Dell EMC extends Partner Preferred Program to 20,000 commercial accounts, unveils first Dell EMC-VMware co-skilled badges

Dell EMC’s quarterly Partner Broadcast was mainly about recounting their many trumps in the first half of the year, but there was some new news here which will interest their channel partners.

Joyce Mullen, Dell EMC channel chief

On Wednesday, Dell EMC’s channels team held their regular quarterly Partner Broadcast webcast, designed to inform partners on what’s new on the channel momentum and program front, and to remind them of existing enablement activities. The team discussed an enormous number of programs and incents – most of which are not new. That’s normal at this kind of webcast event, because it is directed at partners, to reimpress upon them Dell EMC’s strategic channel priorities and remind them of programs that a specific partner may not be using fully, or may not even be aware of at all. There were, however, a couple of nuggets of new news here.

“We  want to make it easier for you to do more business with us,” said Joyce Mullen, president of global channels, OEM and IoT Solutions, Dell EMC. “The magic happens when these two  groups, the Dell EMC core and the channel  work together – which we call ‘the art of the and.’

In August, Dell EMC announced an Enterprise Preferred Program that gave partners preferred access to 2,000 enterprise accounts.

“We are taking that a step further, extending the Partner Preferred program to include 20,000 commercial white space accounts where we have identified unbelievable upside,” Mullen said. “We want you to take the lead in these accounts, hunt for new business, and we will back you while you do it.”

They will do that with more competitive pricing, including a new acquisition deal registration with an incremental discount tied to it.

“This gives you the front-end margin you have been asking for,” Mullen said.

“We are investing in a compensation ‘True Up’ to protect the [Dell EMC direct] commission on these accounts and provide even more incentive for you and them to partner closely together,” Mullen added.

“Based on your feedback, we are improving our Line of Business Incumbency program, offering formal protection to partners who make the investment to earn new data centre business, through an earned Partner of Record model,” Mullen noted. “As long as you are actively growing the storage business and meeting expectations, this account is yours. All storage deals that we find in that account will go through you. And where we don’t have the server and networking business, that business will go to you too.”

A second net-new news element was new coskilled badges for Dell EMC and VMware.

“Our second imperative is a fast track ability to deliver transformational solutions,” Mullen said. This is a longer-term initiative, expected to come to full fruition in 2020-2021, but the first elements have now been announced.

“We are introducing our first co-skilled badges bringing together Dell EMC Proven Professional and VMware Certified Professional certifications,” Mullen said. “Today these badges are for individual administration and design capabilities across converged and hybrid cloud. In the future, they will be launched across the entire portfolio, Talk to your account team to determine qualification for the badges.”

Darren Sullivan, SVP Global Partner Strategy Programs and Operations at Dell EMC, talked mainly of a comprehensive effort he is leading to improve partner tools, such as simplifying the deal registration form and accelerating the time it takes to get an approved quote.

“We are making changes to simplify the pricing approval workflow, and you will see significant improvements by the end of this year,” he said. “We are driving a holistic program to improve policies, processes and enablement, with changes in policies like special pricing, deal reg, and introduction of the new Partner of Record strategy.

“We are also piloting a new rebate dashboard with a limited group of partners, to make sure we get this right,” Sullivan revealed.

Finally, he announced a new incent for the second half of the year.

“For Q3 and Q4, you will receive a 3x multiplier towards program tier attainment for storage and data protection, and a 1.5x multiplier for any converged or hyperconverged products,” he said.

Other executives emphasized specific opportunities that partners may not be taking full advantage of. For instance, Bryan Jones, Senior VP and GM, Global OEM and IoT Solutions, highlighted four bundles they released at VMworld.

“There are other bundles coming as well which will launch in the second half of the year, and the training and certifications for the four existing bundles will be released soon,” he said. Jones also indicated that 50 new partners had been added to the OEM partner track in the first half of the year, for a total of 160.

Mullen also made a point of noting that Dell EMC continues to be aware of partner issues with the direct sales force, and restated the company’s commitment to resolving issues here.

“We’ve educated our salesforce on the rules of engagement and the consequences,” she said. “But let’s call out the elephant in the room. Sometimes in an organization of our size, we have someone who forgets to read the rules, or even worse, breaks or bends them, Frankly, until recently our processes weren’t strong enough and we weren’t giving our executives the visibility we needed to make good choices. Our processes weren’t stringent enough. We’ve changed this. Today, violations are being reviewed and offenders are being held accountable.”