Dell has launched the first major revision of its nearly four-year-old PartnerDirect channel program, introducing a new top tier for solution providers, as well as new program requirements and benefits.
The vendor has expanded its program from two tiers to three with the addition of a Premier tier at the top of its channel program. The former top-level, called Certified, has been replaced by a Preferred level, and unlike its previous Certified partner program, solution providers at the Premier and Preferred levels will no longer be branded with their area(s) of specialization within the channel program.
“We’re calling it PartnerDirect 2.0,” said Dave Miketinac, vice president and general manager of the SMB division at Dell Canada.
Here’s a rundown on what’s new with PartnerDirect.
The new Premier tier will require partners to hold two Dell certifications and meet a minimum annual revenue threshold of $500,000 in Canada. Premier partners will get rebates, a new element to the PartnerDirect fold, as well as expanded deal registration and leads from the vendor. Currently rebates are two per cent on enterprise-class products, including servers, storage and networking.
Deal registration has been extended from 60 days to 180 days, and partners at the top tier can have an unlimited number of concurrent deals registration, an effort to make business easier for the company’s biggest partners.
The Preferred level replaces Certified partners, and requires partners to hold one Dell technology certification and reach $200,000 in revenues with the vendor annually. Preferred partners get 120-day deal registration (up from 60-day for Certified partners) on up to 50 concurrent deals (up from 10 under the previous program) and access to generated leads from the vendor.
At the Registered level, things remain pretty much the same under the new program.
Under the previous program, Dell had 102 Certified partners in Canada, as well as 2,703 Registered partners along with a number of non-registered partners. Miketinac said the company is estimating that between 10 and 15 per cent of the company’s former Certified partners will meet the requirements of the Premier tier.
As the new program launches, the company made some small changes to the certifications it offers for partners. Managed services, networking security and systems management remain in the program, but Enterprise Architecture is being replaced by more specific separate certifications covering servers and storage.
Miketinac said the changes that were introduced were the results of Dell’s frequent partner townhalls with its solution providers, and future editions of those events will help determine the future path of the PartnerDirect program.
Although he declined to comment on exactly what the company’s goal is in terms of expanding the new Premier tier, he did say a significant goal is to keep partners moving up, from non-registered to Registered, from Registered to Preferred, and from Preferred to Premier.
The program is global in nature, as was PartnerDirect “1.0,” with certain aspects (most notably revenue clip levels) tweaked from country to country.
At the same time that PartnerDirect 2.0 launches, it’s also the arrival party for Miketinac, who arrived in Canada earlier this year to head up vendor’s SMB business, including the channel that works with that space.
Miketinac is a 16-year Dell veteran, and is no stranger to the company’s channel, having most recently lead Dell’s drive with channel partners of $2 million (U.S.) and less Stateside. That background with the U.S. SMB partner market gives him a unique perspective on Dell’s Canadian operations, where SMB is a major opportunity.
“There’s a lot of whitespace for Dell [in SMB] and we really relish the relationships we’ve built in the channel there,” he said. “My channel experience puts me in a unique place to help to grow that community further.”
Miketinac takes over the role for Kevin Peesker, the company’s longtime lead in the Canadian SMB space, who has moved on to a similar role, based in Ireland, for Dell’s EMEA operations. “I have big shoes to fill,” Miketinac said of his predecessor. “It’s a well-run machine here in Canada. Hopefully I can make an impact.
Miketinac said he’s in the process of relocating his family to Canada. He made the bold prediction at a recent event that the Toronto Maple Leafs would win the Stanley Cup during his time in Canada. So either he knows something we don’t know about the Pension Plan Puppets, or he’s planning on staying in Canada a loooooooong time.