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SL Powers' Hochmuth said he couldn't think of another vendor that so actively brings SL Powers into direct deals and that the relationship works because both sides respect each other's boundaries.
"They're incented obviously to close business every month and move on to the next thing. We put in the pre-sales work and a quote to the Dell rep. He sells and closes the business. We tell him how many hours we worked. Once it's closed, they send us the PO to do the work," he said. "The thing that made this possible is they incented the sales people to work with the channel and push [business] to partners like us."
Dell has been a channel-friendly and consistent vendor since the PartnerDirect channel program was launched five years ago, Hochmuth said. "All along, people say 'I'm impressed with what you're doing.' So we did more. Those guys see more value working together closer," he said.
Dell's Davis said the vendor isn't looking for thousands or even hundreds of partners for the Geo program. Rather, they've been judicious in selecting VARs by identifying specific skill sets to meet the needs of customers.
"As it sits right now, we want to provide a service where there's demand. The last thing we want to do is sign up partners to do work and then not have demand for them. We're not trying to expand it, but we're trying to grow that business as we need more partners," Davis said. "A customer that's buying Dell direct has services opportunities and services needs. We can package that together into one easy [package] that includes a service agreement with a partner in the area."