EMC is pioneering a different class of partnership, one in which the vendors behave more like divisions within a company. In a traditional relationship, like the partnership HP and Oracle used to have, there are commitments and expectations between the partners suggesting that they will behave in each other's best interests-but as that partnership showcased, things can come apart in an ugly way. Plus, they often seem to be a dime a dozen, with the majority of the effort focused on the announcement and very little effort actually put into assuring and maintaining the result-like how a marriage based on the desire for a great honeymoon night probably won't last long.
On the other hand, EMC's massive focus on customer loyalty has taken it down a different path showcased by partnerships such as VCE and VSPEX, with the first targeted at large enterprises and the second at the mid-market (as well as bringing resellers such as Ingram Micro into the mix.) Most recently, EMC created a unique variant around SAP HANA, utilizing much of the VCE partnership.
EMC's partnerships perform more like virtual companies, with clear delineation of responsibilities, defined ownership of the solution and, in the instance of VCE, its own CEO (Michael Capellas). This causes them to stand out as different-and a sharp alternative to the umbrella structure over divisions with which IBM currently leads and HP is struggling. For decades, HP has tried to build a better IBM by using IBM's structure, and EMC may have done that in a few short years using this different method.
Lenovo Brings Best-of-Class Products to the Table
What makes Lenovo a power player is the ThinkPad product line, long believed to offer the highest quality business products on the market. Here Lenovo succeeds where other best-of-class systems typically fail in the market. Historically, bundles have trumped this approach; while IT has traditionally driven best of class, no single vendor has had the clout to really get the individual companies to cooperate well.