Dell has marked its first year in the Australian channel with a significant partner addition and plans to bring its Enterprise Architecture certification into the local market.
Its latest channel recruit is Victoria-based services player, S Central, which recently abandoned a merger agreement with ASX-listed integrator, ComputerCorp.
S Central managing director, Peter Mavridis, said the company worked with Dell in a services capacity for three years. The new relationship sees it on-selling the vendor’s PC, storage and server products.
“When a company starts a new channel model, especially somebody with a significant brand like Dell, being chosen early on as a partner brings significant opportunities. Those people and organisations on-board early will be successful,” Mavridis said.
There was also no conflict with S Central’s existing vendors, including VMware and Citrix, he said.
Dell partner director, Rob Makin, said both S Central and Dell had to stand up in their own right and earn each other’s trust and respect.
The pair have already secured a significant win in Canberra with a telecommunications company. Mavridis declined to reveal the value of the deal or the client’s name, but said the multi-faceted contract included virtualisation, storage and managed desktop solutions.
“It was a sizeable deal won collectively with the telco. What I can say is Dell wouldn’t have won that deal without the partnering model,” Makin added.
S Central is now working its way through Dell’s Enterprise Architecture certification and hopes to be qualified shortly. Getting certified would open up access to more products and better rebates, Mavridis said.
The Enterprise Architecture certification has been rolled out in the US but was initially left off the Australian partner program. Dell unveiled its Partner Direct program in Australia last September with two levels: Registered and Certified.
Makin said several partners were now completing the training and investment requirements and hoped to announce a couple of those certified within weeks.
Twelve months on from its Australian channel launch, Makin said Dell was looking to bring on extra channel resources as well as a new portal delivering more partner information and capabilities. It also expected to bring on more partners across both its enterprise (500+ seats) and SMB businesses to improve further geographic and market coverage, but Makin claimed to be almost there.
“The feedback has been partners like the accountability and ability to deal directly with us. This is great, as we needed to build trust with the partner community and we’re executing on that by the sheer lack of channel conflict that most of the industry was looking to report on,” he said. “The conflict is few and far between and that’s because of our channel management and rigour of business management.
“The biggest challenge has been saying no to more people than we say yes to. It’s very easy to open up the kimono, but we also wanted to make sure we had the right balance between the number of partners and resources required to manage them.”