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Dell is making some major changes its PartnerDirect program to include more software-only requirements as it looks to integrate the various channel programs it inherited through acquisitions the last couple of years.
The change also is part of a much-larger Dell Software initiative that includes new help for businesses to better plan, deploy and manage mobile and BYOD environments, as well as additional enhancements and integration between existing products, according to the company.
The new Dell Software requirements for PartnerDirect will complement current requirements for hardware, allowing VARs to focus on either hardware or software, or both, according to the company. Previously, partners focusing on software had similar revenue targets as hardware resellers. Dell launched its Software group in February 2012, tapping former CA Technologies CEO John Swainson to run it.
Under PartnerDirect, Dell Software resellers now have their own specific requirements, including revenue goals, to become Premier and Preferred partners. Dell did not immediately detail what those requirements would be for what products.
Dell has acquired several software companies over the last couple of years, including AppAssure, Quest Software, Credant Technologies and Gale Technologies in 2012. The Round Rock, Texas-based vendor plans to fully integrate solution providers from those and other acquisitions into its PartnerDirect program over the next several months.
In the fall, Dell plans to add four software-related competencies under PartnerDirect: Security, Systems Management, Data Protection and Information Management.
Thomas Allen, marketing manager at CyberStreams, a Bellevue, Wash.-based solution provider and Dell partner, said more specific terms for software lines make sense. "In general, the whole one-size-fits-all [model], as far as volume goes, tends to be a bad model," Allen said.
Some product lines, even within software, may need different criteria to achieve a certain level because of the complexity of the sales cycle and the product, he said.
"What you do for an individual sale could be a lot of work and you don't sell as much volume as another product. As with product differences, requirements should be adjusted accordingly too," he said.
Meanwhile, Dell has also bolstered BYOD enablement with new Dell Mobility Solutions that aim to increase security of data being accessed remotely and improved users' mobile experiences accessing business applications, according to the company.
The Mobility portfolio can accommodate corporate-owned devices, employee-owned devices, or a "choose-your-own" model and can be sold as a stand-alone offering or integrated into other solutions including endpoint management, remote network access, monitoring, virtualization, data protection, security and identity management, according to Dell.
In addition, Dell Software has developed new endpoint security enhancements, including Dell Kace management appliances, Dell Quest user workspace solutions and Dell Wyse Cloud Client Manager.
The Kace K1000 Management Appliance improves patch management with support for Windows 8 and expanded patch coverage, while the Kace 3000 Mobile Management Appliance extends systems management to smartphones and tablets.