EMC Corp. admitted it took its time to make available its hyper-converged solution called VSPEX Blue but it wanted to ensure it was comprehensive for the marketplace and for the channel.

The VSPEX Blue appliance is powered by VMware EVO:Rail for all compute, storage, networking and management. It also comes with Blue Manager, Blue Market and secure remote support (ESRS).

EMC Canada channel chief Michael Kerr said VSPEX addresses the transition happening in the channel and with customers.

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Michael Kerr

“What it does is address key points in the channel first because they are going through a bunch of changes with the shift to the annuity model, which is not too well, understood and is creeping up on them. At the same time there is massive change in the client space and the pressure inside those organizations to change the business is immense,” Kerr said.

According to Kerr, customers want to purchase IT infrastructure in a similar fashion to retail. The customer expects a ready-made recommendation from the channel partner.

One of the key aspects of VSPEX Blue is Blue Market, which lies in Blue Manager. The Blue Market enables customer to access (via download) the technologies that are developed by EMC and solution providers that are pre-validated for the appliance.

Initially, EMC has included business continuity with EMC RecoverPoint for virtual machines, VMware Data Protection Advanced for disk based de-duplicated backup and recovery available as hybrid cloud storage through EMC’s CloudArray Gateway.

The Blue Manager electronic service also contains articles and best practice guides for the VSPEX appliance.

One interesting new wrinkle for Canadian solution providers is that VSPEX Blue will only be available at Arrow Canada.

Kerr told CDN that earlier this year EMC Canada decided to consolidate distributors to just Arrow. This is not the case in the U.S. or other regions of the world where solution providers have access to VSPEX at not just Arrow, but Tech Data, Avnet and other lesser known distributors such as Networld and TD Azlan.

Arrow Canada will be helping solution providers create VSPEX solutions and assemble it for the channel.

VSPEX Blue allows solution providers to go back to the customer for new virtual deployments, Kerr added. However, the same old approach won’t be success.

Kerr said that selling a switch or some storage will be an ineffective strategy. He suggests showing cost effective solutions along with solutions that can help customers get to market quicker.

“Customers need a quick way to implement apps. With VMware being so pervasive channel partners now have the opportunity to have a different conversation about transforming a line of business,” he said.

Kerr said that vertical sectors such as oil and gas are looking to deploy apps to be effective in today’s business climate. For example, last year in oil and gas they wanted apps to find new oil, but today its apps that can take cost out of the business or improve the assets they have. “Apps have to be in-line for the current business climate. There is no value in being agnostic for the channel anymore,” he said.

“This is an exciting time for the channel because VSPEX allows them to be relevant from a business point of view especially in services with higher margins than hardware. Implementation into a line of business also has value and this new offering further solidifies that. Partners are looking to consolidate lines of hardware and software so they can’t be agnostic, but they have to decide that.”