The quickening pace of digital transformation prompted Dell Technologies to update its partner program, and on Wednesday, three of the company’s most influential movers and shakers spilled the beans about what the updates mean for channel partners.
Rola Dagher, Dell Technologies’ relatively new global channel chief, alongside Denise Millard, senior vice-president of global alliances and Cheryl Cook, SVP of global partner marketing, highlighted one of the most important updates to the revamped partner program: The ability for Dell Titanium and Platinum tiered partners to transact VMware licensing deals directly through the Dell Technologies Partner Program.
“We’re responding to the overwhelming trend of customer flexibility,” Cook said during an online briefing with reporters and analysts. She added it’s also helping reduce some of the confusion partners experienced when it came to selling VMware products.
Dell and VMware have jointly engineered products such as VxRail, a dominant hyperconverged infrastructure solution, and boast a strong sales partnership via channel partners. While the move to streamline VMware licensing deals was an important step to reduce clutter within the partner program, it’s also meant to ease partners into Project Apex, Dell’s long-term as-a-service strategy, Cook says.
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“This is a multi-year journey,” she added. “Storage-as-a-Service is our first offering…and it will all be driven by our partners who will be able to build out core competencies and become more active in the field to address the issue of standing things up rapidly at scale and pushing to the hybrid cloud.”
Dell Technologies’ Storage-as-a-Service is available in the U.S., with a wider rollout in North America slated for sometime in 2021.
Millard noted that the lines are “blurring” within the Dell partner ecosystem. Global system integrators are looking more like cloud service providers. The numbers seem to back this notion. IDC data says by 2024, more than 75 per cent of infrastructure at the edge and roughly 50 per cent of all data centre infrastructure will be consumed as a service. IDC also projects that by 2023, over 500 million digital apps and services will be developed and deployed using cloud-native approaches – the same number of apps developed in the last 40 years.
Within the overarching Dell Technologies Partner Program comes a new program called Power Up.
Dell explained that Power Up connects the company’s Partner Preferred programs, meaning channel partners gain access to Dell Technologies enterprise, commercial and SMB accounts.
Dell also launched a new Incentives Center so partners can get a better view of all of their program incentives in one place. The added visibility also extends to pricing with the new Online Solutions Configurator.
Partner opportunities in security and telecommunications
When asked what opportunities channel partners might be overlooking in the midst of a global digital transformation overdrive, Dagher was quick to point out the telecommunications space.
“We’re seeing a huge investment in managed services among telcos,” Dagher said. “Now more than ever, they’re pushing hard in the direction of as-a-service and working with us.”
Millard says cybersecurity is still overlooked by many companies because they haven’t been hit with a breach, and that it’s an obvious entry-point for partners.