Dell Global Alliances partners, which includes some of the largest systems integrators and outsourcing firms, made a significant contribution to the company's first-quarter channel revenue. In addition, Global Alliances firms saw higher growth across Dell's infrastructure categories than channel partners overall, Dell said.
Accenture, Atos, Deloitte, DXC Technology, NTT Data and Wipro are among Dell's global IT services allies. Large-partner revenue grew 18% year over year in Q1, while total channel revenue rose by 14%, Dell said. Within the Global Alliances channel segment, client technologies such as PCs, notebooks and peripherals increased by 44%, while servers grew 20% and storage expanded 11%. Total channel revenue growth in those categories were 21%, 12% and 3%, respectively.
"[Dell Global Alliances] partners have globally scaled practices that … help customers navigate [remote work and remote learning projects]," said Cheryl Cook, senior vice president of global partner, embedded and edge solutions marketing, at Dell Technologies.
Regarding storage growth, customers have tapped Dell Global Alliances partners for the data center infrastructure they need to support remote operations, Cook said. Partners have also bought and deployed storage internally to strengthen their offerings. "Global Alliances partners are building out more infrastructure for their own managed services," she noted.
Dell earlier this year unveiled its storage-as-a-service offering, Apex Data Storage Services, which the company views as a partner opportunity.
Global Alliances partners also play a role in what the company views as an increasingly important trend: partner ecosystem sales. The large alliance partners have the consulting expertise and board-level engagement to coordinate ecosystems of different partner types, from software to security, Cook said. While some larger customers might broker a multi-party ecosystem themselves, she suggested partners will often play that role.
"That is a trend we are going to continue to see play out," Cook said of ecosystem collaboration.
In other channel developments, Dell's revenue through distributor partners increased 23% year-over-year. The company works with Arrow Electronics, Tech Data and Ingram Micro.
Cisco sets integrator, provider requirements
Cisco detailed the role requirements for integrator and provider partners in its channel program.
In October 2020, the company unveiled a revised Cisco Partner Program, built around four partner roles: integrator, provider, developer and advisor. In an update, Cisco said its top-tier Gold integrators must achieve the Customer Experience Specialization by April 7, 2022. The CX specialization aims to transition partners from traditional technology resell strategies to an emphasis on software and services.
Cisco also set a standard that lets Premier-level integrators -- a notch below the partner program's Gold level -- distinguish themselves from entry-level Select integrators. To do so, Premier integrators will need to qualify for either two advanced architecture specializations or one advanced architecture and one business specialization, according to Cisco.
In addition, continuous learning credits will now count toward the integrator role levels in general, Cisco said. The company said it has decoupled the continuous learning credits from individual specializations.
Meanwhile, Cisco will differentiate provider-category companies, including MSPs, based on their ability to deliver Cisco Powered services and lifecycle support for customers. For partners that step up to those services, Cisco will boost its investment in areas such as deal registration for managed services, more flexible consumption options and business development funds.
Cisco said it will post eligibility criteria for its developer and advisor roles in the first quarter of its 2022 fiscal year, which begins Aug. 1, 2021. Those criteria will go into effect in the second quarter.
Partners can enroll in more than one role and "cross-partner to build out a more complete solution," said Marc Surplus, vice president of partner strategy and programs, global partner sales, at Cisco. An advisor partner consulting on a business transformation project, for example, might bring in an integrator or MSP partner with expertise in an offering the customer needs, he noted.
"[Cisco] is building more ways for partners to find complementary capabilities," Surplus said. "As we broaden our ecosystem with more heterogeneous partners, this will become increasingly valuable."
Reports cite industry growth, tech priorities
Market research reports published this week point to a growing tech services market, buyer priorities and a newcomer to the top tier of cloud services.
- Business and government spending on technology consulting, integration and outsourcing services will climb from around 6% in 2021 to 7% or 8% in 2022, according to Forrester Research's "U.S. Tech Market Outlook." The services sector will ride the tailwinds of still-higher growth in the software market, the market researcher said. Software spend is expected to grow 10% in 2021 and 11% in 2022. Consultants and integrators play a role in implementing, customizing and developing software, with cloud-native development among the trends.
