1. For Real, A Channel Bellwether
When Dell launched its PartnerDirect channel program in 2007, it did so with a lot of cynicism and laughs from the solution provider community, many of whom believed the program of the once-exclusively direct company, and channel enemy, would not last. Fast forward to 2010 and Dell PartnerDirect has not only survived, but thrived. CEO Michael Dell frequently meets with VARs and their customers and the channel ideology has trickled down through all parts of the company, said VARs and Dell executives. Michael Dell even spoke with CRN for the first time in three years to proclaim his faith in channel partners.