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Dell PartnerDirect Summit kicks off Dell World 2014

On Day 1 of the Dell PartnerDirect Summit, Dell unveils a series of partner program enhancements to build on the successes of the past year.

AUSTIN, TEXAS -- With today's kickoff of the Dell PartnerDirect Summit at Dell World 2014, held from Nov. 4-6, the vendor is talking more about building on the channel success it has had over that past year with renewed financial investments and new initiatives and programs, and talking less about direct/indirect sales alignment.

Noting that Dell channel partner revenue today represents more than 40% of overall company revenue -- up from about 37%, a figure that has held steady for several years -- the company's channel chief, Cheryl Cook, said that the company is delighted with the results of some of the program enhancements that were announced at Dell World last year.

"Since that time, we're seeing double-digit growth in 10 out of Dell's top 11 countries, and we want to reinvest in that success so our partners can continue to realize that phenomenal growth and profitability," said Cook, vice president of global channels and alliances at Dell.

Dell today announced a series of Dell PartnerDirect program enhancements toward which the company is investing $125 million in what it calls its global Business Accelerator Funds. These funds are geared toward helping partners bid and close new acquisition and retention deals with customers.

The five key pieces of the program include:

  • The Dell Storage Accelerator
  • Windows Server 2003 Migration Campaign
  • Growth Accelerators for Client and Enterprise
  • Doubled investments in demo equipment and lead generation
  • Delivery of industry best financing terms

The Dell Storage Accelerator in North America for Premier and Preferred partners is designed to give sales reps increased incentives to drive the Dell storage portfolio.

The new Windows Server 2003 Migration Campaign offers training, sales collateral, lead generation and incentives to partner sales reps for upgrades to Window Server 2012 R2 and Windows Server DataCenter 2012 R2.

Dell is also increasing incentives with targeted growth accelerators as part of a program called Growth Accelerators for Client and Enterprise. As Preferred and Premier partners increase their Dell client and enterprise solutions business, the vendor will offer increased growth incentives or increased back-end rebates for reaching certain growth thresholds within this segment of the business.

"We're mindful of the backdrop in the industry -- some of the announcements that have been made by HP and IBM divesting its x86 business to Lenovo -- and the momentum we have right now in the market is phenomenal and we want to continue to be that stable partner for our partners in the community driving the end-to-end solutions that we believe are a differentiating strategy for Dell," said Cook.

Dell also promised to double its investments in demo equipment that is available to partners to use as seed units and in customer sales cycles. The vendor also promised to double its investments in lead generation, the company's effort to drive new business opportunities to partners.

Finally, Dell will continue to deliver industry best financing terms to partners throughout the U.S., Canada and parts of Europe, via Dell Financial Services. Noting that the company is mindful of the financial burden that transformation is putting on partners, Cook said that Dell will extend payment finance terms by offering 75 days of interest-free financing on all Dell purchases for an introductory period of 180 days.

Last year, Dell financed $2 billion to the channel, according to the channel chief.

Additional announcements made today at Dell World 2014 focused on new competencies and trainings. Dell will offer new Core Client Solutions and Workstation Competencies. These new competencies add to the nine existing enterprise hardware and software competencies. Dell also announced an advanced Storage competency. At Dell's recent Peak Performance Security Conference, the company announced an advanced competency for security around identity access management.

The new competencies will launch first in North America and early next year, globally.

Cook noted that Dell continues to invest tens of millions of dollars in IT systems to improve tools in multiple areas, such as lead management, deal registration, training and certification, and navigation and mobility, quoting and ordering enhancements, rebates, MDF management, and incentive payments.

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Has your relationship with Dell and Dell PartnerDirect improved in the last year?
As a current Dell customer, we have seen some improvement in our relationship over the past year, though I can't speak specifically to the partner program.

In what way has your relationship with Dell improved, carol482?