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Dell's Cheryl Cook highlights 15% year-over-year partner ranks growth

As a private company, Dell is no longer required to make public the company’s fiscal results. However, Dell channel chief Cheryl Cook shared some partner status info as of the end of the fiscal third quarter, which ended Oct. 31, and according to the top partner executive, things are moving in the right direction for the vendor and its partners.

Current global partner count is at 224,000, including systems integrators, representing more than 40% of total company revenue. That figure is up from prior years, where partner revenue accounted for closer to one-third of overall revenue. Dell has 4,300 certified partners, which represents a 15% year-over-year increase.

According to Cook, certified partners are those who commit to making investments in training, certifications and competencies.

At the same time, registered partners — those who contract with Dell and are authorized to do business but may not have training and competency status — was also up by 7% year over year.

“Our channel business is growing by double digits with balanced performance across our client portfolio, enterprise business and software portfolio,” Cook said.

That double-digit growth spans Dell’s large VARs, national solution providers and regional VARs — in other words, all partner types. Figures for the North American partner community mirrors the global double-digit growth numbers, she noted.

Looking at deal registration as a proxy for partner activity, Dell reported more than 82,000 registered deals for the quarter, representing 9% year-over-year growth. Pulling out deal registration figures for software, Cook said that number is up by 17% in Q3 compared with Q2, “as partners get educated and embrace what they can do with software.”

Line-of-business deal registrations — where Dell encourages partners to help increase the breadth of the customer relationship or expand into new offerings — are up 42% year over year.

“In return for their investment in helping us penetrate into a new account in storage or networking, for example, we give the partner one year of protection for any ongoing businesses within that account,” Cook explained.

The channel chief said that Dell has evidence that partners who commit to making investments in trainings and competencies grow faster than partners who don’t make similar investments.

A review of the company’s top 55 North American partners and the investments they’ve made, such as having more than one competency, showed 37% year-over-year business growth versus registered partners whose business increased by 13%. Investment by certified partners, i.e. premium or preferred, showed growth of 22% year over year.

From a software perspective Dell is seeing a lot of interest among partners to progress through their training to achieve and complete their certifications primarily in the areas of client management, Windows Server management and data management – which is up 6% in Q3 over Q2. Cook noted that software-specific training has been available since September 2013.

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