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Aerohive has announced a partnership with Dell through which its wireless networking products and cloud services will be resold, while at the same time launching an expanded channel program.

Under the terms of the alliance, Dell will resell Aerohive’s access points that comply with the 802.11ac standard, along with a network management service delivered via the cloud, dubbed HiveManager NG. In addition, the two companies have pledged to converge their approaches to delivering IT management services via the cloud.

To leverage both Dell and partners that participate in the Dell channel program, Aerohive is also looking to expand its own channel program.

The Aerohive Advantage Partner Program provides partners with additional rewards and marketing support from Aerohive, based on capacity, competency, engagement and profitability. “Capacity” is defined as targeted recruitment and matching the right partners with strong opportunities. “Competency” provides access to online training, certification and other tools. “Engagement” includes joint marketing and sales collaboration. “Profitability” puts in place discounts and incentives for partners to work with Aerohive on setting up sales goals and business plans.

To spearhead that program, Aerohive has named Johnna Bowley vice president of worldwide sales operations and global channels. Bowley was most recently vice president of channel strategy at Channel Impact, a provider of channel management services for vendors. Prior to that, she has held channel management positions at Riverbed, EMC, NetApp and Compaq.

David Greene, chief marketing officer for Aerohive, said the alliance with Dell and the creation of a more formal channel program will extend Aerohive’s overall reach within a fiercely competitive wireless networking category.

“We’re focusing on training, skills and setting expectation,” Greene said. “We’re also putting in place structured discount levels and a deal-registration program.”

In its most recent first quarter, Aerohive posted revenue of $25.8 million, a decrease of 9 percent from a year ago. For the first quarter of 2015, GAAP net loss for Aerohive was $16.1 million.

As IT organizations make the shift to 802.11ac while becoming more comfortable with all things cloud, Aerohive is betting that use of wireless networks inside IT environments will spike. Aerohive also expects subscription revenues generated by a cloud management service to increase. In fact, in its most recent quarter, Aerohive reported that software subscription and services revenue was $5.3 million, or 21 percent of total revenue.

To make Aerohive profitable, both the partnership with Dell and an expanded focus on the channel are critical. Dell, in particular, has been expanding its portfolio of networking technologies. At the same time, the vast majority of networking products are sold through the channel. Regardless of how good any Aerohive product or service may be, as anyone in the channel already knows, they will never simply sell themselves.

Michael Vizard has been covering IT issues in the enterprise for 25 years as an editor and columnist for publications such as InfoWorld, eWEEK, Baseline, CRN, ComputerWorld and Digital Review.