8 Philosophical Tenets Of The Dell EMC Partner Program

Channel Leadership Notches Another Win

Dell EMC Channel Chief John Byrne has drawn kudos from partners for the way he and his team have handled the integration and unification of the company's partner program in the months since Dell's $58 billion acquisition of EMC, and now he's been recognized by Chairman and CEO Michael Dell himself.

At the Dell Technologies WorldWide Leadership Meeting this week, Byrne was presented with a Dell Leadership Award. Dell presented Byrne with the "Go Big, Win Big" award, and Byrne was quick to point out that he was accepting the award on behalf of his entire channel team.

The program that team has built aims to be the most complete and lucrative in the industry by streamlining processes, boosting rebates and incentives, and automating administrative tasks. The program is underpinned by several key philosophies developed to engender partner loyalty and to stoke partner aspirations to greater earnings and status.

Here are eight of the program's main tenets.


"I'm a Scotsman, and we love our money," Byrne likes to say when promoting the program's profit opportunities. The program he's formulated nearly doubles rebates for many legacy EMC storage products, provides rebates from the first dollar and stacks rebates for new business and attaching services. In some cases, solution providers could earn almost 20 percent in incentives.


Dell EMC considers itself a "dark horse" in the channel because Dell's history in the channel goes back less than 10 years. The way Byrne and his team see it, that means Dell EMC has considerable room to grow with its channel partners. Byrne keyed in on the company's $4.5 billion in annual R&D spending, a layout intended to fill the Dell EMC portfolio with new and updated products. The R&D spending, Byrne said, "makes us your best partner. Let us know what we can do to help."


Byrne promotes "tier envy" as a way to get Dell EMC partners to sell more and move up the ranks through the program's Gold, Platinum and Titanium tiers. And perhaps the most enviable position in the new program is the "Titanium Black" designation that has already been granted to a handful of large, committed solution providers like FusionStorm, World Wide Technology, CDW and Insight. The designation promises "white glove" treatment, including personalized service and support, early access to technology roadmaps and access to Dell EMC leadership. Byrne's team also understands that solution providers need to be motivated through the ranks. Kimberly DeLeon, who runs channel operations, said Gold partners "are future platinum and titanium partners, and we want you prepared to win."


Dell sold off its services unit to NTT Data last year, opening a large and potentially profitable opportunity for solution providers. Byrne calls the services opportunity "a pot of gold" for solution providers, and the Dell EMC channel program offers a 1 percent rebate across server, storage and PC sales when services – from consulting, deployment, cloud (hosting, storage, backup, archive), support and education – are attached.


For nearly 30 years, Byrne has been either a sales executive or running his own company, and he says those experiences have shaped another of his mantras: "People first, products and profits will follow." Byrne expanded on that concept during a webcast for partners, saying: "We're focused on working with the right people with strong character and the knowledge to make the business move. People who want to win not just a little, but a lot."

New Business

The program Byrne and his team have built emphasizes new business, whether that means winning new accounts where Dell EMC didn't previously play, or selling a new line to an existing customer. Byrne and other top Dell EMC executives like President and Chief Commercial Officer Marius Haas realize that the pace of growth will depend upon the company's ability to win business away from competitors like HPE, Cisco and Lenovo. The new program offers an 8 percent new business incentive for storage and servers, and a 4 percent incentive in PCs.


"We're taking cost and friction out of your selling motion," Byrne told partners while touting the automated system partners can use to track their rebates and other sales data. The system provides a quarterly rebate calculator and is updated weekly. The system automates MDF processes, and works via a single sign-on portal. The system also allows partners to do deal registration, upload program guides, obtain campaign kits and allows partners to make updates. "You can see your numbers all in one place, see what you're getting paid and see your payments in real time," Byrne said.


In the legacy Dell program, solution providers often found themselves in conflict with Dell account executives fighting for the same deals. Byrne's team has taken steps to minimize conflict. Cheryl Cook, who runs Dell EMC channel marketing, says the protections built into the new program for partners are "a huge step forward for Dell" that will give partners "confidence that they can sell and work with us." The new program moves to a partner-led strategy in storage, server and networking accounts where solution providers have gained traction and institutes a zero-tolerance policy on deal registration that threatens to fire inside sales executives that repeatedly violate deal registration.