Dell Technologies has refreshed its global channel program by adding several new partner sales tools and incentives.
Notable among the updates is the option for Platinum- and Titanium-level partners to transact VMware licensing through the program with an aligned base rebate. Dell Technologies partners can also now access a streamlined version of the New Business Incentive; an Incentives Center, which provides a centralized view of rebates, market development funds and other financial benefits; and the Online Solutions Configurator pricing and quoting platform.
In a press briefing, Cheryl Cook, Dell senior vice president of global partner, embedded and edge solutions marketing, described the latest version of the Dell Technologies Partner Program as an "evolution, not revolution." Since the program's launch, Dell Technologies has stated that while it would aim to continuously improve aspects of the program, partners could expect it to remain stable and consistent at its core. The unpredictable conditions of 2020 validated the vendor's overarching channel strategy, Cook noted.
"[The Dell Technologies Partner Program] is helping our partners grow in good times and in challenging times," Cook said.
The revised Dell Technologies Partner Program also introduces the Power Up program, which consolidates the company's Partner Preferred programs. Partner Preferred lets partners earn Partner of Record status when they close deals in underpenetrated accounts. Cook described Power Up as a "broad, go-to-market sales campaign for all Dell sellers, for acquisition, cross-sell and upsell."
Dell Technologies global channel chief Rola Dagher noted that existing incentives for selling Dell storage -- Competitive Swap, Tech Refresh, midrange storage incentives and PowerStore front-end discount -- will remain in place. She said Dell is exploring rolling out similar incentives to other products.
Dell executives cited the upcoming launch of Project Apex, Dell's cloud initiative to create an as-a-service portfolio, as a driver for integrating VMware licensing with the Dell Technologies Partner Program. "VMware is foundational to the Dell Technologies Cloud Platform and our hybrid cloud approach, so this extended availability is a step that will help prepare [partners] for the Apex launch later this year," Dagher said.
Buyers seek cloud skills, regional expansion
IT services firms pursued cloud platform expertise and broader geographic reach in the latest round of M&A activity.
Accenture this week agreed to acquire Imaginea, a product and platform engineering firm with cloud skills across AWS, Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft Azure. The purchase of Imaginea, based in Mountain View, Calif., would add about 1,350 cloud professionals to Accenture's roster. Accenture in September 2020 revealed a $3 billion plan to invest in its Cloud First group as the focal point of the company's cloud activities.
In another cloud move, Sunstone Partners, a private equity firm based in San Mateo, Calif., purchased Evergreen Systems, Cerna Solutions and Novo/Scale. The acquisitions aim to create what Sunstone called the largest independent ServiceNow consulting partner. The Sunstone investment team previously invested in another ServiceNow specialist, Fruition Partners, while working at another firm. Computer Sciences Corp. bought Fruition Partners in 2015.
Logically, an MSP based in Portland, Maine, last month acquired two MSPs: Network Support Co., based in Danbury, Conn.; and NG2, based in Minneapolis. The deals follow Logically's purchase of Personal Computer Resources, a Braintree, Mass., outsourced IT services provider. The Riverside Company, Logically's private equity partner, invested in the three add-on companies.
And in data center services, DataBank, a colocation provider based in Dallas, has acquired five French data centers from Zayo Group Holdings.
IBM NewCo open to partnering
IBM's managed infrastructure services spinoff, temporarily dubbed NewCo, will be open to partnering in areas such as application development.
Operating within IBM Global Technology Services, the Managed Infrastructure Services unit provides a wide array of IT services. Bart Van Den Daele, general manager of global technology services for IBM Europe, said he's currently seeing demand for cybersecurity, disaster recovery, and end-user computing and help desk services.
With the eventual spinoff to IBM shareholders, expected to take place by the end of this year, NewCo will represent $19 billion in revenue.
"We are going to be, by far, the No. 1 infrastructure services player in the world," Van Den Daele said. "We need to make sure we don't pretend to be somebody else."
