are evaluating all their vendor relationships and they are making sure they have the right partners aligned to the right solutions. Very healthy exercise. We saw this as a great opportunity to demonstrate how we can help in other areas where we are not working with them today.
When we went through how his discussion went, he mentioned that he told the IT Director that we were the only EMC Signature Partner based in the Carolinas - "Signature" is the highest tier of partner in the EMC partner ecosystem. I had to tell him that we may still be the only one, but that will likely change very quickly if it hasn't already.
You might think Varrow is no longer the only Signature Partner because other partners have made the necessary exhaustive investments in engineering talent needed to gain this status or have sold a lot of EMC solutions and have earned it.
The reality is that EMC has lowered the bar for partners to achieve Signature status; they have done so by eliminating the need to invest in services engineers and pass multiple difficult design and implementation tests in order to become Signature. This was always the barrier to entry for many partners - they could get the sales and presales certs, but the services certs required a level of commitment and investment that most were unwilling to make.
Now, any EMC partner can become Signature by passing a few sales and presales tests.
So, if you are determining who will be your trusted adviser on EMC and someone tells you they are an EMC Signature Partner, be sure to ask if they are capable of delivering the solution they are proposing.