Dell Technologies has announced revisions to its partner program aimed at accelerating adoption of its APEX hardware-as-a-service offering and creating new opportunities for partners to profit from end user Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) initiatives.
Announced on the opening day of the hardware giant’s 2024 fiscal year, the updates are designed to be “evolutionary, not revolutionary,” according to Cheryl Cook, senior vice president of Dell’s Global Partner Program, who says partners regularly thank the company for avoiding wholesale changes.
“They value the consistency and the predictability of our program,” she says.
To simplify participation in incentive offers for APEX services, including the batch introduced last September and those associated with the Dell APEX Flex On Demand program, Dell has created a new product category called APEX+. All of the solutions in APEX+ are eligible for partner program rebates and earned MDF.
In addition, partners who hold an appropriate Service Delivery Competency can now for the first time deploy APEX solutions themselves rather than have Dell do the work.
To help partners acquire and demonstrate expertise in APEX, Dell has created a new APEX competency as well. “We think this will help unlock opportunities for our partners to continue to lean in and embrace what the program can deliver for them,” Cook says.
Three new training tracks, also announced today, are designed to help partners hone their capabilities at multiple stages of maturity. The Foundation track is for newcomers to IT, the Develop track is for newcomers to Dell, and the Technical track is for experienced partners looking to enhance their skills.
New this year as well to partners is the ability to collect a 7% rebate on sales of the Asset Recovery Services Dell introduced last year, which help businesses responsibly dispose of used client, server, and peripheral hardware from any manufacturer. Several vendors, including Cisco, have introduced similar offers in the last year to help channel pros profit from swelling global adoption of ESG objectives.
“We’re seeing increased requests in demand from customers globally that this is a top of mind issue,” Cook says.
Dell has long had an ambitious set of sustainability goals for itself. “We feel really strongly that we have a responsibility and obligation as a company to do our part,” Cook notes.
A new quarterly ESG Partner Spotlight, set to debut during this year’s Dell Technologies World conference in May, will showcase partner success stories in ESG.
Some 87% of business leaders worldwide plan to increase investments in sustainability over the next two years, according to recent data from Gartner.
Operational enhancements to the partner program due this year include the introduction of pre-configured server and storage bundles, increased pricing transparency, and expedited ordering processes. Those revisions build on several years of earlier efforts to make doing business with Dell simpler for its partners.
“We’ve invested significantly in our technology stack redesign processes and simplified our policies and support model,” Cook says. “Our partners are telling us that over the past several years they’ve really seen an acceleration in B2B e-commerce engagement.”
Partners continue to make significant contributions to Dell’s top line. In the third quarter of the company’s previous fiscal year, currently the most recent period for which data is available, partner program members were responsible for roughly half of all net revenue.
Dell is expected to report fourth quarter and full-year results for fiscal 2023 later this month. The company told the SEC today it plans to layoff 5% of its global workforce, amounting to an estimated 6,600 people.
Like other hardware makers, Dell has recorded declining sales in recent months, with third quarter revenue dipping 6% year over year to $24.7 billion. Global shipments of PCs, tablets, and mobile phones from all manufacturers dropped 11.9% in 2022, according to Gartner, which expects a further 4.4% decline this year.