It’s anything but business as usual at Dell Technologies since news surfaced, less than two weeks ago, that Michael Dell is considering taking his company public. However, in a choreographed video announcement Wednesday on 2018 Dell EMC Partner Program enhancements, not one of more than a half-dozen channel executives – including Dell himself in a brief appearance – addressed the elephant in the room.
What Joyce Mullen, Dell EMC’s new channel chief did note, was that Dell Technologies' global channel business is on a run rate to hit $43 billion, with the goal of reaching $50 billion. She also noted that the foundation of the Dell EMC Partner Program, rolled out last year, will remain intact, with the company making refinements in areas such as rebates, training and marketing development funds (MDF), for example, with many of the enhancements partner-driven.
“Today, not only are we unveiling a rich partner program and announcing new storage SPIFs, but we’re also enhancing our partner financial program to help fuel your businesses,” Mullen, president, global channels, OEM & IoT, said. Partners that utilize financial programs grow, on average, twice as fast as those that don’t, she noted.
Before diving into partner-program changes, Mullen was quick to let partners know that the company is updating its rules of engagement to provide clarity to direct and indirect sales teams, and is taking infringements seriously.
“We’re proud to announce that in [the fourth quarter], rules-of-engagement infraction escalations were down by over 80 percent quarter over quarter,” she said.
Mullen also shared where the company would like to see partners focus their businesses in 2018: growth; selling bigger/richer servers; putting storage front and center on their sales map; selling client services to new customers; and to think about attaching services to all sales.
The vendor outlined program enhancements, beginning with rebates:
The four rebate categories continue, but with a few refinements:
- Base rebates start at $1.
- Rebates that recognize and reward business growth.
- Services rebates will start at $1; services gates have been removed so partners will be paid from the get-go.
- New business rebates for bringing in new customers or expanding lines of business. Dell has opened up storage to more NBI opportunities with an enhancement for data protection, which is now independent from storage when calculating NBI.
- A more competitive MDF strategy.
- For client and server services rebates, partners can earn up to 1 percent when ProSupport is attached or 1.5 percent for ProSupport Plus. In addition, partners will earn 3.5 percent of all other services that are included.
- For storage, partners can earn 3.5 percent on attached deployment, consulting, and education services. The client peripherals and display rebates have been increased and are now paying from $1 in all regions with no gates.
- Overall, Dell says it’s providing flexible pay options to all partner types including OEMs, distributors and global alliances.
Dell EMC also addressed training and noted several improvements:
- The training-requirements deadline is now aligned with the revenue deadline (Feb. 1, 2019).
- Training requirements have been simplified and unified; partners must achieve one competency for gold, two for platinum, and three for titanium (respective product competencies are still required to earn rebates for products, so partners are encouraged to continue to earn competencies to increase rebate payouts).
- New maintenance training paths were launched for partners who have completed an initial competency. These maintenance paths require shorter refresher trainings to review key concepts.
- Dell will be rolling out eight solutions competencies in 2018, starting with software-defined infrastructure, hybrid cloud and connected-workforce competencies in the first quarter.
Mullen was joined today by Dell EMC channel executives: Jay Snyder, senior vice president, global alliances; Randy Huey, senior vice president, global channel strategy; Chris Wolff, head of global OEM and IoT partnerships; Kristina Austin, senior director, global alliances marketing; Jim DeFoe, senior vice president, worldwide distribution; Kimberly DeLeon, vice president, global channel programs; and Cheryl Cook, senior vice president, global channel marketing.