CRN Dell World Exclusive: Dell's Cook Details 11 Big Partner Program Moves

Continuing The Channel Push

Dell is developing its partner programs to stress storage, networking and compute, as well as data center services as the Round Rock, Texas, company seeks to transition more completely to a digital, software-defined model.

The company kicks off its annual Dell World conference Tuesday with a Partner Summit where several program changes are being revealed.

In an exclusive interview with CRN, Dell channel chief Cheryl Cook said Dell has increased the number of North American partners in its roster of attendees to 950 from about 675 a year ago. Now, with its blockbuster $67 billion acquisition of EMC in the works, Dell intends to make a strong push into the full data center stack, stressing its commitment to serving enterprise customers and making it easier for partners to get into new lines of business and win new customers, Cook said.

Where Things Stand

About a year ago, Dell said it would pump about $125 million into its ParterDirect programs, and Cook said the investment is partly responsible for the record-high 200,000 global partner deal registrations since then, a 200 percent increase in global line-of-business registrations and more than 800 demand generation campaigns that resulted in 40,000 leads for North American partners. Here are 11 new incentives, rebates and more that are taking center stage at Dell World.

1. Rebates and Growth Accelerators

Dell is introducing incentives and growth accelerators for global Premier and Preferred partners selling Dell storage, networking, server, client and software products to new customers. In certain cases, those incentives have doubled, Cook said.

"We want to target and drive Premier and Preferred partners around data center, enterprise, storage, networking, server, client, etc., and focus on net new business and new opportunity," Cook told CRN. "We've seen phenomenal growth and good timing in the marketplace, and we see opportunity for shared gains and top-line growth." Cook said the rebates, new business incentives and growth accelerators get richer for partners as they hit growth targets with new customers. "If [partners] can help us break into accounts that haven't done business with us, that will count as a new business incentive. It's very complementary," Cook said.

2. Service-Attach Rebates

Dell is rolling out rebates to select North America partners when they attach Dell ProSupport, ProSupport Plus and ProSupport Flex to qualifying hardware, Cook said. "Service-attach rebates are to promote, with a select group of partners, up to 5 percent cash back when they attach ProSupport, ProSupport Plus and ProSupport Flex to hardware. When partners provide this level of support, it really drives business," Cook said.

3. Data Protection Incentives

Premier and Preferred partners can now earn an incentive when they bundle Dell software solutions, hardware and data protection. The incentive targets the new Dell Data Protection/Rapid Recovery solution while discounting integrated appliance deals by up to 60 percent, Cook said. "When you're selling storage, it's a natural sales motion to offer data protection software with rapid recovery solutions," Cook said.

4. Scalable Cloud Payments For Service Providers

Dell Financial Services is introducing global Scale Ready Payment Solutions for service providers. The program offers "pay-as-you-grow" payment options, as well as scale-on-demand options based on usage. Cook said the program is designed to help partners remain flexible as they adapt to the rapid growth in cloud business. "Partners are having to adapt business models to cloud, or a pay-as-you-go model," Cook said. "This allows access to financing tools, and options that allow us to continue to be as nimble and flexible as we can in helping partners adapt their business model. The financing tools are all aimed at time to revenue," Cook said.

5. Investing Tens Of Millions In Systems, Tools

This year, Dell intends to invest "tens of millions" in systems and tools for lead management, deal registration, training and certification, ease of navigation and mobility, Cook said. Mobility, in particular, Cook said, makes it easier for partners to register opportunities, and access collateral and marketing materials.

6. New Competencies For Data Center

Dell also is rolling out a host of new competencies for partners in 123 countries. Under one of the new programs, partners can earn new competencies to co-deliver storage and networking deployment services, giving partners access to exclusive Dell deployment tools, best practices and the latest updates. "Enablement is a big focus for us," Cook said. "Partners want access to product training, solution-level training, so we're giving them access to the people, the deployment tools. Previously, partners would resell storage and networking; now we're allowing partners to become certified in these competencies and offer installation."

7. Updated Software Competencies

New product competencies in Data Protection, Identity and Access Management, Endpoint Management, Windows Management and Network Security Solutions will enable partners to deepen their expertise, drive competitive advantage and earn rewards.

8. Updated Cloud Competency

Partners with midsize to large customers can now pursue sales and technical training on Dell's latest scalable hybrid cloud solutions, enabling them to deliver innovative cloud infrastructure, attach software and services, and deepen their customer relationship.

9. New Big Data And Analytics Solutions Competency

Dell partners will now be able to take advantage of sales and technical training on Dell's big data portfolio including infrastructure, data analytics and data integration solutions.

10. Service Provider Program

The Service Provider program will enable partners to incorporate customers' pay-for-value-as-consumed model with solutions in infrastructure, networking, applications and security. Service providers can also leverage Dell Financial Services' "Provision and Pay" and "Pay As You Grow" to enable as-a-service business model transformation.

11. Distributors To Be Recognized As Dell Authorized Training Partners

Beginning this year, a select few distributors will be authorized to offer Dell training, Cook said. The company intends to partner with distributors to authorize their trainers, share courses and build a partnership to enable resellers to grow revenue via Dell's distributor network. "It won't be all of our distributors, but we'll offer training such that I'm able to reach a broader set of partners in more geographies," Cook said.