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Peter Kennedy: founding partner and chairman of Kraft & Kennedy, a New York-based solution provider and member of Dell's partner advisory council, said the new structure is a reward for VARs who are growing their business with the vendor.
"It's recognition that as the Dell channel program matures they're trying to add more benefits and differentiate the partners making commitments to sales and technical support," said Kennedy who was briefed on the program last week during a partner council meeting in Austin, Tex.
"The biggest impact is with the Dell direct sales force. They will be able to recognize those making contributions and investments in Dell vs. other partners who do not have as much depth."
In particular, Kennedy said the 180-day deal registration program will help with clients with whom the VAR has built strong relationships. "We have relationships that are not single transaction type things so 180 days is definitely beneficial," he said.
The new partner levels are not intended to get Dell solution providers to sell only Dell-branded products and solutions, Shaffer said. The vendor will retain its open-architecture strategy when it comes to leveraging third-party products into solutions, he added.
"We're not taking away anything from anybody. Our feedback on PartnerDirect was that it was harder to differentiate the more committed partners. Having a top-tier category and additional benefits helps differentiate them. It doesn’t change how we want to work with partners. We're not looking for exclusivity as part of it," Shaffer said.