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Dell EMC partners almost moved to tiers

The time for new tiers nears for Dell EMC channel partners as the company prepares to launch its new partner program
Dell EMC senior vice president and general manager, Asia Pacific and Japan, Tian Beng Ng.

Dell EMC senior vice president and general manager, Asia Pacific and Japan, Tian Beng Ng.

The time for new tiers nears for Dell EMC partners locally and around the world, as the company prepares to roll out its new partner program on 6 February.

The February launch of the new program, aimed at coinciding with the first business day of the company’s new financial year, will see its partners shifted from their existing Dell and EMC legacy partner program tiers into their respective partner rankings under the new, combined model.

A review of the new partner program was released by Dell EMC in October 2016, with the company revealing further details of its new tiered model late last year.

The new program tiers, aimed at establishing a clear path for partners to up-level, start at gold, move up to platinum, and then titanium. Some partners that make the grade while in the titanium tier may also reach the exclusive titanium black status.

The company has previously said that the new model is built on three core tenets: to be “simple, predictable, and profitable; with the new model designed to ensure partners have ample opportunity, business confidence, and profitability regardless of their program tier.

Late last year, the company told partners that it was going to implement what it refers to as a ‘status match’ policy, where if a partner is on a legacy Dell or EMC tier, it will get matched into the relevant tier under the new system.

As yet, however, partners are in the predominantly dark about which tier they will be placed into under the new program.

“Partners have been informed of the status match policy, but they have not yet been informed of which tier they’re moving to. The reason for that is that we end our Dell EMC financial year in the month of January,” Dell EMC’s channel chief across Asia Pacific and Japan, Tian Beng Ng, told ARN.

That said, most partners that Dell and EMC claimed prior to the completion of their landmark merger in September 2016 will likely have some idea of what tier they will be appointed to once the new program comes in – based on their previous partner program rankings and performance over the past year.

According to Tian Beng, one of the reasons the company wanted to wait until the beginning of its new financial year before launching the program was because it would have the opportunity to use partners’ full year performance to determine which tier they would be placed into come February.

“We’re about two weeks away from the end of January, so they [partners] still have a bit of runway,” Tian Beng said. “And in the IT world, quite a lot can happen in that last few weeks of the quarter.

“We’re tracking it closely and we’re informing our partners. We’re telling them where they are at now, so that if they need the extra push in the last two to three weeks, they can do that and ensure they qualify for their tier,” he said.

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Tian Beng, whose appointment to the company’s senior vice president and general manager of Asia Pacific and Japan role was confirmed in November last year, stresses that most partners won’t have anything to worry about as the new program comes in.

“As long as they can achieve their current tier, and they do the required training, they will get appropriately matched to their new tier,” he said.

Dell EMC’s general manager, channels and alliances, Australia and New Zealand, Geoff Wright, suggests that, on the whole, the rollout of the new partner program should not present any major surprises to most partners. However, there may be some that end up in a tier they’re not expecting.

“There will be [surprises] for some partners, because you can’t talk to everybody,” Wright told ARN, stressing that he expects most potential surprises to be of the pleasant variety rather than the not-so-pleasant kind.

Dell EMC general manager, channels and alliances, A/NZ, Geoff Wright.
Dell EMC general manager, channels and alliances, A/NZ, Geoff Wright.

Some, however, might not be so lucky, with Wright suggesting that some historic partners, which might not have maintained their certification and investment in the program, and may have continued along at a single level, may find themselves in a less than salubrious tier when they switch over to the new program.

“When you do a review and a reset, the program is all about rewarding those partners with whom we’ve committed together and we’re investing together, and that’s the right thing to do,” Wright said. “So I don’t have a problem with those partners that may be feeling that things have changed.

“We’ve been out working with each one of our partners, giving them help to get as high up the tiers as possible,” he said.

Meanwhile, Tian Beng has flagged that the company will reveal a number of more specific details about the new partner program following its launch next month, including the rebates partners can expect to see under the new model and their new tiers within it.

“It’s been an exciting time, because we’re combining two large companies together and two large channel programs together, but I think we’re making really good progress,” he said.