Dell Technologies Monday kicked off Dell Technologies World with a new program that gives partners a framework for selling solutions across its entire portfolio of seven companies.
The Dell Technologies Advantage framework provides new vendor engagement, tools and incentives to help partners sell across Dell, Dell EMC, VMware, SecureWorks, Pivotal, RSA and Virtustream.
"It's a program that is really designed to help us figure out how to help partners cut across all of those brands and figure out how to source, transact, engage and assemble solutions across that group," said Joyce Mullen, president of global channels, OEM and IoT solutions at Dell EMC, in an interview with CRN. "We're working very hard to make it a lot easier for our partners to work across Dell Technologies. The idea here is to enable partners to buy assets from all of the brands more easily."
Mullen said the company is making sure its channel incentives are structured to benefit partners who sell solution-oriented deals using different components across the Dell Technologies portfolio.
[Related: CRN's Dell Technologies World 2018 Coverage]
Although exact details of the framework have yet to be specified, one significant channel benefit the framework is providing is ensuring partners' investments in training are maximized across the portfolio.
"If you take training around VMware capabilities, you don’t have to take it again to satisfy the Dell EMC program," said Mullen. "Or if you think about Pivotal Ready Architecture or Kubernetes, you might take that inside the Pivotal Program so you won't have to retake that inside the VMware program.This should make it a whole lot easier to enable partners to participate across all these products and categories."
Chris Gross, vice president of Denver-based Sanity Solutions, named one of CRN's 2018 Tech Elite 250, and partners with Dell EMC, VMware, Virtustream and SecureWorks, said he plans to leverage the framework to sell larger, more solution-oriented deals to customers.
"Having all these brands inside Dell Technologies is an obvious advantage that they probably haven't taken advantage enough of because they have a very broad portfolio [and] can help us piece together solutions across the different areas," said Gross.
Gross said the framework will allow the various channel partners inside Dell Technologies to form deeper partnerships across the entire portfolio. "For example, we've already been a strong Dell partner historically, but not as strong a VMware partner. Since they've sort of brought the Dell EMC-VMware technologies together, it's enabled us to be a better VMware partner and now VMware is probably our third strongest partner," he said. "That helps us from being able to offer our customers a more complete solution, but it also helps Dell Technologies as a whole to be able to get a larger piece of the market as well. It's a win-win."
Gross said the simplified training methodology will without a doubt help Sanity Solutions capture more deals, as it will give his sales teams more time to be out in the field compared to in training rooms.
"Training is one of those things that is very difficult because there are some repetitive things that you have to do across those technologies, and if they can consolidate that for us, then that's more time in the field for us," said Gross. "There are times when we're spending way too much time out of the field having to do training in order to sell certain products or to be able to get certain discounts. So anything that they can do that gives my people back time to be selling is more than welcomed."
The new framework does not replace any current partner programs across Dell Technologies. Each business will continue having its own independent program, according to Mullen.
A solution provider needs to be enrolled in each brand's individual partner program to leverage the framework. For example, a VMware partner can't leverage Pivotal technology if it is not a member of the Pivotal partner program.
The Advantage framework will complement the core Dell EMC Partner Program. For Dell EMC's top-tier Titanium Black partners, the vendor will be providing a new concierge-type service as part of the framework. "We will have people who will help our [Titanium Black] partners get access to the various assets inside Dell Technologies and put them all together in an easy way," said Mullen.
Mullen said the framework will help address today's complex digital transformation requirements by simplifying how partners can leverage all of Dell Technologies' assets. "We’re really now encouraging our partners to put these assets together so they earn more money," said Mullen.