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Dell's acquisition last month of Quest Software means increased sales opportunities for the Quest partner community, but the integration of the product and channel programs of Quest and other recent acquisitions has generated questions about the company's data protection strategy.
Increased opportunities as a result of bringing Dell and Quest together was the theme of last week's annual Quest Partner Conference, which brought executives from the two companies together with about 50 people from 37 partner organizations.
Dell also used the opportunity to provide an update on the company's channel partner sales and on some new channel programs.
The Quest Partner Conference was the first public event for Dell's solution providers since Quest was acquired by Dell in a huge $2.4-billion deal.
The next such event comes next week in Austin, Texas, at Dell World 2012 where between 400 and 500 Dell partners, or over double last year's 220-plus attendees, are expected to join, said Greg Davis, Dell's channel chief and vice president and general manager of Dell's global commercial channels.
Davis said a big focus at the Quest Partner Conference was on making Quest's software offering a part of Dell's "Better Together" channel story.
"Our partners can work with Dell with storage, server, networking, security and now software from Quest," he said. "So we are looking at how to create incentives and packages combining them. We're looking at deal registration, pricing, rebates and incentives for how to reward partners for selling multiple products."
For instance, Dell this quarter is offering partners an additional 7-percent discount for selling both Dell servers and storage, plus a higher discount if its Force10 networking products is a part of a deal, Davis said. Future combined product discounts could include Quest software, he said.
Dell has acquired a lot of companies over the year and has learned how to combine the best of various channel programs and incentives, Davis said.
"There's a big opportunity for partners to look at all the different Dell offerings," he said. "When partners talk to customers, they can present more solutions than ever before. There's still a lot of integration work for us to do, but we're moving along."
Dell has managed to assuage partner skeptics about the acquisition of Quest.