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Dell EMC to Formally Distribute VMware Licenses

Dell EMC sees this new distribution agreement as beneficial to partners selling across the vendor's portfolio.

Lynn Haber

August 22, 2017

4 Min Read
Licensed

**Editor’s Note: Click here for our most recent list of important channel-program changes you should know.**

In a measured rollout, Dell EMC on Tuesday announced that it will become a distributor of VMware licenses for its Titanium and Titanium Black tier-level partners.

While the vendor took its first step down this path in July with a strategic set of Federal Business partners, today, Titanium and Titanium Black partners in six countries – U.S., Canada, Mexico, Brazil, U.K. and France – can opt to source from Dell EMC, in addition to the vendor’s other distributor partners.

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Dell EMC’s Cheryl Cook

The new arrangement allows Titanium and Titanium Black partners to purchase directly from Dell EMC and still earn the benefits of the VMware partner program, which was not doable prior to today.

“We’ve tried hard to listen to our partner community, collaborating with them, and from an engagement perspective we’re very much promoting and trying to support the cross-sell opportunity. It’s a great opportunity for partners and as they expand in the portfolio – and they’re selling both VMware as well as Dell product offerings – being able to source all of those from Dell is something they’ve requested,” Cheryl Cook, vice president global channels and alliances at Dell EMC, told us.

Dell sold VMware licenses in the past, and many partners span both Dell EMC and VMware partner programs. In order to participate in this new distribution setup, partners must be in both vendor’s partner programs.

“Purchasing VMware licenses from Dell EMC will now give partners the eligibility inside the VMware partner program — and that didn’t exist before,” said Cook.

Partners will still do deal registration in the VMware program, but they’ll now earn their VMware program benefits, incentives and the revenue they spend with Dell will count toward their revenue attainments, rather than having to forgo their benefits as was done previously.

“This action addresses consistent pieces of feedback from solution providers and customers to help simplify doing business within Dell Technologies,” said Brandon Sweeney, senior vice president, global sales and operations VMware. “We will continue to offer flexibility and choice for our open partner ecosystem. Partners can continue to leverage their existing VMware distributor if they choose. Regardless of how they buy, they will still earn their VMware benefits. Our relationship with Dell EMC now makes it easier for our mutual partners to do business with us, while providing them with more choice.”

Partners should know that there’s no unique price advantage if they opt to purchase with Dell EMC, nor is there any penalty for not doing so. This new sourcing option targets Enterprise License Agreements (ELAs) — typically large, custom and complex licensing arrangements.

Expect to see Dell EMC expand this agreement to 25 more countries by the end of its fiscal first quarter, or February 2018.

While not mentioning any time frame, Cook said the company is looking to expand this program beyond Titanium and Titanium Black partners worldwide; however, in order to do that, Dell EMC wants to make sure that it …

… has all the operational processes, etc., in place to stand up a quality program to serve and support partners.

Titanium and Titanium Black partners are not mandated to buy VMware licenses through Dell EMC; they can continue to source through distributors they do business with. According to the vendor, there are a few hundred Titanium and Titanium Black partners eligible to purchase VMware licenses directly, today, from Dell EMC.

Dell EMC says it doesn’t have a similar distributor agreement with any of its other strategically aligned businesses.

What impact will there be on Dell’s existing distributors having Dell EMC as a distribution source for partners?

Cook views today’s announcement as offering partners a choice for those selling Dell Technologies. “We’ve been pretty public on our distribution strategy at Dell EMC that we’re going to rationalize the number of distributors that we work with on a global basis. We’ve been expanding our relationship and presence with many distributors to include much more of the breadth of our portfolio. So, as we do rationalize and consolidate and we have more strategic relationships with a fewer number of big distributors and as they’re authorized with bigger portfolios in more countries, their business will get more strategic with Dell EMC,” she said.

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Lynn Haber

Content Director Lynn Haber follows channel news from partners, vendors, distributors and industry watchers. If I miss some coverage, don’t hesitate to email me and pass it along. Always up for chatting with partners. Say hi if you see me at a conference!

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