Dell plans to increase the minimum volume requirements necessary to reach the Premier level in its PartnerDirect program, according to the company.
Solution providers that qualified for Premier Partner status before March 4, 2013, will keep that status and its benefits until Aug. 2, 2013. On that date, solution providers must meet the new, higher threshold to remain in that tier for Dell's new fiscal year, according to the company. The new Premier volume requirements will be $1 million in sales of Dell Enterprise products during the previous four quarters in the United States and $750,000 in Canada.
The current volume requirements are $750,000 in the U.S. and $500,000 in Canada. Qualifying Dell Enterprise products for Premier partners include Dell EqualLogic, PowerVault, PowerConnect, PowerEdge, KACE, Compellent, Force10 Networks and AppAssure products.
The change was made to reflect the maturity and growth within Dell's PartnerDirect program, according to the company, as more solution providers have increased their investments and sales with the Round Rock, Texas-based vendor. Dell made similar increases to the Premier program last year in EMEA.
Sonia St. Charles, CEO of Davenport Group, a Dell Premier partner based in St. Paul, Minn., welcomed the increased volume requirement.
"I believe the increase in minimum volume required to be a Premier Partner will maintain the integrity of the program, ensuring that being the highest level partner continues to mean something. Otherwise, the program becomes diluted," St. Charles said in an email to CRN.
But, Michael Goldstein, CEO of LAN Infotech, a Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.-based solution provider, said the increased volume requirements will be difficult for him to remain a Premier member next year. "Definitely not a good thing. [It] really puts the squeeze on partners in bad times," Goldstein said.
Requirements for Dell's Preferred and Registered levels will not change, according to Jim Defoe, vice president of Dell's North America channel programs sales.
"The revision of our Premier Partner tier is designed to keep this top level as an exclusive group of partners who have demonstrated the highest level of commitment and capability to Dell," Defoe said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Dell has also introduced a new solution incentive for Premier partners, according to the company. Effective last Feb. 2, VARs can earn additional incentives for selling more Dell products based upon the number of lines they sell, including storage, server and networking, according to Dell.
"This forms part of our continuous evolution of the PartnerDirect program and is based on partner feedback," said Kathy Schneider, executive director for global channel marketing and programs for Dell. "The Premier tier recognizes excellence and expertise, and Partners who wish to stay in the Premier tier have over four months' notice of the change in thresholds so we hope as many of them as possible will continue to be Premier Partners."
PUBLISHED MARCH 4, 2013