Always looking for creative ways to get partners talking and interacting in order to energize their channel, Dell Inc. this week linked the PartnerDirect platform to their well-established Dell TechCenter to give registered partners a new online community space for sharing and discovering more technical information on Dell-based solutions.
The new TechCenter PartnerDirect community page gives partners access to the conversations and knowledge being shared by the more than 350,000 IT professionals who access TechCenter each month, Dell officials said.
“For some time now, our focus has been less on increasing the number of partners and more on increasing the depth of knowledge our current partners have of Dell’s end-to-end solutions,” Kathy Schneider executive director for global channel marketing and programs at Dell tells Channelnomics. “As a well-established technical community, TechCenter offers us the opportunity to engage with the IT pros inside our partners’ organizations and further that goal.
“In turn, IT pros can learn about and discuss the latest industry trends and Dell technology in an interactive way, expanding their own network and knowledge.”
Dell hopes partners will take advantage of the new TechCenter community access in three ways: Through collaboration, education and inspiration.
On the collaboration front, partners will be able to pose questions, share best practices and offer advice. “With no predetermined topics, it’s an appropriate place to kick-off conversations topics that are most important to individual partners,” Dell said in announcing the site expansion. “Reading and participating in forum threads is also great way to network with other professionals that share similar knowledge, challenges or interests.”
From an education standpoint, the new page will expand the number of PartnerDirect training courses, and sales and marketing tools, adding deeper technical details of Dell enterprise solutions. “Members will be able to easily access an abundance of technical information that goes beyond what’s typically covered in a user manual or sales aid,” the company said. “Members can participate in weekly TechChats and enjoy direct access to Dell engineers and product designers.”
As for inspiration, the hope is that presenting more technical information in a community format will improve uptake of the data beyond the typical repositories of dry, static tech guides. “With greater interaction and more open communication we are excited to see what new mutually-beneficial initiatives might be born of this new online technical community,” the company said.
“Human interaction makes the TechCenter a more lively and interactive venue to discuss issues and share information. Tech Center is truly a living community, not just a repository.” said Schneider. “Dozens of Dell engineers contribute to TechCenter on a daily basis. The partner technical community will also have dedicated channel team members to ensure timely responses and regular engagement.”
The addition of TechCenter to PartnerDirect mates well with prior embellishments to Dell’s web-based partner portal. Last year, the company bolstered the site with a new social media page that brought similar interactive capabilities to the vendor’s channel-focused collection of social media tools and tips, along with links to PartnerDirect social media platforms, a Q&A forum, and related online training sessions.