What's New? Not a Lot from DellBy Sara Driscoll | Posted 2007-12-05 Email Print
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As the vendor launches its channel program, its unsuprisingly full of no suprises.Disappointing and anticlimactic. They are the only words to describe what became a damp squib of an announcement from Dell about the launch of its new channel program.
The anticipation felt throughout the global channel was greater than a bunch of preschool children before Christmas. The waiting for almost a year, the drip feed of information, the whispering behind closed VAR doors of those who helped the former direct vendor pilot its channel program, all amounted to, well, not a great deal.
For a company based in a state where the philosophy is "When you do it, do it big," the vendor didn't live up to its homeland. Deal registration, partner tiers, tech support, partner logos, online VAR portal sound familiar? Of course it does, they are the ingredients of almost every single channel program around the globe, from the smallest to the largest vendor.
To be fair to the former direct vendor, it is hard to reinvent something that has been around for such a long time. And it is tough to look at the channel and try to think of new ways to operate within it. Not only that, but it is risky, after all. As the saying goes, if it ain't broke, don't fix it, and Dell has played it safe here. But I can't help feeling let down. With so much anticipation it was almost bound to happen, and yet there is very little within the program that raises hopes that Dell's channel will be that much different to its rivals. And no matter what the company says, it still has a huge direct sales force that is likely to make some partners nervous. Changing the mind-set of those salespeople and the users is likely to be one of the biggest challenges that Dell faces, and one that its rivals don't have to contend with.
In fact the best thing about the channel program is the name: Dell PartnerDirect. Clever. At least they've got good marketing people down there in Texas.