Dell Plans New VAR Cloud Certification By Year-end

Dell plans to expand the certification program for its preferred and premier solution provider partners with the addition of a new cloud services and solutions certification.

Bob Skelley, Dell's global certified partner program and channel executive director, said the planned certification will take advantage of several cloud computing technologies from Dell to help solution providers work with customers looking to move part of their IT infrastructure into the cloud.

Among those technologies are 15 SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) offerings, servers for building cloud infrastructures, and an extensive VMware practice, Skelley said.

Also included is Dell's recent Boomi acquisition, which gives the company technology that helps customers move data and applications between cloud and on-premise systems without software, hardware or coding, as well as its recent SecureWorks acquisition, which gave it a managed security offering.

Sponsored post

"We have all these cloud offerings," Skelley said. "We're looking at how to bring this all together."

Bringing that cloud technology into a cloud services and solutions has a learning curve, one that Dell is moving along with a lot of communications with solution providers, Skelley said. "We're looking at the value to partners, how to price it, how to structure it," he said. "We have a lot of research to do."

However, Skelley said, Dell is not starting from scratch. "We have a leg-up on the development of the certification," he said. "We have our Boomi and SecureWorks teams, both of which have already been doing this."

Dell also has a certification program already in place. The company in May unveiled a new partner program which includes five partner certifications, including servers, storage, networking and security, systems management, and managed services provider.

"We started with storage, but Greg (Davis, vice president and general manager for Dell's global commercial channels) asked us to gradually move more certifications into the overall channel," he said.

The planned cloud services and solutions certification is expected to be ready to bring to solution providers late in the second half of 2011, he said.

Patrick Mulvee, vice president of sales and marketing at Sidepath, an Irvine, Calif.-based solution provider and Dell premier partner, said the cloud services and solutions certification would be an ideal fit for his company's extensive data center practice.

"Our business is built inside the data center," Mulvee said. "We help customers build, find, and shrink their data centers. If we start offering cloud computing solutions, it would be a cake walk for Sidepath."

If Dell does indeed roll out a cloud services and solutions certification, the company will have to make sure partners carefully take all the required training, Mulvee said. "Solution providers need a lot of training for the cloud," he said.

While the cloud services and solutions certification looks interesting, getting customers to think about investing in cloud computing will still take some time, said Bernard Westwood, CFO of Syscom, an Atlanta-based solution provider and Dell partner which already has storage, networking and security, and server certifications.

"We still haven't seen a lot of customers paying for the cloud," Westwood said. "We're seeing a lot of tire kicking. But customers are concerned about security, or about whether the cloud could minimize their jobs. So we're not seeing a lot of moves to do something with the cloud."