Dell Rolls Out Federal Partner Certification

By Jessica Davis  |  Posted 2008-10-08 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Dell is increasing its PartnerDirect footprint by offering a Federal Practice Certification to its IT solution provider channel partners. The new certification path for PartnerDirect solution providers marks the third for Dell and the first that focuses on a vertical industry space.

Dell is increasing its PartnerDirect footprint by offering a Federal Practice Certification for channel partners.

The new certification path marks the third for Dell and the first that focuses on a vertical industry space. Dell's previous certifications included IT Enterprise and Managed Services.

"We have a history with federal partners that goes back 10 years," said Greg Davis, vice president and general manager of Dell's Americas channel group. "We have 250 employees dedicated to serving the federal market."

Channel partners are of particular importance in the federal market. Only 5 percent of Dell's federal revenues comes from direct sales while 95 percent of sales comes through channel partners, according to Troy West, general manager and vice president leading Dell's federal business operations.

Calling the federal certification program a "framework," Davis said that the program will require the same training that is required for partners pursuing Dell's IT Enterprise certification. However, federal partners must meet certain additional qualification requirements. For example, all Dell Federal Practice area partners, even the registered ones, must have a federal rider, and like all PartnerDirect partners, must qualify for Dell credit. 

Certified Federal Practice partners must have Dell's Enterprise Foundations product knowledge, the federal rider, the Dell industry certification, at least one government-wide acquisition contract (GWAC), plus any two of the following:

•    10 or more employees supporting the federal government
•    Individual security clearance
•    Facility clearance
•    Available credit of more than $1 million or floor planning.

Certified partners must also complete the business planning template with Dell, reach a $2.5 million revenue threshold of Dell products sold to the federal government and sustain that level.

In addition, Dell is also offering an elite category of federal partners. Dell has hand-picked 20 certified federal partners to hold its 20 General Service Administration Letters of Supply (LOS). These elite partners must have the federal rider, the industry certification, at least one federal government GWAC and at least five of the following:

•    20 or more employees supporting the federal government
•    Individual security clearance
•    Facility clearance
•    Available credit of more than $1 million or floor planning
•    Small business/socio-economic status
•    Holds a GSA Schedule
•    Carries Dell product on their GSA
•    Active participant on Dell Partner Advisory Council

Certified (LOS) partners must also complete the business planning template with Dell and reach a $5 million revenue threshold of Dell products sold to the federal government and then sustain that level.

In exchange for their commitment to Dell, certified partners get lead-generation, incentive-based co-marketing funds, demo units and expanded deal registration. In addition, Dell is offering 24/7 order support.

Registered partners get 60 days for deal registration while certified partners get 120 days.

And while Dell's Greg Davis said he does plan to recruit partners for its federal certified partner program, Dell's Troy West added that Dell's federal certification program will focus on value versus volume in partner recruitment. So far, partners say that's been true.

"Dell's done a good job of hand-picking partners," said Georgia Vasilion, director of public sector for Technology Integration Group in Torrance, Calif., one of the 20 Dell Federal Certified (LOS) partners. "We don't run into each other out there."

Vasilion said that the formalization of Dell's partner program has helped soothe conflicts that plagued partners in the past.

"We don't spend time worrying about whether Dell is going to out-price us," she said. "We've increased the trust issue. That was a huge issue before."

Additionally, Dell counts another 300 registered and certified partners in its federal partner program.

"We are using this framework that we are launching today to ultimately build out internationally," to serve governments abroad, said Greg Davis, Dell's channel chief for the Americas.

 
 
 
 
Jessica Davis covers the channel for eWeek and Channel Insider. Her technology journalism career began well before anyone heard of the World Wide Web and has included stints at Infoworld, Electronic News/EDN, and the Philadelphia Business Journal. Her work has also appeared on CNN and Forbes.com. She has covered hardware, software and networking, as well as the business side of technology. She has won several journalism awards, including a national ASBPE award for best staff-written column, and was named Marketing Computers hardest working tech journalist on their inaugural list of top tech journalists. Jessica can be reached at jessica.davis@ziffdavisenterprise.com
 
 
 
 
 
























 
 
 
 
 
 

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