It's a new dawn for Dell channel partners, according to channel chief Cheryl Cook.
Dell kicked off an ambitious new channel program Monday that incents Dell Direct reps to push 200,000 direct accounts to channel partners in a bid to fuel the newly privatized company for fast growth in 2014.
Cook said Dell Direct reps already are rolling up their sleeves with hundreds of partners, discussing how they can work together to crack open new accounts and boost Dell's footprint in existing companies. The move, said Cook, who was promoted in November to vice president of global channels and alliances, is a conscious effort to change channel dynamics to move the needle on partner sales in seven key growth areas, including networking, storage, software, security, PowerEdge VRTX, thin clients and workstations.
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"The channel has expertise and reach that Dell needs. We have started a dialogue with the channel and are proactively planning with partners. Gone are the days of reactive engagement. We want to work jointly with partners on territory planning, account mapping, and developing a strategy to grow together."
Dell had said in December that it would massively change its channel strategy and would officially begin moving 200,000 to 500,000 previous Dell Direct accounts into the channel starting Feb. 1, where they will be managed jointly between partners and Dell Direct reps.
Part of that channel push also included Dell Direct incentives such as a 20 percent "compensation accelerator" for the direct reps to generate new enterprise business with Dell channel partners in areas of business Dell has targeted for growth.
"We are absolutely encouraged by what Dell is doing. Already, we are working more closely with direct reps. As far as increasing business, we haven't seen it yet. But we anticipate to grow our Dell business," said Michael Butz, owner and CEO of UltraLevel, a Detroit-based solution provider and Dell partner.
"Dell's new channel strategy is a huge game-changer. Dell has burned the ships. There is no going back. And that's why I'm so excited about the Dell opportunities ahead for our business. Because Dell has doubled down on making this channel initiative work, so have we. We have more confidence to make bigger investments in Dell," Butz said.
NEXT: Partners Prepare For Growth