Channel partner programs, Enterprise

New Dell EMC Partner Program Levels: Where You’ll Fit

Cheryl Cook
Cheryl Cook

Dell Technologies is starting to tell partners where they'll fit into the new Dell EMC Partner Program, which is set to launch Feb. 1, 2017. Among the key updates: Mapping existing Dell and EMC partners to the new partner program levels -- which include Titanium, Platinum, Gold and Authorized.

Here's a look at where partners will fit in the new partner program, based on their standing in the legacy Dell and EMC programs:

When the new partner program launches on February 1, it will include a single partner portal, notes Cheryl Cook, VP of global channels and alliances at Dell EMC. Cook has been working closely with John Byrne, president of global channels at Dell EMC, to build out the new partner program. The key goals: Deliver a unified program that's "simple, predictable and profitable," she says.

Building the New Dell EMC Partner Program

Dell EMC Channel Chief John Byrne

Dell didn't build the new partner program in a vacuum. Even before Dell finalized the EMC buyout, the company in July 2016 named John Byrne to oversee a next generation, merged partner program. Byrne and his channel lieutenants have spent the past six months or so criss-crossing the globe to hear from partners. The goal: Blend the best of the existing Dell and EMC partner programs, while eliminating some of the challenges in each of the existing programs.

For instance, some EMC partners were concerned about falling incentives while some Dell partners were concerned about deal registration challenges and occasional competition from Dell's direct sales force.

Based on that feedback, Byrne unveiled and discussed the next-generation Dell EMC Partner Program at the Dell EMC World conference in October 2016. Here are video highlights:

During the conference, Byrne told ChannelE2E that the new partner program would also need to address the evolving IT distributor landscape as well as various compensation models. For instance, Dell EMC expects to consolidate the number of distributors with which it works. Also, the company needs to address how partners are compensated. The former Dell model typically featured back-end rewards while the former EMC model featured front-end rewards.

Dell EMC Partner Program: More Details On the Way

In a follow-up interview with Cook last week, she re-confirmed Dell EMC's plan to consolidate some of its IT distributor partnerships -- with details reaching IT distributors over the next few weeks. Also, the new Dell EMC partner program will attempt to effectively address the various compensation and reward models for partners, Cook added.

Overall, she expects the combined program to be more flexible than classic Dell partners had experienced, and more lucrative than classic EMC partners had experienced. The partner program components, once they launch on February 1, will remain largely unchanged for a 12-month window. However, every six months or so Dell EMC may adjust the revenue targets for partners, Cook said.

Dell EMC Partner Program: Recurring Revenues?

Scott Millard

Admittedly, most of the Dell EMC partner program focuses on hardware sales. But some recurring revenue opportunities will also surface over time. Chief among them: VirtuStream, the cloud provider now owned by Dell, is preparing a partner program within the overall Dell EMC effort. Scott Millard is driving that effort.

Also, Michael Dell at Dell EMC World described how partners can leverage the company's financing arm to help customers shift from CapEx to OpEx technology models, if they so desire. Dell's OpEx thoughts are captured in this video:


Overall, the Dell EMC partner program sounds like it will be fully baked in time for the February 1, 2017, launch. Overall, plenty of competition looms. Cisco has been shifting its partner program to a OpEx model in recent quarters. Also, IBM is preparing more cognitive computing opportunities for partners. And Oracle is accelerating its cloud services push for partners.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.