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EMC Corp. launched new reseller and ISV programs this week to align its channel with the company’s software goals, following a two-year buying spree that added eight software companies and more than doubled its partner base.

The storage vendor, based in Hopkinton, Mass., recalibrated the point system upon which its Velocity Partner Program’s Benefits and Requirements are based, to encourage software sales.

EMC also merged five disparate ISV programs under a single umbrella and aligned with the company’s Velocity Partner Program.

The program reduced the amount software resellers needed to sell to earn a partner point from $25,000 to $15,000.

Hardware sales earn one point per $65,000 and services require $5,000 per point. The higher point values for services and software represent the lower price of the products and longer sales cycle, EMC said.

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EMC said it expects the changes to prod hardware VARs to consider the company’s software line, regardless of the smaller sales tag and longer sales cycle of products, said John Koury, EMC’s Vice President of Channel Marketing.

EMC said it hopes to reach many partners already bundling EMC hardware with competitive software from Symantec Corp.’s Veritas Software, CommVault and other vendors.

“Now that we’ve made these acquisitions, were interested in encouraging people to sell them, by making it profitable for them to sell it,” Koury said. “We’re not trying to turn a cat into a dog, but we’re trying to open the door if you are interested.”

Since April 2003, EMC has acquired Astrum Software Corp., Legato, Documentum Inc., VMware Inc., Dantz Development Corp., Smarts, Rainfinity, and the latest, Captiva Software Corp., acquired on Dec. 30, 2005. EMC announced this week the purchase of Internosis Inc., a Microsoft-application infrastructure and development firm.

The revenue gap between EMC’s hardware and software sales has been closing for several years. The company now derives 46 percent of its revenue from hardware, 37 percent from software and 17 percent from services.

EMC also merged several hundred ISVs, many acquired in the buying spree, into a single cohesive unit, which encourages ISVs to develop and sell across the EMC line, Koury said.

“We basically had five separate programs with separate requirements and benefits and conventions,” he said. “And we had partners coming to us asking, ‘Do I really need to belong to all of these different programs if I want to sell this and that?’”

The new program gives ISVs equal access to all programs and benefits, but aligns partners by specialty into five verticals with specific resources tailored to each technical area.

EMC’s partner program also launched breakout groups for ISVs working in the government and healthcare space that may be forced to operate under different rules.