What is the Dell Technologies Partner Program?
The Dell Technologies Partner Program is an international channel partner program that provides partners with business development, sales and marketing resources.
The Dell Technologies Partner Program was launched in February 2017 under the name Dell EMC Partner Program following Dell's $67 billion acquisition of EMC and the creation of Dell Technologies. The program combines elements from Dell's former partner program, PartnerDirect and EMC's partner program, while also introducing new elements.
Dell Technologies is a self-described family of businesses that touts a comprehensive portfolio and numerous cross-selling opportunities for its channel partners. In addition to Dell EMC products and services, partners can sell products and services through the program from other companies under Dell Technologies. Those companies include network security company RSA Security and public cloud infrastructure provider Virtustream.
How to become a Dell Technologies partner
Businesses interested in participating in Dell's partnership program must submit a partner application that Dell must then approve. Completing the application is the only listed requirement for consideration. Before beginning the online application, candidates must clear their browser history and set their preferred language to English.
In the application itself, candidates choose one of four other channel tracks:
- federal partner program
- solution provider
- cloud service provider
- original equipment manufacturer (OEM)
Dell provides individual Partner Program Guides for candidates to review before applying. There is a guide for each track that helps applicants choose the appropriate track.
A candidate company must provide a sponsoring distributor that it has a working relationship with. Dell contacts the reference to confirm that the candidate meets business expectations and compliance standards.
If Dell approves the application, the candidate organization receives authorized partner status. Approved partners get login credentials and access to the Dell Technologies Partner Portal, which houses the partnership programs and benefits.
What are the benefits of being a Dell Technologies partner?
Some of the benefits of being a Dell Technologies partner include the following:
- Training. Partner organizations receive training to help develop their technical, sales and marketing skills. Trainees have the option to specialize in specific Dell Technologies service areas, including sales, pre-sales technology and services.
- Tools. Partners have access to Dell sales and demand-generation tools, including configuration, quoting and purchasing tools. Partners also have access to Dell Financial Services, which helps customers finance their IT resource purchases.
- Financial incentives. Partners get certain financial rewards for being profitable, including marketing funds and rebates.
- Flexibility. The program enables simplified engagement for partners, allowing them to cross-sell and procure products and services from across Dell Technologies. Dell provides partners with a range of opportunities, including reselling Dell services, co-delivering products and services with Dell, delivering their own services or some combination of the three. Dell services include consulting, deployment, support, managed services and education.
Partners receive additional specific benefits based on the partnership tier they qualify for.
What are the partnership tiers and how do they work?
There are four tiers in Dell's partnership program. They provide rebates and other benefits, such as the following:
- Authorized. Partners at this level get access to the MyRewards program and receive points for sales and other activities. They also get the opportunity to build relationships with cloud service providers through Dell's Cloud Partner Connect program.
- Gold. At this level, partners are eligible for online demo center services and service delivery competency opportunities.
- Platinum. These partners participate on advisory boards and have access to other perks, such as being able to sell VMware licensing.
- Titanium. Partners at this level get the highest rebate potential and executive support from Dell.
Tier eligibility is based on a partner's revenue, including a minimum tier revenue requirement. Eligibility is also based on training and certification achievements. Partners can specialize in one line of business, such as storage products, to move up the program's tiers. They can also cross-sell across the Dell EMC portfolio and meet certification requirements for multiple lines of business to advance in the program.
The Dell Technologies program also offers earned and proposal-based marketing development funds (MDF). Platinum and Titanium partners can earn MDF rewards, which are accrued on a predictable revenue-based rate. The rates are different for each tier.
Dell distributes proposal-based MDFs to partners based on proposals aimed at expanding regional sales and marketing priorities. The program also offers the top three tiers rebates for targeted business sales and customer acquisition.
What's new in the program since the Dell-EMC merger?
The Dell-EMC merger introduced new partner tracks and a tier-based model. The program has a number of partner tracks depending on a company's business model. They include the following:
- solution providers
- cloud service providers
- strategic outsourcers
- system integrators
When details of the program were first announced at Dell EMC's 2016 Global Partner Summit conference, the vendor assured partners it would not allow channel conflict. Dell EMC introduced strict deal protection policies and barred its direct sales teams from competing with partners on partner-registered deals. The Dell-EMC program also provided incumbency protection for partner-led accounts.
In 2019, Dell added two solution badges to its program: Cloud Platform and Virtual Desktop Infrastructure. These enable partners to validate their capabilities to support and deploy these solutions.
Learn more about Dell's channel program and how it's supporting customers' digital transformation from the company's global channel chief.