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Dell Unveils New Software Competencies

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In early 2013, Kathleen Schneider, Executive Director of Global Channel Marketing and Programs for Dell, discussed the meaning of “Better Together,” a mantra implemented by the company at its annual partner conference. On the heels of a series of acquisitions, Schneider shared that Dell would be focusing on becoming an all-in-one solution provider, and empowering partners to take advantage of the series of new product and software offerings.

Now, that vision is becoming a reality, with Dell announcing a series of new software competencies designed to provide specialized training to organizations that belong to the PartnerDirect program. These new educational offerings, in turn, will provide partners with the tools and resources to cross- and up-sell a more robust product line that encompasses  the acquisitions of AppAssure, KACE, SonicWALL and Quest Software. In addition, the company has implemented a new referral program.

“About 18 months ago, there was no software group,” said Marvin Blough, Executive Director of Worldwide Channels and Alliances for Dell Software. “Now, the software branch of our company is up to $1.2 billion in revenue.”


Partners that sell a mix of Dell hardware and software can achieve premier status through “a mixed competency,” according to company sources. Partners also can follow an “advanced competency,” which enables them to reach premier status within a specialized, single line of business. North America and EMEA partners from legacy partner programs of acquired organizations also will be added to the PartnerDirect program.

“As we integrated these acquisitions into our business, one of the things we heard loud and clear is that resellers already have plenty of vendor partners,” Blough explained. “The last thing they wanted was multiple programs and relationships within Dell. They wanted a single program, so we incorporated different offerings, information and training into a single package.”

The new software competencies provided by Dell cover a variety of new market opportunities for partners, honing in on the following:

  • Security, including identity and access management, as well as network, endpoint and email security;
  • Systems Management, which covers client management, performance monitoring, Windows Server management, virtualization and cloud;
  • Data Protection, including enterprise backup and recovery, virtual protection, application protection and disaster recovery; and
  • Information Management, such as database management, business intelligence/analytics, applications and data integration, and Big Data analytics.

In addition to the new educational tracks, PartnerDirect members will receive rewards for training and sales achievement, as well as access to marketing and market development funding for lead generation. A concierge program provides partners with “white glove support” and access to resources.

Partners that act as trusted advisors and refer Dell Software solutions are eligible for the Dell referral program. Aligned to program level and sales involvement, the new initiative provides partners will a variety of incentives similar to those of the PartnerDirect program.

“Even if partners are not in the transaction chain, we want to help them benefit if they help their customers put together solutions,” Blough said. “Partners can receive between 3% and 10% of Dell’s total revenue depending on the level of influence they had in the opportunity. It shows that even if they’re not doing classic reselling, we still want them as a partner.”

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About Alicia Fiorletta

Alicia Fiorletta is Senior Editor for Channel Marketer Report. Working closely with industry analysts and experts, Alicia reports on the latest news, technologies, case studies and trends coming to forefront in the channel marketing world. With a focus on emerging marketing strategies, including social, mobile and content for demand, Alicia hones in on new ways for organizations to market to and through their partner networks. Through her work with G3 Communications, Alicia also acts as Associate Editor for Retail TouchPoints, a digital publishing network focused on the customer-facing area of the retail industry.

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