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3 Ways Dell Technologies Is ‘Raising The Bar’ Across Its Partner Program

Dell channel VP Darren Sullivan discusses why the Dell Technologies Partner Program is now better than ever.

In Darren Sullivan’s nearly 20 years at Dell Technologies, he’s never been more bullish on the company’s channel strategy as a slew of new offerings are being added to the Dell Technologies Partner Program.

“In light of the things we’ve teed up in terms of program design, how we’re improving the partner experience—I’ve never been more optimistic about what the potential is for our partners,” said Sullivan, senior vice president of global partner strategy and operations. “We are really raising the bar here. Our tagline of ‘Simple, Predictable, Profitable’—those aren’t just words. We take those to heart. I feel like we’ve never been better at being able to fulfill that promise to partners with the things that we’re doing this year.”

In an interview with CRN, Sullivan details three elements that are elevating the Dell Technologies Partner Program.

Recognizing Partners With ‘End-To-End Capabilities’

We’re announcing our new Proven Partner Services Competency. This is going to recognize partners with comprehensive proven capabilities to design and deliver Dell Technologies infrastructure and solutions end to end. These competencies will be initially available in two solution areas: data center infrastructure, which includes alignment across server, networking, storage and data protection competencies; and hyperconverged infrastructure, which includes HCI, networking, server and data protection competencies. So we’re really excited about this addition to the program to really recognize those partners who have those comprehensive end-to-end capabilities for our solutions.

A partner with a competency will be prioritized in our ‘Find A Partner’ capability in our partner portal. The goal is to give them priority access to leads from our internal sales force. So we want to make sure this is a strong go-to-market engine so that partners who have these capabilities and are successful in working in these solution areas, that those partners are well-known to our internal sales force to collaborate on deals. They’ll also get early access to new services competencies as they become available.

The Dell Technologies Partner Program is largely designed in terms of our requirements around partner revenue thresholds to achieve tiers as well as their certifi cations. What we want to really make sure with these new competencies is we have a program structure that is traditionally oriented, but then complement it in ways to recognize partners through branding and additional access to training in order to recognize those partners that provide broader end-to-end capabilities across our portfolio.

Revamping The Solutions Configurator Tool Provides ‘Immediate Benefits’ To Partners

We made an effort this year to integrate our quoting platform across server, networking and storage. We’re using our Solutions Configurator tool to bring together the Dell EMC storage products into the same platform as we provide server and networking to partners. But it’s not just about bringing these products together, we’re also enhancing the capabilities for our partners in everything from deal registration to orders. There are immediate benefits just in terms of being able to work in one tool, which makes it easier for our partners to work with us so they’re not having to access multiple tools that are set up differently with different processes and policies and so forth, but instead one consistent solution for our ISG [Infrastructure Solutions Group] portfolio.

We’re also going to be providing much greater pricing transparency in the tool so when you’re a partner who has an approved deal registration, it’s integrated with your quote and we’re able to show our partners what their pricing advantage is on that particular opportunity versus all other partners who don’t have a registration.

Eliminating Quarterly Growth Targeting Process Drives ‘Simpler Approach’

We have eliminated our quarterly growth targeting process for our resellers. In the past, they received a target across seven lines of business, four times a year across all of our medal-tiered partners. It was a really complicated and a not very predicable component of our program. So we have chosen to eliminate that to drive a simpler approach.

We also simplified our programs’ product rebate structure from seven lines of business with two or three product categories within each line of business to just three lines of business: client, server and storage. It makes it easier for partners to understand and operationalize as opposed to maintaining rates across all of those elements.

We’ve increased our program automation so that it’s more transparent to partners on what is rebate-eligible in the quoting process as opposed to after-the-quarter reconciliation. What we’ve introduced on the quoting tool is visibility up front so a partner will know if they’re eligible to receive rebates on that particular quote or not. What that provides is advanced notice so that they don’t go through the whole selling cycle and not realize that, after end of quarter, it might not have been rebate-eligible. So we’re providing that visibility right up front so that partners know what’s eligible or what is not for rebate earnings






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