10 New Dell Channel Programs, Incentives And Competencies Designed To Drive Partner Sales Growth

Channel Initiatives Partners Should Leverage

Dell Technologies unleashed a barrage of new offerings to help partners win larger deals, increase services revenue, deploy Internet of Things solutions, increase margins and simplify the channel's ability to sell across the entire Dell Technologies' portfolio.

"We're trying to figure out how to make sure we're putting together a program that's the biggest and the best in the world," said Joyce Mullen, Dell EMC's global channel chief, in an interview with CRN. "We're really trying to address the digital transformation requirements for partners and trying to leverage all the assets across Dell Technologies."

The new programs were unveiled at Dell Technologies World 2018 and Global Partner Summit in Las Vegas this week. Here are the ten most important new channel initiatives aimed at driving sales growth taht partners need to know about.

Advantage Framework

Dell this week launched the Dell Technologies Advantage framework with the goal of making it easier for channel partners to work across the entire Dell Technologies portfolio which includes Dell, Dell EMC, VMware, SecureWorks, Pivotal, RSA and Virtustream. Dell is providing new vendor engagement, tools and incentives to help partners sell across all seven brands.

"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 Mullen. "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. The framework does not replace any current partner programs across Dell Technologies.

Streamline Training Across Dell Technologies

A significant part of the new Dell Technologies Advantage framework is the streamlining of training across the entire portfolio in a move to cut out unnecessary overlapping of channel training.

"So if you take training around VMware capabilities one time, you don’t have to take it inside the Dell EMC program as well, for example. 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," said Mullen. "That should make it a whole lot easier to enable partners to participate across these products and categories."

Chris Gross, vice president of Denver-based Sanity Solutions, 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.

Dell EMC Ready Stack Program

The new Dell EMC Ready Stack program is a channel-only sales initiative aiming to simplify how partners bundle, sell and build converged infrastructure stacks based on Dell EMC and VMware data center technologies.

"Basically it's a reference architecture that can be built from any combination of server, storage and networking," said Mullen. "There's an architecture guide and a library of validated designs that will be made available. We're trying to take the guess work out of putting together these converged infrastructure solutions for the do-it-yourself market. We'll include best practice design and deployment guides. So the notion here is that partners can build this with really no risk, and deployments are simplified for customers."

Partners will receive incentives for selling these solutions with the ability to sell their own services on top, such as deployment services.

Robert Keblusek, CTO of Sentinel Technologies, a Downers Grove, Ill.-based Dell EMC and VMware partner, said the new program eliminates the risk for customers that prefer a "do it yourself" build your own solution.

MyRewards Program

The Dell EMC MyRewards Program is an opt-in, points based reward program for Dell EMC channel partner sales representatives and system engineers, which will replace the company's current Partner Advantage and Sell & Earn programs. The new program will offer bigger promotions with up to 3x bonus payout and enhanced rebates around driving new business, storage refreshes and attaching Pro-Support Plus to storage sales, said Scott Millard, vice president of Global Channel Specialty Sales for Dell EMC, in an interview with CRN.

"This new system will allow us to compensate those partner sales reps and SE's and facilitate our incentives better than what we've been doing for our partners," said Millard. "This will help onboard additional partners with the incentives we launched in February around storage. … By popular demand from the partners, this gives us the ability to compensate our partner sales teams directly."

Modernize The Install Base

Dell EMC launched a new Modernize The Install Base program aimed at attacking customer storage refreshes. The vendor will be proactively sharing assets and providing a "playbook" for partners targeting customers that are due for storage refreshes.

"We're going to provide them a set of plays, basically we're calling it an Activation Pack, but we're going to give them the playbook to refresh those assets to a more modern architecture and make it really easy for partners. We're handing them the leads, we're giving them the playbook to run the campaign, and we'll have a program team to help support them and close those deals," said Millard.

New Demo Program

Dell EMC's new demo program provides partners with the ability to use earned marketing development funds (MDF) to purchase any storage, converged infrastructure, hyper-converged infrastructure and data protection solutions at a discount.

"The new demo program has our deepest discounts yet on the hardware," said Millard. "There's MDF eligible for purchases, no cost software or support, and comes across for the first time our entire storage portfolio."

Proof of Concept Program

"For the first time, we're launching a partner specific POC (Proof of Concept) program," said Millard. "It's really going to enable the partners to more independently lead POC's with our clients."

The Proof of Concept (POC) program aims to remove complexity around partner-led POCs, streamlining the approval process and enabling Dell EMC Titanium partners to independently lead POCs at customer locations. The program includes no-cost hardware, software, pro-support and shipping. "It's really a streamlined approval process," said Millard. "We can get them equipment very quickly."

New IoT Competency And Bundles

Dell EMC has created a new Internet of Things competency as part of its Solution Competencies initiative which began earlier this year. Mullen said the company is building specific bundles to help partners "jump start" IoT deployments and capabilities.

"One of the big inhibitors to IoT activation is the complexity associated with, 'What's the right analytics package? What's the right infrastructure look like? And how do you figure out how to get that deployed and how do you validate that solution?'," said Mullen. "[Dell EMC] put together a kit so if somebody wants to figure out how to do asset management across oil rigs, or if they want to do supply chain management in grocery stores, they'll have all the pieces: the infrastructure, the management layer and the analytics package all in one bundle."

Services Deployment Competencies

Dell EMC is expanding its services deployment competencies aimed at driving recurring revenues for the channel. Mullen said her team is investing more in helping partners achieve services competencies. Dell EMC partners that have services competencies and leverage them see a 2x increase in their average deal size.

"Partners who invest in our services, sell more, book bigger deals and they earn more rebates," said Mullen. "We're targeting partners who maybe had some issues getting those competencies, so we're providing some better incentives around that. We're helping to get that done because we know that when partners do that, they make more money."

Concierge Service For Titanium Black Partners

For partners who have achieved Dell EMC's top-level partner status, Titanium Black, the company is providing a new concierge-type service as part of its Dell Technologies Advantage 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.

Dell unveiled at Global Partner Summit two new partners who have achieved Titanium Black status: Swisscom and Itochu. The other Titanium Black partners are Atea, Bechtle, CDW, Computacenter, FusionStorm, Insight, SHI and World Wide Technology.