Cheryl Cook, Senior Vice President, Global Channel Marketing, Dell EMC, in a recent conversation with Anuj Singhal, Editor-in-chief highlights the winning opportunities and initiatives for channels while charting plans for partners
1. Please highlight your key performance indicators over the last 12 months under the combined entity.
The last 12 months have been quite exciting for us as we were able to achieve what we targeted for. We wanted partners to grow their businesses. We definitely believed that there is a cross-selling opportunity for our partners; hence we encouraged them to sell more lines of business. For instance, we encouraged storage partners to sell servers and clients, and vice versa.
In addition, we wanted to gain share in a competitive market by bringing in new customers and expand existing relationships to include multiple line of businesses. Moreover, we focus on increasing services revenues. So, when I look at our performance against these action areas, we can say that we achieved good success.
2. With VMware partner program integration which you have done in six different countries, what kind of revenue growth you are projecting in Q4?
We launched the partner program in September and the kind of revenue growth and engagements we have seen with partners have exceeded our expectations. People are really resonating with it.
We haven’t really established the revenue targets but we intend to roll out and expand the partner program beyond the 6 countries, globally. That will surely meet the need of the market. We plan to do it in response to the partner feedback so I envision that it is going to ramp up pretty successfully.
3. Last month Dell EMC revealed new tier thresholds that some partners find challenging. What’s your message for them?
Well, if we look at the statistics, almost 50 percent of our partners are growing and over 69 percent of our partners are earning more by adopting more lines of businesses from Dell. What we announced in the tier threshold was the absolute revenue number to hit it. Hence we would encourage partners who are close but not there, to really get aggressive in Q4 to achieve the targets. And I don’t think there are any reasons, based on our model that we did in the first half.
However, services is an area in which we got some feedback. So I think we are going to simplify our services and our threshold for services. That’s where you will see us improve upon.
Further, we will introduce this partner program in APAC in our Q1 FY2018 something around Mar-Apr.
4. What are the winning opportunities channels can expect with added commitment to Dell EMC? What are your channel initiatives for Q4?
While we would like to continue the momentum and growth on the client and server business, we want partners to really go and focus on storage. Under our channel initiative, we did launch couple of accelerated incentives to help partners achieve revenue threshold for Q4. So for both storage and services they actually get increased incentives by 1.25 times. Hence, this way we are ensuring partners are more focused on storage and services.
I think partners can leverage on the strong growth we are experiencing in our mainstream server and converged infra business. There is an opportunity to attach storage with server to invigorate high growth in storage business.
In addition, we recently launched our loyalty program in Q3. It is quite comprehensive and offers benefits not only to partners but also end-customers. The loyalty program is focused on making partners more confident in embracing the roadmap of our mid-range storage products.
5. Why do you have separate programs for Dell EMC and VMware, SecureWorks etc? Do you have plans to combine them?
Well, various companies within the Dell Technologies are strategically aligned businesses. These are separate companies and entities even though they are privately controlled within the Dell Technologies. So we will continue to have separate programs.
Currently, we are just focused on getting the two programs merged between Dell and EMC and get it simple, stable and well-understood. In fact, we have lot of partners in common between VMware and Dell EMC programs and they are earning pretty well in both programs.
However, we are exploring and identifying areas of mutual benefits that we could have in each of the programs to reward partners who are all-in with the Dell Technologies and pursuing investments to build those practices. So, we are going to keep them loosely coupled with an opportunity to identify areas which we can pull together. But nothing has been formalized yet.
6. What demand-generation and MDF efforts do you have planned? How are you helping partners best use their marketing development funds?
The good news is that partners are earning more rebates as well as MDF. We are actually pretty delighted with the results that we are seeing as the partners are using more of their MDF to drive more demand generation and create more robust pipeline. So you will see us more focused on simplification of the experience around both earned MDF and proposer-based MDF. We target to enable them get the best of both and to make sure that they continue to earn more.
To enable this, we have partner marketing managers in every region. They are tasked upon to jointly and proactively plan with partners. We have also launched the marketing institute which offers training and best practices for partners to really improve their digital and social capabilities.
In addition, we have recently launched the marketing platform, which is an aggregated platform where partners can get all the Dell email assets, collaterals, social assets and relevant images. It allows them to either do turn-key campaigns and launches with Dell or use resources for co-branding.
Besides just MDF, we support partners through enablement drives, trainings, and best practices to maximize their digital capabilities. We launched the marketing platform in May during Global Partner Summit in Las Vegas and in just two-three months, we had 2000 partners engaged on the platform and leveraging its content.
Further, we have launched Activation Packs, which bring pre-approved MDF components that leverage concierge services. More importantly, we introduced Heroes Program aimed at overall sales, technical and hands-on enablement for the pre-sales community. It has been very well received among the channels.