Dell EMC previews new channel partner program to launch next February

At this stage, the new program is still in the formative stages, but the company indicated the general principles. Details will be coming in December, with the launch to take place in February.


John Byrne, President, Global Channel, Dell EMC

AUSTIN – Today, at the Global Partner Summit kicking off Dell EMC World here, the unified company offered up a preview of the new Dell EMC partner program. While many of the details remain to be fleshed in, the key things for partners appears to be structure and the start date. The new program will launch in February 2017, giving partners six months to gear up for the new program’s requirements. It will also launch as a unified program, rather than with separate Dell and EMC components to be blended together at a later date.

Dell and EMC have been on a remarkable journey over the past year along with you, but this summit is a landmark, John Byrne, the new channel top dog as President, Global Channel, Dell EMC, told approximately 1500 attendees at the event.

“We want to be number one in everything, and we want you to sell it, and make a lot of money,” Byrne told his audience.

Byrne reviewed developments over the last six weeks since the acquisition formally closed and the company was able to take formal steps.

“During the last six weeks, we travelled the globe, listening and learning,” Byrne said. “Everything we do has to be based on three things – being very simple, very predictable, and very profitable. We brought to market Line of Business Incumbency for Storage. Were we going to leave you high and dry? Of course not!” Byrne also stressed how they had fast-tracked partners from each company into the program of the other to help them sell more products

“We are going to build a world class program based on your voice and our voice – because ultimately we are one team,” Byrne stressed. “We are looking for partners who want to sell all of our portfolio, and create solutions from that portfolio.”

At this stage, with the new company only six weeks in being, the details are far from complete. But Byrne said it’s not far off. The criteria, tiers and tracks will be announced in early December. Distribution strategy will be locked at the beginning of December. The whole program will be live on February 1.

Byrne began his preview by outlining a new tiering system – featuring metallic inflation – which Byrne called Tier Envy. In the new system, Silver is gone, and the new first Tier is Gold. The next tier up is now Platinum, and the next up from that is Titanium. That’s not the top tier however.

“Within Titanium there will be another for the best of the best – Titanium Black,” Byrne said, to the accompaniment off suitably dramatic music.

Byrne also emphasized it will be a single program, which he termed The Power of One, and that in his travels, partners had complained that the old programs made them feel like they are all resellers.

“We don’t want multiple programs,” he said. “There will be one all-encompassing program within Dell EMC. Within each tier there will be tracks — for solution providers, OEMs, SIs, MSPs, RSA, and Virtustream.

“I also heard a lot in my travels – for the love of god, improve your processes,” Byrne stated “We will have one partner portal with a single logon. We will have one deal registration, with a single logon.”

Byrne said partners had complained to him that they had to employ three to four people just to figure out the rebates. He pledged to have all that automated by February 1, although he admitted that of all the commitments being made, that would be the toughest to accomplish by deadline.

Training would be simplified from its present form.

“Some of you have to do 120 days a year in training,” Byrne said. “That’s ridiculous. We want you trained, but we also want you to have time to sell. We will also be using EMC training, because it’s the best of the best,” Byrne said.

“We are also going to dramatically simplify MDF processes and policies, so they won’t be changing every single quarter,” he stated. “We have to make it easy for you, taking cost and friction out of your selling motion.”

Significant changes are on the way in distribution, which will be laid out by December, but Byrne indicated a couple of them — reducing the total number, and incenting them towards more services and advanced solutions.

“We have 30 distributors globally,” he said. “That’s too many. We are also going to put pressure on distributors — incent the distributors — to attach our services globally. They also have to drive solutions.”

Byrne also indicated that a couple broad design changes were being implemented.

“Partners asked me – ‘please stop changing the program every quarter,’ so now the program will run for a full year, so you can plan your business.”

Byrne also said he had been told the expectations ad been too aggressive, that partners couldn’t earn the revenues needed when raised a tier.

“We will set realistic market targets,” he pledged. These criteria will be announced in early December.

Byrne reiterated that with the expansion of LOB incumbency – which kicked in as of last Saturday — any partner working with customers the last three years would be considered to be incumbent in the account to protect their investment. He also pledged there would be a Zero Tolerance policy for violations of deal registration.

“We have your back,” he affirmed. “We will also bring real clarity on rules of engagement.”

Byrne indicated that partners could expect to see programmatic incentives favoring services.

“There is a pot of gold in services,” he said. “The new program will be heavily incentivized for services, something else I heard from you in my travels.” Again, details will be forthcoming in December.

“We are going to make mistakes, with 140,000 people coming together,” Byrne stated in closing. “But when we make mistakes, the question is will we find them, or will we hide them?” Byrne emphasized it will be the former.

“We will be the number one channel community on the planet,” he stated.