Dell EMC Channel Chief Byrne: New VMware Enterprise Licensing Engagement Model Puts An End To Channel 'Conflict'

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Dell Global Channel Chief John Byrne is pledging to end VMware channel conflict with a new field engagement model that for the first time opens the door for partners to receive full VMware incentives for selling VMware enterprise licensing agreements (ELAs) in tandem with Dell-EMC hardware.

As a result of a new Dell EMC agreement with VMware, Dell EMC Titanium Black and Titanium partners for the first time can procure VMware enterprise licensing agreements (ELAs) in tandem with Dell EMC hardware on Dell-EMC paper, said Byrne in an interview with CRN.

The change directly addresses requests from partners who were anxious to combine VMware enterprise licensing agreements and Dell EMC hardware on a single purchase order, said Byrne.

[Related: VMware Shuffles Channel Execs: Brandon Sweeney Takes Top Channel Post; Ross Brown To Lead Cloud Charge]

"Partners wanted the capability of buying all the Dell Technologies portfolio from a one-stop shop," said Byrne, acknowledging channel conflict as a result of Dell EMC sales reps and VMware partners battling for VMware sales. "This takes away the conflict."

The watershed channel change is aimed at stopping in its tracks channel conflict that has bedeviled longtime VMware partners who have seen an increase in Dell and VMware reps taking deals direct. Dell is one of VMware's top licensing software partners and the company has stepped up its VMware software licensing charge since its blockbuster acquisition of storage market leader EMC and virtualization kingpin VMware last year.

The new model is focused on Titanium and Titanium Black partners for deals involving Enterprise License Agreements. It's being launched today in six countries, the U.S.; the U.K.; Canada; Mexico; Brazil and France. It will be rolled out worldwide during Dell EMC's 2019 fiscal year, which begins in early February 2018.

Dell EMC has plans to introduce the system for non-ELA business once it has built out those capabilities, said Byrne.

Partners can roll VMware into deals being completed on Dell EMC paper simply by selecting Dell EMC from a drop-down menu from distributors.  

VMware Channel Chief Brandon Sweeney, who was just appointed to the top VMware channel job, said he was "excited" by the change, which makes it easier for partners to do business with VMware. "That just leads to more top-line growth for all of us," said Sweeney. "We need to continue to have a balanced ecosystem, but we're certainly excited to be able to work with Dell to make the partner experience better."

In the past, solution providers weren't eligible for VMware incentives – and VMware reps didn't get paid – when VMware was pulled into Dell EMC hardware deals. Now partners will bank Dell EMC incentives, as well as VMware incentives, while closing deals on a single purchase order and all the reps will get paid.

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