That's where partnering will come in. For example, NewCo can help customers with application discovery and cloud migration, but won't dive into areas such as application coding, Van Den Daele said. Instead, NewCo will be partnering with other application providers, application management companies and business process reengineering firms, he noted.
NewCo's partnering plans are consistent with IBM's vision of "full autonomy when it comes to adapting [NewCo's] go-to-market strategy," as expressed by IBM CEO Arvind Krishna in an October 2020 conference call on the spinoff.
- Accenture and Microsoft are collaborating with Kaiser Permanente to improve the healthcare provider's hosted cloud environment. The cloud supports 12.4 million members and more than 85,000 clinicians. Healthcare companies are accelerating cloud adoption.
- Nearly two-thirds of small business have added VoIP services during the pandemic, according to a Business.org survey of 650 small business owners. The main motivations for doing so include maintenance costs savings, simplified communications and lower implementation costs compared with other systems. MSPs have identified VoIP and unified communications as one of seven key technology trends for 2021.
- Capsule8, a Linux security vendor based in New York, launched a partner program for VARs, MSPs and systems integrators. The company's Capitalize program launches with more than 10 partners, including Gotham Technology Group, Fortifire and SideChannel.
- Otava, a cloud solutions provider based in Ann Arbor, Mich., said it is providing its virtual private cloud hosting platform to a logistics industry customer. Evans Distribution Systems, which provides third-party logistics and supply chain solutions, is also tapping Otava's backup and disaster-recovery-as-a-service offerings.
- McAfee and Ingram Micro Inc. expanded their worldwide relationship, with the distributor providing access to McAfee's offerings across its regional Cloud Marketplaces and Centers of Excellence, among other distribution channels. McAfee, which launched its SaaS portfolio on the U.S. Ingram Micro Cloud Marketplace in late 2020, said it plans to "expand its footprint" on the distributor's e-commerce platforms throughout 2021.
- Avant Communications, a technology distributor based in Chicago, said it has reached more than $1 million in monthly recurring revenue with Zoom Video Communications. Avant said it hit that threshold between the launch of its partnership with Zoom in March 2020 and the end of that year. In addition, the company has promoted Bana Qashu, Isaiah Hogberg, Rick Reed and Rob Merhej to regional vice president roles.
- Telecom Brokerage Inc., a technology brokerage firm based in Chicago, added GoExceed and Mosaic NetworX to its portfolio. GoExceed provides a wireless expense management offering, while Mosaic NetworX is a communications service provider.
- Spectrum Enterprise, a part of Charter Communications, unveiled a managed network offering based on Cisco's Meraki platform. Managed Network Edge, geared to midmarket and large enterprises, includes managed routing, security and SD-WAN technology. The growth of the SD-WAN market is expected to open partner opportunities in 2021.
- Acronis updated its partner program with rebates and proposal-based market development funds. The program also offers marketing and sales assets, with additional marketing automation and renewal tools scheduled to arrive in March 2021. Other additions include sales and marketing training through the Acronis #CyberFit Academy.
- BeeCastle, a data analytics company based in Australia, said it has integrated with ConnectWise. The integration lets MSPs view the status of their client relationships and run analytics on their teams' client activity, according to BeeCastle.
- In a bid to expand its global footprint, NinjaRMM, a provider of remote monitoring and management software, said it introduced support for eight additional languages. The platform now supports 12 languages, the company said.
- Howell Technology Group (HTG), an MSP based in Hebburn, England, appointed Mitchell Feldman as its nonexecutive director. Feldman was a co-founder of RedPixie, an Azure cloud consultancy based in the United Kingdom. Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) acquired RedPixie in 2018. At HPE, Mitchell was UK/Ireland chief digital officer.
- Lemongrass, a managed services company and SAP specialist based in Atlanta, has appointed two former Capgemini executives. Sandy Padayachee joins Lemongrass as COO, while Joe Coyle takes the role of chief strategy officer.
- VertitechIT, a healthcare IT consultancy based in Holyoke, Mass., has appointed Joe Tuma as its vice president of national sales.
- SoftIron, a software-defined storage vendor, named Phil Crocker as its vice president of business development and channel.
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