Dell Planning Cloud Computing Certification for Partners
I had the chance to sit down with Dell Channel Chief Greg Davis at the Dell Enterprise Spring launch event Feb. 27, 2012, here in San Francisco for an update on the tech giant’s partner strategy. As you may guess, most of our conversation centered around Dell’s cloud strategy. And to help bring channel pros along for the cloud ride, Davis noted the coming weeks will see the launch of a cloud computing certification.
First, a little bit of context: Davis kicked off our discussion with some numbers: Dell has 100,000 partners worldwide, with 2,601 of them having achieved at least one certification. The way Dell’s partner program is structured is such that it doesn’t reward financial commitment or sales performance; rather, Dell rewards those partners who get certified. Preferred partners have at least one certification, while premiere partners have multiples.
So when it comes to the future, Davis said the focus is on helping get partners educated. In 2011, Dell offered VARs 135,000 training classes, all for free (apart from the time investment, of course). In 2012, he said Dell might hit the 250,000-classes mark. And while Dell isn’t ready to disclose the details just yet, as Dell focuses on increasing cloud computing revenues — not to mention the addition of new cloud acquisitions both present and future — a cloud computing certification is just a natural extension of Dell’s efforts in this arena.
Speaking of acquisitions, another focus of our chat was around the fact that one of Davis’ major goals is to help partners integrate technology from Dell acquisitions from Dell SecureWorks and Dell Boomi into their portfolios. A major theme of yesterday’s event was Dell’s status as a provider of end-to-end IT solutions, thanks to organic growth and purchases alike. And if it has a Dell logo, Davis said the partner should be able to use it to make money.
Of course, we couldn’t go without delving at least a little bit into the 12th generation PowerEdge announcement that headlined the day, but Davis said it really ties into his larger message for partners at the event: Dell is constantly innovating, and constantly improving the ways it helps partners stay ahead. PowerEdge 12G is a huge leap forward, Davis said but it’s really just reinforcing a lead.