The free training courses Dell has been providing in recent months have been popular in the channel as well. Stuck at home with less to do than usual and more time available, some 15,600 people at 1,690 companies earned technical credentials during Q1.
“We saw just a huge interest level in partners wanting to leverage the time to up their skills,” Cook notes.
In case there wasn’t enough change to deal with in the last quarter, February is when oversight of worldwide commercial and partner sales switched from former President and Chief Commercial Officer Marius Haas to incoming President of Global Sales and Customer Operations Bill Scannell.
“It’s actually been a very seamless, smooth transition,” Cook says, adding that Dell has also made continued progress on its continuing efforts to simplify partner program rules, processes, and tools. The company has replaced multiple deal configurators with a new, unified system, for example, and further streamlined its deal registration process.
Previously introduced incentive programs aimed at expanding Dell’s customer base have proceeded despite the pandemic as well. “We actually saw the channel deliver over 15,000 net new customers” in Q1, Cook reports.
In aggregate, she argues, Dell’s partners did an admirable job of sustaining momentum despite considerable headwinds. “I’m actually pretty proud of the results,” says Cook, who is wary of predicting the future given the year’s unpredictability to date, but hopeful nevertheless.
“I’m an optimist at heart,” she says.