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Portal Progress Allows Dell EMC To Reinstate Training Requirements For Federal Partners

Reinstating training requirements reverses a late July decision to waive those requirements. The partner portal is the only way for solution providers to access the training required to advance their partner program tier status.

Dell EMC says it has repaired problems with its partner portal sufficiently to put training requirements back on track for federal solution providers. This comes a little more than a month after Dell EMC told telling those partners they would not be expected to meet training requirements for program tier eligibility in the current fiscal year.

"We have made significant progress improving Partner Portal, and Partner Academy," Dell EMC Federal Partner Program Vice President Tracy Pavillard told partners in a recent memo. Accordingly, to achieve FY 19 tier and marketing incentive fund eligibility, all Dell EMC federal partner program partners must complete training certifications by Dec. 31."

Reinstating training requirements reverses a late July decision to waive those requirements because of problems with the company's partner portal, which is the only way for partners to access training programs.

[Related: Dell EMC Commercial PC Boss Davis Pushes Partners To Work With Teams To Boost Enterprise PC Sales]

A top executive at a Titanium-level Dell EMC solution provider said that while the portal has been "wonky," federal partners have been adamant about getting it fixed.

"With proper motivation, anything can happen," the solution provider executive said. "We started hunting down the people who had the ability to fix the portals. We were calling them every two hours, and it's probably been weeks. We'll see what happens as we get closer to the deadline."

While federal partners appear to be back on track as far as training is concerned, Dell EMC Vice President of Global Channel Programs Kimberly DeLeon told partners during a webcast last week that training requirements for the second half of this year would be waived because some partners were having problems accessing the partner academy.

"We're working diligently, and most partners will have access this week," DeLeon said. "By Sept. 30, all issues will be addressed. We'll be waiving training requirements for the second half of the year because partners haven't had sufficient time to complete the training."

Training and certifications make up the foundation of partner efforts to maintain or advance their status within the Dell EMC partner program. The partner portal is the only way for solution providers to access training.

As Dell's $58 billion acquisition of EMC neared, Channel Chief John Byrne pushed partners to complete training programs and prepare for the higher tier revenue requirements that were coming. Dell EMC organized its new, unified program into Gold, Platinum and Titanium tiers and "status matched" partners into those tiers, giving them a year to hit their new, aggressive revenue targets.

Dell EMC's federal channel program is technically separate from, but closely mirrors, its commercial program. The new, unified federal program was launched just before the new, commercial program went live early this year.

Dell EMC's online partner portal has been problematic from the beginning. The system was designed as a central location for partners to do training, automate and track rebates, certifications, program advancement and other vital aspects of life in the Dell EMC program. It very quickly became apparent that the system wasn't ready for prime time when it launched in February and partners had difficulty navigating the system.

Byrne owned up to the problems, acknowledging that some partners "had massive problems" with the portal, and highlighting his team's efforts to spend "24 hours a day, seven days a week working to resolve those problems."

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