Dell: 80% of Deal Registrations Approved

By Jessica Davis  |  Print this article Print

Dell's Channel Chief Greg Davis recently shared this and other details in a progress report on the state of Dell's PartnerDirect channel program with Channel Insider.

Since Dell formally launched its channel partner program in December, about 7,200 U.S. VARs and 700 Canadian VARs have logged onto the OEM's partner portal and filled out the application to become one of the company's channel partners.

That's according to Dell Channel Chief Greg Davis, who recently shared a channel program progress report with Channel Insider. Davis said he expected registration to spike in the beginning of the program and then trail off a bit, but so far registration is still showing strength.

"For the last several weeks we've had a flow of 200 to 250 partners per week register," Davis said. "That really tells me we continue to do a good job or fair job of messaging to partners about what we are doing."

Dell has been holding partner seminars around the country to sell VARs on the advantages of working with Dell and also to gather feedback from partners. In May Dell will hold its first ever Global Partnership Council, designed to gather feedback from partners. For example, Davis says, as Dell looks at new offerings, the company will poll these partners on where it should focus its efforts.

Dell's partnership recruitment is focused on a particular subset or profile of partners—those who work with customers that the company hasn't been able to reach directly in its 20 years of doing business.

To mitigate problems with channel conflict, Dell introduced a deal registration program when it launched PartnerDirect in December.

"We continue to have fair success with our deal registration," Davis says. "About 80 percent of deals have been approved for about $325 million worth of business."

During the last full week of April nearly 500 deals were submitted into the system, and Dell is keeping its commitment to respond to deal registration requests within 24 to 48 hours, Davis says.

While Dell may have 7,200 partners registered at this point, a minority so far have achieved the higher partnership status that comes with certification.

Dell has launched two certification paths—managed service provider launched in December and enterprise architecture launched in January. As of now, Dell claims about 365 total certified partners—about 290 in enterprise architecture and about 75 in managed services, Davis says.

Those managed services certified partner numbers, measured at the beginning of the quarter, are fewer than the 150 that Silverback had when Dell bought the managed services platform company July 2007. Since then, that company's CEO, Dan Phillips, had been appointed to lead the channel services organization for Dell, but then left the company altogether last month.

Dell's new director of managed services and software as a service comes from Dell's acquisition of Everdream. Mike Menegay served as channel chief for that company, and now he heads up both direct and indirect service sales for Dell. 

More on Dell's direct managed services pilot and its affect on Dell's MSP partners.

Davis says that on top of the deal registration and certifications, Dell has made several incremental changes to improve its partner program since the launch last December. Another improvement comes in the form of a partner link to its Dell.com page so that visitors can easily find Dell channel partners.

Dell's goal is for partners to get access to all the e-commerce capabilities that are available to Dell's direct sales force including some of the features and pricing configurators that were available through EqualLogic, another recent Dell acquisition, according to Davis.

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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