Defying Gravity with the Industry’s Most Powerful Partners

The power of the Dell Technologies partner ecosystem is undeniable. Earlier this month at Global Partner Summit, you could actually feel the energy in the room as thousands of Dell Technologies partners came together to share ideas, align priorities and build even stronger partnerships. The theme of the event was “Defying Gravity” and by now you’ve heard the big announcements, but today I wanted to take a few minutes to go beyond the headlines; to double-click on the commitments we’ve made to our partner community. It’s important to me that you see and feel the great progress we’re making as a result of your feedback.

Last year, you, our partners, said certain things were holding you down – they were your gravity. You asked us to improve predictability of engagement; speed up and improve accuracy of some core processes like deal registration, quotes and rebates; and break down silos across the Dell Technologies portfolio. This feedback shaped our three strategic imperatives, which remain intact today. While we’ve made enormous progress over the past year, we’re not slowing down. We’re heads-down on these imperatives because our goal is to be the very best in your eyes for today and decades to come.

Strategic Imperative #1: Make it easier for partners to do more business with us.

A year ago, we set some lofty goals designed to address the areas you said were most critical. So did we walk the talk? At GPS, Darren Sullivan shared our progress:

  • For deal registration, we committed to getting an accurate response the first time, 95% of the time. We’ve surpassed that goal, currently with a mark of 96%. We’ve also improved our SLA by 75% Y/Y.
  • For quoting, we committed to turning around 80% of all quotes within 4 hours. By the end of 2018, we beat that goal, turning around 84% of quotes within 4 hours.
  • For rebate claiming and payments, we set a goal last year to improve our speed to pay by 30%. Again, we’ve exceeded the goal, increasing our speed by 32% Y/Y in 2018 and hitting our SLAs for rebate payment for the past three consecutive quarters.

We heard from partners last week that they’re seeing and feeling the progress, but we know we have more work to do. To accelerate our progress, we’re investing in a cohesive digital ecosystem that we’re calling the Dell Digital Way. We take an agile approach with tight engagement of customers, partners, business leaders and IT to prioritize business needs and design the right solutions.

So what does this mean for 2019?

  • Over the next year we will take big steps to create a seamless end to end online experience with major improvements in deal registration, quoting, ordering and rebate management.

In the second half of this year, we will enable an integrated self-service quoting and ordering experience for client, server and select storage solutions. This will be a big step forward in providing a seamless experience across our lines of business.

  • When it comes to predictability of engagement, we’re working with Bill Scannell and Marius Haas to build on our culture of partnering. This all starts with effective and consistent joint account planning between our sales teams and partners. We’ve seen great momentum with our Partner Preferred Program and are expanding the number of eligible accounts.
  • And of course, we’ll continue to double down on deal registration and rules of engagement that provide predictability throughout the sales cycle as well as Partner of Record Incumbency, which protects your past investments.

While we know we have more work to do, we’re proud of the progress we’ve made. Earlier this year, partners gave us the greatest compliment… our highest partner net promoter score in history. But that doesn’t mean we’re done. Making it easier to do more business with us remains my #1 priority for the year.

Strategic Imperative #2: Fast-track partners’ ability to deliver transformational solutions

This is 100 percent about leverage – leveraging your skillset, leveraging this ecosystem and leveraging the power of Dell Technologies.

First, we recognize that to meet today’s customer needs, you have to expand beyond traditional partner designations like service provider or systems integrator. We’re working to simplify those program tracks that pigeon-hole you.

Second, we want to make it easier for you to tap into the power of this ecosystem, so you can supplement your expertise. Tools like Partner Finder and Cloud Partner Connect do just that.

And third, we’re making it easier for you to leverage the Dell Technologies portfolio. Harnessing this power of these brands is what sets us apart from everyone else – it’s what makes our opportunity together boundless. This year, Cheryl Cook announced the next evolution of our program, now called the Dell Technologies Partner Program. While each business will continue their independent partner programs, the Dell Technologies Partner Program empowers partners to deliver transformational solutions that span the portfolio. Additionally, there are benefits to working across the portfolio:

  • When partners transact through Dell Technologies, solutions from any business in the family of brands will count towards Dell Technologies Partner Program tier revenue credit.[1]
  • Partners can utilize MDF in conjunction with the Dell Technologies strategically aligned businesses.[2]
  • We will recognize related credentials and certifications earned from the strategically aligned businesses through Learning Investment Protection.

Partners can download their new logos and begin showcasing the full family of brands today.

Strategic Imperative #3: Embrace and monetize IoT

As we look ahead 3-5 years, things get really interesting. Products will become more specialized, multi-cloud environments will expand and artificial intelligence will become IT’s #1 customer. These trends are creating a demand for data, the likes of which we’ve never seen before. There are big changes coming, and they’re bringing even bigger opportunities. We’re committed to helping you embrace and monetize them.

In 2018, we created Partner Technical Advisory Boards where some of our brightest technical minds come together to align our technology roadmap with your priorities. Our AI-enabled products and award-winning IoT Connected Bundles are just a few examples of solutions that were built based on partners’ feedback. We’re thinking through these industry changes and continuously innovating so you can confidently lead with Dell Technologies in every customer conversation.

And here’s the thing – all this complexity means customers will need trusted partners now more than ever. We’re supporting Dell Technologies partners with new training and competencies. Of course partners will need a solid understanding of the technology, but even more importantly, you’ll need an understanding of customers’ businesses and verticals. We’re encouraging our entire partner ecosystem to continue building on their skills and specialties so that together, we can be THE go-to-resource for our customers.

I was also reminded at Global Partner Summit that it’s not just about the business results. It’s also about being proud of the work we do together every day; building positive, trusting relationships; creating a strong, diverse global workforce; and harnessing the power of partnership to improve the communities we live in. I had the opportunity to co-host our Women’s Partner Network reception, speak with our partner advisory boards and personally hold conversations with hundreds of you. This event was designed specifically for our partner community and I am honored to have spent it with so many of you.

Thank you to all of the partners who joined us in Las Vegas. If you were unable to make it this year, we hope to see you at one of our regional events or at GPS 2020. Until then, let’s seize the momentum, unleash the power and defy gravity.

[1] This tier revenue credit counts toward the Dell Technologies Partner Program and will not apply to the independent partner programs of VMware, Pivotal, RSA, Secureworks, Boomi. Availability varies by region.

[2] Dell Technologies Partner Program MDF can be used on conjunction with our SABs so as long as Dell Technologies ISG, CSG products, solutions, software and services are promoted with/in that initiative

About the Author: Joyce Mullen

Joyce Mullen is President of Global Channel, Embedded & Edge Solutions. Joyce focuses on all facets of the multi-billion dollar Dell EMC Partner Program, including channel strategy, partner program design and omni-channel enablement, as well as execution across solution provider, global systems integrator and distribution relationships. Her team also delivers best-in-class technology to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), allowing them to focus on their intellectual property and grow their business; and to IoT customers and partners, who depend on and sell connected devices. A strong and passionate leader, Joyce is committed to helping customers solve the world’s most vexing problems faster and more efficiently. Joyce has been a Dell executive for over 20 years, leading teams in operations, supply chain, partner strategy, services delivery and logistics. Prior to joining Dell, Joyce had a nine-year career at Cummins Engine Company. She earned a bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Brown University and a MBA from Harvard Business School. Throughout Joyce’s career, she has been very active serving on community boards. She has chaired or co-chaired the Austin chapter of the March of Dimes, Women in Search of Excellent (WISE) board, Forte Foundation, and the Brown School of Engineering Corporate Affiliates board, and is currently on the board of the Central Texas Food Bank and The Toro Company.