Dell Aims To Grab Share From Cisco, HPE, Juniper With Aggressive New Rebate

Dell is after big game in the enterprise IT jungle, and it has armed itself with an aggressive new rebate for partners that win new business for Dell storage and networking gear.

The Round Rock, Texas-based company introduced a 15 percent back-end rebate that effectively more than doubles similar existing rebates and encourages partners to take market share from Cisco Systems, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Juniper Networks, according to Cheryl Cook, Dell's vice president of global channels and alliances.

Mark McKeever, principal of Tempe, Ariz.-based Dell Premier partner MicroAge, said Dell is on target with the way it has arranged its incentives around networking and storage. The challenge, he said, is differentiating Dell's networking business from other vendors and, so far, McKeever said he has seen success with Dell based almost entirely on product performance and price.

[Related: Dell Doubles Down On Premier Partners, Adds 60 Percent More To 'Elite' Tier]

"I have a lot of faith in Dell to dial in their incentives and to price their products to win in the market," McKeever said, adding that salespeople are seeing success with Dell networking gear because "it works great and is priced right."

Calling the new rebate program "disruptive and attractive," Dell's Cook told CRN that the company is intensifying its efforts to take market share away from Cisco. "We have share gain aspirations in that part of the portfolio that we want to gain at others' expense," she said.

"Cisco owns the biggest part of the market share," Cook said, "but I'm indiscriminate. There's more market share that they have, but if it's Juniper or if it's HP, what I'm most interested in is that I'm creating an environment of enablement [so] that these partners [will] want to continue to invest in Dell versus others.

"We're certainly putting in the incentive structure to tell them where we'd like to see it," Cook said. "We're going to reward you for bringing us new customers and new incremental business, so it's win-win. When it's win-win for both of us, we'll certainly make it very worth their while."

The rebates extend into the hot market for converged infrastructure solutions, where Dell has a relationship with startup Nutanix. Cook said she'd like to see partners that work with Dell servers expand into selling converged infrastructure and winning new customers.

"If they're doing servers and they're data center players, you can continue to drive that business, but we want to see growth in new logos in our storage and networking business. Our converged infrastructure systems live under our server business, so they're eligible for incentives as well."

The rebate is not only a dramatic increase from existing storage and networking rebates, but it also marks the first time Dell has organized an incentive around winning new business rather than revenue, Cook said.

Dell's pending acquisition of EMC also will help ramp up Dell's push into enterprise networking and storage, according to Cook, who said the company is "making such great strides in our server business, it's a natural attach motion for our partners that we want to make sure they're taking advantage of, either expanding line-of-business or driving new logos for us. Profitability is important for our partners, but bringing new share gains and new logos is important to Dell."

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