Last week, Dell was named U.K. Networking Vendor of the Year at the annual CRN Channel Awards dinner. The CRN award is particularly notable because CRN is widely considered to be a leader in providing news coverage and essential content to channel organizations. The UK office for CRN launched the CRN Sales and Marketing Awards four years ago to recognize the highest performing information and communications technology companies. Dell’s designation as the U.K. Networking Vendor of the Year represents a significant milestone for Dell Networking in the UK market.
As a member of the Dell Outbound Marketing team I’m gratified to see this award. It underscores the transition that Dell Networking is making from a direct sales focus to a model that is much more inclusive of our channel partners. My team members and I are constantly being challenged to make sure the channel has the marketing support they need from the moment a new product or initiative is launched. As Michael Dell said in 2014, “We value the unique insights our channel partners have around what customers want and need from their IT solutions. When our customers grow and succeed, so do our partners, and so do we.”
Cheryl Cook, Dell’s vice president of global channel alliances stated recently “Dell partners are now the front line of Dell’s growth. The channel now represents 40 percent of Dell’s overall global revenue.” In fact, channel partners are growing faster than Dell itself and are growing an astounding three to four times faster than the IT industry as a whole. At Dell World in October, Michael Dell said partners could be 50 percent of the company’s revenue in the near future.
A key to the recent Dell Networking channel success has been the Dell PartnerDirect program. Whether selling hardware, software, services or a combination of integrated solutions, partners have multiple paths and profit opportunities. Comprehensive training is a key ingredient of channel success. PartnerDirect offers a networking competency, one of seven hardware competencies intended to increase sales due to greater expertise with Dell products and solutions. The networking training spans from campus offerings to high-end, data center networking solutions.
In May at the EMEA PartnerDirect Solutions Conference in Vienna Dell reaffirmed its commitment to the channel and outlined expected growth for 2016 with new “Future-Ready” programs, key incentives, financing options, competencies and trainings. Dell reinforced its commitment to helping Dell partners, deepen expertise, drive competitive advantage, earn rewards, strengthen customer relationships and increase revenues.
Key components of the plan include:
- Rebates and growth accelerators for global Premier and Preferred partners selling Dell Storage, Networking, Server, Client and Software products to new customers
- New PartnerDirect competencies and training initiatives
- A new certification in Networking deployment with Dell ProDeploy for Enterprise
- An expanded focus on solutions competencies such as big data and analytics that will allow partners to pursue sales and technical training for Dell’s solutions portfolio.
At Dell World, Cheryl Cook said Dell will continue to invest in the overall growth of its channel partner program in 2016 following last year’s $125 million investment in the company’s PartnerDirect programs and incentives. Suffice it to say it’s an exciting time to be part of the Dell ecosystem and It’s easy to see why CRN had named Dell as “one of the best companies to partner with.”