Dell EMC has officially launched its new partner program that nearly doubles the storage rebates from the legacy EMC program and rewards partners for selling hyper-converged and converged infrastructure solutions combining server, storage and networking products.
Dell EMC's ambitious goal with the launch of the new program: nothing less than to deliver partners the most profitable partner program in the industry, bar none.
"This is a giant leap forward in what is an extremely compelling opportunity for all of us together," said Dell EMC president and chief commercial officer Marius Haas in an interview with CRN USA. "I am pretty certain that this will establish Dell EMC as the premier partner for the channel."
The program – which packs a whopping 20 percent potential payout on storage products including hyper-converged products -- sets up an epic battle for data center market share with the US$74 billion Dell EMC using its newfound scale and its large and energised partner base to take a bite out of chief competitors Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Cisco Systems and Lenovo.
The program rolls out officially today and comes just five months after the close of the largest acquisition in IT history: Dell's landmark US$58 billion acquisition of storage market leader EMC last September.
Last month, Dell EMC Asia-Pacific regional channel chief Tian Beng Ng and Australia and New Zealand channel chief Geoff Wright shared some early details with CRN ahead of the two previously separate partner programs becoming one.
First and foremost, the new program ratchets up storage rebates for the mainstay EMC products like Data Domain, XtremIO and VMAX all flash to 4 percent compared with 2.5 percent in the legacy EMC partner program. But that is just the beginning. From there, partners get a whopping 6 percent storage growth rebate once they go above the 100 percent sales quota. And if that isn't enough, then they get another 1 percent for going 120 percent above quota.
The other stackable incentives in a potential storage windfall for partners include a whopping 8 percent new business account incentive rebate and 1 percent incentive for attaching services.
The stackable 20 percent payout for storage products extends into the fast-growing hyper-converged product lines for Dell EMC including VxRail, VXRack and the Dell-Nutanix XC Series.
"We want partners to be aggressive and attack the market and know how much more money they are going to bring home," said Dell EMC global channel chief John Byrne, who has overseen a massive effort to combine the enterprise-based EMC program and the more client/server-based Dell program. "We want them pay off their mortgage, feed their kids, and get their kids to university."
Byrne said the robust stackable compensation incentives in the new program are aimed directly at getting partners to sell the full Dell EMC product portfolio versus a competing offering from the likes of Cisco, HPE or Lenovo. Currently, he said, Dell EMC partners are selling on average just 1.55 Dell EMC business lines.
"We know that when we don't have the business it is with a competitor, and when it is with a competitor it is more than likely with a channel partner," said the fiercely competitive Byrne. "We want to get that business. If you are selling our servers, sell our storage. If you are selling our storage, sell our servers. I believe that we can take significant share from the competition."
To add even more channel fuel to the fire, Dell EMC plans to extend its popular line-of-business incumbency program – which gives partners priority in accounts they are already serving – into server and networking, effective sometime in the first half of this year. "That is a big, big change," said Byrne. "That is tectonic change in the way that we go to market."
In addition to the more than US$150 million in Dell EMC is investing in channel incentives in the current fiscal year, the company has also invested "tens of millions" of dollars in fully automating rebate payments with an end-to-end system designed to set a new industry-standard channel benchmark.
The Dell EMC investment includes a new online calculator, which will be available Feb. 20, and supply chain improvements that ultimately could save partners millions of dollars in sales, general and administrative costs. Some enterprise partners, in fact, had as many as four people tracking rebates before the system was automated.
"We will automate all rebates, taking cost and friction out of the selling motion," pledged Byrne. "They will be able to see weekly what they are buying from Dell EMC and how much money they are making. They'll be able to see every single week what did they buy, what did they earn from that specific product, and how much money is coming into the company. It's a big deal – a massive investment for the company."
Haas, for his part, said the new program clearly addresses what partners saw as an erosion in the EMC incentives. "That was something partners were complaining about – the erosion of the [EMC] program – both front end and back end," he said. "We have addressed those. We have got significant incremental funding that we have put into that equation. I have no doubt that is going to have a massive impact. "