Midrange storage the focus as Dell EMC unveils new channel investments

In addition to the many storage announcements, Dell EMC also addressed the issues with the Partner Academy, and will be waiving training requirements for the second half of the year.

On Thursday, Dell EMC senior channel and storage executives presented a Partner Broadcast online. While the session was wide-ranging, the main messaging was around mid-range storage, where the company sees significant room to expand. While there were no new product announcements – those came at Dell EMC World in May, and the next update will be later this year – the execs made a variety of programmatic announcements. These include new storage-focused investments in distribution and a series of spiffs and other incents aimed at storage.

“The midrange is a $14 billion market, which we have covered with our Unity and SC series,” John Byrne, Dell EMC’s President, Global Channels and Channel Chief, told the webcast. “We are organizing a massive campaign behind storage.

Byrne said the campaign would involve elements of what he called the 6 Ps: people; products; positioning; pricing; programs and profits; and partners.

The people element involves doubling down on Dell’s storage resources to work with partners.

“I have added 100 storage specialists to my sales team this quarter alone,” Byrne said.

Jeff Boudreau, the President of the Dell EMC storage division, advised partners how to position the company’s two midrange lines – the legacy EMC Unity, and the legacy Dell SC series, and his advice was succinct.

“With existing customers, just sell them what they have now,” he said. “With new customers, lead with hyperconverged, but if all they want is storage, sell what you have confidence in.”

The second half of the year will see a strengthened focus on moving storage through distribution.

“We are making additional investments in storage as growth accelerators, and increasing investment with our distributors,” said Kimberley DeLeon ‎Vice President, Global Channel Programs at Dell EMC.

“We are putting a global path in place for distribution in the second half to provide for more predictability,” said Sarah Meyer, who handles Sales Strategy & Programs for the Americas’ Channel at Dell EMC. “We are putting in stronger collaboration models between distributors and resellers for storage products, to ensure the investment is protected and that there is a tight go-to-market relationship. We are also making incremental investments around our 14G servers –a million dollars for distribution in terms of bringing products to market.”

DeLeon also addressed some issues around the Dell Partner Academy and what Dell is doing to address them.

“Some partners have had access issues getting into Partner Academy, and we are working diligently to resolve them,” she said. While most partners should be in in a few days, everything should be resolved by September 30.

“Because of this issue, we are waiving training requirements for the second half of the year, since partners haven’t had time to get trained,” she said.

“We are also putting in place more physical and virtual workshops to modules that would have been through done through Partner Academy,” Meyer said.

Cheryl Cook, Dell EMC SVP, Global Channel Marketing, then outlined the new incents the company is providing partners in the second half of the year.

“We need to rally your sales teams with spiffs and incentives,” she said. “We will give you simple tools like battlecards, and financial services to help you be more competitive in the marketplace.”

Cook announced four spiffs available as of today through the Partner Advantage Program. She stressed that eligibility will vary by region. In North America, Titanium partner status is required.

The spiffs are:

1) A Get Modern Acceleration, which allows sales reps and SEs to earn up to 1250 dollars in points for Unity SC, VMAX, Isilon or XtremIO

2) Data Protection Acceleration, which offers double value, up to $5600 in points, if you displace competitive software

3) Data Protection Clean Swap, if you just displace software alone, which provides up to $2100 for competitive displacements

4) Smart Competitive Swap, which provides up to $1000 in points for any solutions you displace with the five products listed for the first spiff

All these spiffs will run until January 31, and details are in the partner portal.

Cook said that to provide more clarity around product positioning, new battlecards for midrange storage positioning are available now in the partner portal.

“We are also introducing an incredible innovative Pay as You Grow financial opportunity through Dell Financial Services,” Cook said. “It will let you engage in much larger opportunities and tailor the financial aspect to the customers’ requirements.”

Dell EMC is also making a new intelligent data mobility migration solution available.

“It is a heterogenous migration tool, which when migrating from either competitive storage or legacy Dell EMC, reduces migration time and accelerates time to revenue,” Cook said. “It creates a much sticker and better customer experience.”

Midrange storage training has been refreshed and updated. In addition, Partner Activation Packs for midrange storage have been launched which provide a single comprehensive view of training demand, generation activities, and incents. They also reside in the partner portal.

Coming soon, Cook said, are similar activation packs on data protection, converged infrastructure and net new buyers.

“We understand that we need to create some pull in the marketplace, so we just launched product promotions around UNITY 350F and SC v2020,” Cook said. Additional bundled promotions are coming soon.

“It’s an exciting time,” Cook concluded. “We are just getting started. Let’s go get aggressive in the second half.”