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Dell EMC Set To Downrank Partners Behind On Revenue Goals, Training, Certifications

Dell EMC Channel Chief John Byrne says partners will begin getting status updates Tuesday "to let them know where they are, and where they've got to be."

The clock is ticking for laggard Dell EMC partners.

The company's top channel executives are culling the partner herd, and those that aren't meeting revenue targets, doing enough training or earning the right certifications may not be "status matched" into the new, unified Dell EMC Partner Program, Channel Chief John Byrne told CRN.

"If you're a legacy Dell or EMC partner today, and you're not achieving the criteria we have, the revenue criteria, and the training and certs as well; if you're not achieving that criteria or on track to achieve that criteria this year, I will reserve the right not to status match you into the program," Byrne said.

[Related: Dell EMC To Pay Rebate And MDF To Legacy EMC Partners For January 'Gap Month']

Byrne said partners will begin getting status updates Tuesday "to let them know where they are, and where they've got to be." Decisions about which partners will not be "status matched" into the new program will be made by the end of Dell EMC's fiscal year Jan. 31.

Sonia St. Charles, CEO of Dell EMC solution provider Davenport Group, St. Paul, Minn., applauded the move to put partners on notice that are not making the grade. That said, she stressed, it must be done fairly. "One of the mistakes companies make is to set out a program and then they don't stick to the rules," St. Charles said.

"That's where companies lose their credibility, but if they deem that these criteria are important and they're going to measure partners against it, that's a fair move. I do agree with that, as long as it's fair and equitable. If there's no way a partner can hit their revenue goal for the full year, that would be a safe measure."

With the end of the year approaching, however, Byrne will have to look closely as partners make a push to make the fourth quarter a big one, St. Charles said. "We're planning to book more business than we've ever booked in this period," she said. "Something like that has potential to skew the results."

Byrne said partners won't necessarily have to be within a certain range of their goals, or miss them by a set amount, in order to lose rank. "We're going to be fair," he said. "We're going to listen to the voice of the partner. If you're within range and you're pushing, gunning to get there by the end of this fiscal year, we're going to do the right thing. If you're nowhere close and showing no intention of getting anywhere close, that is when we'll reserve the right."

Dell EMC intends to "status match" partners into its new program, which is organized into Gold, Platinum and Titanium levels. Legacy Dell partners that are in that company's top Premier Plus tier will be moved into the new Titanium tier. Dell Premier partners will move into the new Gold tier and existing Preferred partners will move into the Gold tier.

The same goes for legacy EMC partners. EMC Platinum partners move directly into the new Titanium tier. Gold partners move into the new Platinum tier and Silver partners move into the Gold tier.

There is also a new Authorized tier for partners who haven't met the requirements for entry to the three main tiers.

The status matching is intended to compensate for the wide disparity in revenue requirements between the existing Dell and EMC programs. For example, solution providers had to earn $100 million or more in revenue to qualify for EMC's top Platinum tier while $5 million in revenue could get a solution provider into Dell's top Premier Plus tier.

Byrne said new Dell EMC partners will be subject to specific revenue requirements to get into the new program's Gold, Platinum and Titanium tiers, but those thresholds won't be rolled out until January.

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