Last week the Dell Partner Direct UK team – headed up by Paul Harrison – had the great honour of picking up CRN’s award for Storage Vendor of the Year at the UK Channel Awards. This is a tremendous validation of the Partner Direct strategy and great recognition for everyone involved in the program, particularly our partners. Without your commitment and efforts we would not be in this position today.
While we are becoming an increasingly mature channel organization, given how new we are to this business relative to our competition, we are particularly proud of this recognition. In fact, Partner Direct in EMEA will celebrate its third birthday this February 2011. Many of the companies we beat to the award have had channel programs in place for significantly longer, so our success shows hopefully we are on the right trajectory and building a program which reflects the needs of our partners.
One of the things we hear quite often in the field is that we are very open to feedback and we want this to continue. If there is something you as a partner feel strongly about, please tell us. Our submission to the CRN awards highlighted a number of enhancements we have made to our program to better empower partners to sell storage solutions, and partner feedback was critical in driving several of these initiatives.
For example, our partners told us that the key to selling EqualLogic products was getting customers in front of the technology where they really get the “wow” factor that comes with seeing how easy the technology is to deploy and manage. We subsequently introduced a number of initiatives to help partners demonstrate EqualLogic products, including greater discounts on demonstration arrays as well as the hugely popular Lunch & Learn events (where we basically provide everything you need to run a demo day, including invites, demo kit, speaker and even lunch!). Through the Partner Advantage program we now also provide incentives to individual sales professionals of our partners that give them some great rewards for Dell selling storage solutions. If you haven’t already looked into Partner Advantage for your business, I encourage you to do so – we’re seeing great results with our partners who are currently signed up!
This award caps off a very busy few months for the Partner Direct team in EMEA, having recently launched our new KACE and Networking certifications, announced new campaigns on the Partner Advantage platform and made great progress with our marketing efforts on behalf of partners. All of these developments highlight the investments we are making in our partners in order to continually improve the experience of partnering with Dell. We’re delighted and proud to have won CRN’s Storage Vendor of the Year award. But we know we have more work to do to become your vendor of choice! In the coming months you can expect to hear more announcements from us on the evolution of Partner Direct. Much of this will be around certification, which continues to be a focus for us. Certification is key for partners as well since our figures show that Certified Partners have significantly faster growth with Dell than non-certified partners. So while our recent progress – and industry recognition – is positive, we continue to ask for your feedback and work hard at being an excellent partner.