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Dell Outlines Channel Priorities for Coming Year Amid Strong Partner Momentum

Speaking with ChannelPro weeks before its 2019 Global Partner Summit, channel chief Joyce Mullen (pictured) said Dell will emphasize operational enhancements, cross-portfolio selling, and next-generation technologies in its current fiscal year. By Rich Freeman

Dell and Dell EMC are making strong headway against the commitments they announced at last year’s Global Partner Summit, and reaping measurable benefits as a result, according to channel chief Joyce Mullen.

The proof? Partners generated some $50 billion in orders during the hardware maker’s last fiscal year, and landed 63,200 net new and reactivated customers. They raised Dell’s net promoter score 10 points to 69 as well.

“It’s not often you get to see years like this, and this has been a fun one,” says Mullen, whose official title is president of global channel, OEM, and IoT Solutions for Dell EMC. She spoke with ChannelPro approximately three months after Dell became a publicly listed company again, roughly one month after it reported results for its first post-IPO quarter, and a little less than one month before its 2019 Global Partner Summit.

Mullen credits Dell’s channel momentum to progress the company has made on the three strategic initiatives it outlined at last year’s partner conference and discussed with ChannelPro more recently. The first of those—making Dell an easier vendor to do business with—got the lion’s share of the company’s attention in 2018. In particular, according to Mullen, the company dramatically accelerated rebate payments, shortened approval times on sales quotes, turning 80 percent of quotes around within four hours, and improved both the speed and accuracy of deal registrations.

“We wanted to get to a 95 percent accuracy rate on deal registration, and we’re there,” Mullen says, adding that Dell approved nearly 500,000 deals in its 2019 fiscal year, which ended February 1st.

Dell also simplified its partner training resources in 2018 and doled out 43 percent more certifications. Over 5,100 partners globally participated in educational programs last year, a 27 percent increase.

“Partners are engaged, learning, driving deal registrations, and getting smarter about the offers and the solution sets that we can jointly deliver to customers,” Mullen says.

In 2019, she continues, Dell will turn more of its attention to the other two partner-related strategic goals it introduced last year: helping partners sell more products and services from the extended family of Dell brands, including VMware, Pivotal, and Secureworks, and enabling partners to get in on mushrooming opportunities in next-generation technologies like artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things.

Mullen hinted, without providing details, that efforts to encourage cross-selling across the Dell Technologies portfolio will revolve around forthcoming enhancements to the Dell Technologies Advantage framework. Introduced at last year’s partner summit, that offering complements Dell’s core partner program with additional capabilities, resources, and incentives.

According to Mullen, helping partners build products from a wider array of Dell units into their solutions benefits Dell and its channel alike. Indeed, internal sales data indicates that partners who promote three Dell lines generate 11 times as much revenue as those offering two and 29 times as much as partners offering one.

“The broader-based partners overall sell more [and] grow more,” Mullen notes.

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