As 2011 gets off the ground, a look back at a year of growth in EMEA for Dell’s PartnerDirect channel program

The Channel is never a dull place. 2010 proved to be an especially exciting year for PartnerDirect and 2011 is shaping up equally well. Since we started PartnerDirect our goal has always been to offer partners the most straightforward and profitable program possible, and listening to feedback from the channel has played a critical role in this. As we approach our third birthday we are in a very exciting position – old enough to have learnt some lessons and built out a very robust program, but still young enough to remain nimble and open to change.

Last year we made a number of enhancements last year to the PartnerDirect offering which made it even more rewarding to partner with Dell:

  • We introduced two new exciting certification paths – the first in the KACE technology which we acquired at the beginning of the year, and the second in our networking technology.
  • In May we took the significant step of opening the doors of our Solutions Innovation Centre (SIC) facilities to partners. These facilities really are one of the jewels in our crown, and have proven to be invaluable over the years for our direct sales teams.
  • We also introduced our PartnerAdvantage scheme which is another example of the support and incentives we are offering partners.
  • Based on partners’ feedback we launched our Partner Showcase which features PDF and video case studies of key wins by Certified Partners. This was supported by a digital marcom campaign driving end users to the site.

In terms of the events calendar there were a couple of highlights:

  • Our annual Solutions Conference in Cannes in November was a tremendous success and a great event to be a part of. What struck me was how much the tone has changed since the previous conference in 2009. The feedback from the partners in attendance was incredibly positive and it was great to have the EMEA business unit leaders join us as well.
  • We were also delighted to win Storage Vendor of the Year at the UK Channel Awards, hosted by CRN in November. Storage and data management have been a key area of focus for us and we have worked hard to help our partners exploit the opportunity which exists to build extremely profitable solutions around storage – particularly our Dell EqualLogic products. One look at the judging panel will tell you how tough it is to win one of these awards, so to come out as winners in this category was incredibly satisfying and we appreciate all the support of our partners!

2011 has already started on a high note, with more good news on the awards front. Just last week we learnt that Dell has been shortlisted for Vendor of the Year in the IT Excellence Awards, which are organized by leading pan-EMEA channel publication IT Europa. This is one of only two vendor-focused categories so we’re delighted to have made the cut and are looking forward to the award ceremony on February 10th in London.

For 2011, driving certification and training among our partners will continue to be a focus for us. We will also be looking at ways to help our partners further differentiate themselves with the introduction of new specializations. A third area of focus will be promoting our partners’ capabilities to end-users through various innovative marcom campaigns, for example expanding our Partner Showcase. As 2011 kicks off in earnest, I’m excited about the opportunities that lay ahead of us as we continue to mature as a channel organization and help accelerate our partners’ business with Dell.

About the Author: Kathy Schneider