Three years in the technology industry can seem like an eternity! Three years ago few people had even heard of Twitter; back then only 400,000 tweets were posted per quarter – now users generate 65 million tweets per day! And who would have thought three years ago that tablet PCs would catch on so dramatically, or that football fans in pubs across the country would be donning special glasses to watch games in 3D!
The technology world marches to the unending beat of Moore’s Law – everything is getting smaller and more powerful. The highly competitive world of Supercomputers illustrates this perfectly. In 2008 a new era was heralded as the ‘Roadrunner’ supercomputer at Los Alamos National Laboratory became the first ever system to achieve a peak performance of more than 1 petaflop/s (one quadrillion floating point operations per second). By the end of last year seven sites had surpassed this figure, with the fastest supercomputer achieving 2.57 petaflops/s. Three years ago 1 petaflop/s made you the talk of the industry; now it just puts you amongst the chasing pack.
Clearly, much can happen in three years, and as Dell PartnerDirect celebrates its 3rd birthday in EMEA it’s exciting to think about how far we have come. Here’s a recap of the progress we have made:
- February – PartnerDirect launches in EMEA – here’s a video about the announcement, laying out Dell’s aims for the channel in this region.
- The PartnerDirect Portal is launched in eleven languages
- Dell completes the acquisition of EqualLogic – a key move not only in technology terms but also because of the significant EqualLogic channel which Dell inherits.
- June – Dell launches it EMEA certification programme, with accreditations in servers, storage and SMB.
- By the end of 2008 Dell has certified 100 of its partners.
- June – By mid-2009 PartnerDirect in EMEA boasts 200 certified partners. At the same mark it also has five distribution agreements in place.
- September – The PartnerDirect Portal is launched, allowing partners to engage in all aspects of the program online such as joining, registering a deal, placing orders and taking training.
- The CampaignBuilder is launched, giving partners access to various marketing collateral and campaigns they can customize and use with their end customers.
- The Find a Partner tool is launched……
- September – Dell acquires Perot Systems, significantly adding to its services capabilities
- Dell held its first ever EMEA certification conference in Amsterdam. Over 50 partners attend the event, 10 of which complete the certification over the course of the 2-days. Similar events have since been held across Europe.
- Dell acquires KACE and its range of systems management appliances – another company that, like EqualLogic, has a strong heritage within the channel.
- Dell launches two new Certification paths in KACE and Networking
- November – PartnerDirect launches its Partner Showcase and begins promoting its Certified Partners in external advertising campaigns for the first time
- Partners register 9,300 deals in Q3 2010 – 94% more than during the same period in 2009.
- Dell currently has around 450 certified partners in Europe – almost times the amount that were certified through H1 2009
- Dell signs a distribution agreement in France and Switzerland with Magirus.
- Dell finalises the acquisition of Compellent, building out its storage portfolio
- The PartnerDirect portal is now available in 12 languages
While these milestones demonstrate the hard work that has gone into building our Channel business, it is less easy to highlight the trust and commitment that has been built up between Dell and its EMEA partners. When I attended the first ever Solutions Conference for partners in Rome in 2008, the atmosphere was relatively positive but the line of questioning and tone from attendees still suggested a certain wariness and uncertainty about their engagement with PartnerDirect. Fast-forward to our Solutions Conference in Cannes in June last year and the tone is completely different, with the prevailing attitude of partners very much one of “OK – I’m investing heavily in Dell. What do I need to know?” To me, this speaks volumes about our progress over a very exciting 3 years.
Looking ahead, we are committed to continued investment in our channel programme and further acceleration of the business we drive through our partners.