- IT services providers pursuing digital transformation projects may do well to explore the financial services, healthcare and telecommunications industries. A report from Acorio, an NTT Data company and ServiceNow partner, identified these sectors as leaders in digital transformation initiatives. Eighty-eight percent of the financial services organizations polled cited digital transformation as an initiative, with 80% of healthcare institutions and 75% of the telecom firms also listing transformation. In another survey finding, 55% of respondents reported having AI, machine learning and automation initiatives underway for a year or more, a 21% increase compared with last year. Acorio surveyed about 500 people, most of which were director-level executives, managers or technical consultants.
- IT professionals' top priorities include improving IT security, migrating to the cloud and increasing productivity through automation. That finding comes from Kaseya's "2021 IT Operations Survey Report," which polled about 1,000 IT pros working for small and medium-sized businesses. In security, 53% of respondents said they plan to budget for email security tools, while 33% identified ransomware protection as an investment. Respondents cited budget pressure as a key challenge: 33% believed they lack sufficient IT budget or resources to meet demand, while 62% reported budget reductions, funding unchanged from previous levels or budget uncertainty.
- Chinese tech company Huawei edged into the top five public cloud providers for the first time, according to Gartner. AWS retained its No. 1 position in the global IaaS market in 2020, followed by Microsoft, Alibaba, Google and Huawei, the market researcher said. Huawei Cloud works with systems integrator partners such as Bespin Global and Infosys, as well as solution partners such as Synnex Technology International (HK) Ltd. Overall, the worldwide IaaS market expanded about 41% in 2020, reaching $64.3 billion. The top five providers represented 80% of the market, Gartner said.
Partner roster updates
- IBM expanded its edge technology ecosystem to more than 30 partners, including global integrators Atos, Capgemini and Wipro. IBM said those partners have agreed to help embed edge technology into client operations, taking advantage of hybrid cloud, AI and 5G.
- Unisys Corp. joined the Google Cloud Partner Advantage Program as a Google Cloud and Google Workspace Resell Partner. Under the arrangement, Unisys will sell its Cloud and Infrastructure Services and Digital Workplace Services, while also reselling Google Cloud and Google Workspace offerings.
- Panzura, a global file system company, and Datatility, an MSP based in Ashburn, Va., will partner in the healthcare vertical. The companies will provide Panzura's Global File System as a Service offering to hospitals and healthcare systems. The partnership is geared to healthcare institutions looking to access, protect and manage unstructured clinical data.
- NightDragon, an investment and advisory firm based in San Francisco, tapped Carahsoft Technology Corp to support the public sector go-to-market strategies of its portfolio companies. Carahsoft, a government IT solutions provider based in Reston, Va., will work with NightDragon companies in the cybersecurity, safety, security and privacy industries.
- Step CG, an MSP, security and cloud services provider based in Covington, Ky., added zero-trust security vendor Elisity to its partner roster. Step CG will resell Elisity and include the technology as part of its managed offerings.
- Sierra Wireless, a managed IoT solutions provider based in Vancouver, B.C., joined IoT Continuum, a partnership that aims to speed up digital transformation in industrial markets. The other members of IoT Continuum are telecommunications firm Orange, Lacroix and STMicroelectronics.
- Ingram Micro Cloud rolled out a customized Partner Transformation Program, an AWS partner assessment, training and enablement initiative. The PTP is part of Ingram Micro Cloud's AWS Illuminate offering, which aims to help partners build profitable IaaS services. The PTP effort stems from Ingram Micro Cloud's strategic collaboration agreement with AWS, which emerged in March 2021.
- MSP360 launched an early access version of its first remote monitoring and management (RMM) product. The Pittsburgh company also provides multi-cloud backup and disaster recovery offerings. MSP360 RMM combines RMM, remote access and backup in one platform, the company said. The offering, part of the MSP360 platform, also integrates with ConnectWise Manage and Datto Autotask professional services automation systems. MSP360 RMM supports Windows 7, 8.1 and 10, as well as Windows Server 2012 R2 up to 2019. MSPs can access the RMM in a 3-month free trial. Following that introductory period, the RMM will be billable by admin, according to MSP360.
- Thoughtworks, a technology consultancy based in Chicago, launched a rebranding effort. The revised brand reflects the company's shift from software consulting to digital innovation and its growth through the 2021 acquisitions of Gemini Solutions and Fourkind.
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