New PartnerDirect specialization sends Dell partners to the cloud

Following the re-launch last summer of Dell Inc.‘s (NASDAQ: DELL) partner program, PartnerDirect, the vendor announced the creation this week of a new specialization certification: cloud services and solutions.

PartnerDirect includes a registered level and two upper tiers (prefered and premier) and includes revenue and certification requirements to move up from the registered level and into the upper tiers, where improved margin, rebates and other benefits are available and partners can grow their businesses faster.

(FLASHBACK Dell Canada makes major changes to its PartnerDirect program)

Gilles Philippe, Canadian marketing manager for global commercial channels with Dell, said its goal is to move more partners into the upper tiers and the new cloud specialization is an important step in enabling Dell partners to climb the PartnerDirect ladder.

The Dell partner program is primarily focused on helping partners grow their data centre business, and as the vendor has acquired companies in recent years, the specializations around storage, servers, networking, security and system management have all been revamped.

The introduction of the cloud specialization, said Philippe, is an important piece of that data centre puzzle. It’s aimed at three audiences: cloud builders, cloud providers and cloud service enablers. It includes technical and sales training, and offers the ability to sell certain Dell cloud products and services.“The cloud is the next logical extension,” said Philippe, particularly with the acquisition last year of Boomi, which specializes in application integration on the cloud, as well as virtual network infrastructure vendor Force 10. “It’s a continuation of our focus on the data centre. I think our portfolio has never been so strong.”

Philippe said he thinks many of Dell’s existing partners will look to add the cloud specialization, and it’s also important to help bring cloud-focused partners that have come to Dell through acquisitions into PartnerDirect.

Dell had 14 premier partners at launch in Canada, and has since increased that number to about 24. Overall, Philippe said Dell has roughly 3,000 partners overall in Canada, most of them at the registered level.

“Over one quarter of Dell’s business is done through the channel. We’re actually getting close to one third,” said Philippe. “The objective is to get to 50 per cent. No timeline has been ascribed, but that’s the goal.”

Canada, in particular, is a channel world, and Philippe said the company’s taken certain steps around compensation to ensure its direct sales force isn’t competing with partners. It’s also taking care not to saturate the channel, allowing its partners that have invested with Dell to build profitable businesses.

Follow Jeff Jedras on Twitter: @JeffJedrasCDN.

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Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras
A veteran technology and business journalist, Jeff Jedras began his career in technology journalism in the late 1990s, covering the booming (and later busting) Ottawa technology sector for Silicon Valley North and the Ottawa Business Journal, as well as everything from municipal politics to real estate. He later covered the technology scene in Vancouver before joining IT World Canada in Toronto in 2005, covering enterprise IT for ComputerWorld Canada. He would go on to cover the channel as an assistant editor with CDN. His writing has appeared in the Vancouver Sun, the Ottawa Citizen and a wide range of industry trade publications.

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