Dell EMC has unveiled plans to bolster partner profitability across Asia Pacific, as the channel prepares to capitalise on increased storage spending regionally.
In a market driven by increased customer spending, yet crammed with competition, partners are seeking ways to establish new revenue streams in 2018 and beyond.
“Our key priorities for the year include growing our partner businesses as well as our own,” Dell EMC senior vice president and general manager of channels APJ, Tian Beng Ng, said. “We’re making sure our partners are completely enabled and bringing in net-new accounts.
“We are also doing a huge push in the storage market for 2018, including new robust storage compensation incentives for solution providers.”
Speaking exclusively to Channel Asia, Tian Beng said Dell EMC aims to provide partners with an edge over competitive vendors through a revamped Partner AdvantEdge Incentives offering, backed up by the expansion of the Future-Proof Storage Loyalty Program.
With partners accounting for 70 per cent of the tech giant’s mid-range storage business, the onus is now on the channel to drive share gains across a market now surpassing US$14 billion in spend.
“The recent storage incentives for sales and pre-sales representatives are lucrative and rich in nature,” Tian Beng explained. “The Partner Advantage program in APJ allows these representatives to earn up to a total potential pay out of up to US$60,000. The finer details of the program include reward proposals.
“Further, they can expect, 1-2-3 per cent of the deal size (up to US$10,000, US$20,000 or US$30,000 in points each respectively) for selling modern architectures, or adding data protection, or a competitive swap and/or net new account allowing a total potential pay out of US$60,000 in points per deal.”
Specifically, the program includes a customer three-year satisfaction guarantee, bolstered by trade-in credits towards new Dell EMC storage products.
Delving deeper, this is endorsed by a storage efficiency guarantee and all-inclusive software, alongside one year of built-in Virtustream Storage Cloud for new buyers of Dell EMC Unity storage products.
“We are doubling down on our storage investments, a key aspect of which is defined by the incentives that would allow sales and pre-sales representatives to earn up to US$60,000 on a specific storage deal and are adding over 1,200 new storage sales specialists globally,” Tian Beng added.
“All of this is within the storage ecosystem. We want to make sure that we have the right resources to go in with the right depth and have the right architecture conversations, which enable our partners to sell the full broad breadth of the portfolio across all markets aggressively.
“We are also initiating channel storage sales quotas aimed at driving big share gains in 2018 through partners.”
During the vendor’s past fiscal year, 70 per cent of partners earned more rebate dollars than previously, with plans in place to maintain this trend.
“We are laser-focused on driving profitable growth; all while continuing our promise to be simple, predictable and profitable,” Tian Beng said. “In addition to this, we are also focused on storage and data protection, this year.
“We’ve made several enhancements to our programs and support for channel in the last several quarters, and we would love to see it drive higher growth rates.”
Incentives aside however, Tian Beng urged partners to leverage the vendor’s expanding portfolio in a bid to win new customer deals.
“The breadth and depth of the portfolio is a clear market differentiator that partners should utilise to their advantage,” Tian Beng added. “We also want to continue to work with channel partners on new customer acquisitions and aim at rewarding them richly based on results.
“There are many customers out there that we have not tapped yet and this can be fulfilled by our channel partners. Lastly, we’re also trying to drive services aggressively because we think our customers can have a better experience when we collaborate with our channel partners to provide great services.”
The increased channel focus comes three months after Dell EMC announced updates to its partner program, which was first launched in February 2017.
As reported by sister publication ARN, the program was initially developed with the collaboration of partners globally, with the vendor now making updates in response to continued partner feedback.
“Our most successful partners see the value we bring given our intense focus on being the essential infrastructure provider along with our broad array of patents,” Tian Beng said.
“This includes a US$4.5 billion budget for spending on R&D annually, and the innovation that comes from our go-to-market with them.
“They have figured out how to take advantage of the full array of core transformation solutions across our Dell Technologies portfolio, and they are also recognising that there’s a big services opportunity to pull all these pieces together and make it work for their customers.”
Outside of storage, Tian Beng said further opportunities exist for resellers across both established and emerging technology markets, spanning digital transformation, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things, as well as hyper-converged infrastructure and storage solutions.
“The region is driving much of the digital transformation that we are seeing today,” Tian Beng explained. “Businesses are being impacted in a profound way by emerging technologies across the region.
“This is also supported by massive advancements in connectivity, software, big data, and processing power, technology is starting to emerge as extensions for people.”
For Tian Beng, businesses are being driven to transform digitally as they need to find new ways to engage with their hyper-connected and highly demanding customers.
As a result, the incentive for organisations to transform with new technologies remains high, as is the cost of not transforming.
However, Tian Beng cautioned that hasty transformations can lead unnecessary complexities for both customers and partners.
“Changing the conversation from ‘what customers need’ to an end-to-end story about how transformation will take place, its impact and how to achieve technology and innovation leadership, is a crucial switch that the channel needs to embrace, if it is able to connect with the shifting requirements of its customers,” Tian Beng added.
“Only Dell Technologies is uniquely positioned in the industry as our complete end-to-end solutions portfolio enables us to address all of these transformation opportunities. That said, our partners need help to assemble solutions from across the Dell Technologies portfolio.”
In examining the evolving digital transformation market across the region, Tian Beng advised partners to capitalise on increased end-user demand, coupled with ongoing customer challenges around adoption and deployment.
According to research findings - commissioned by Dell EMC, 25 per cent of business leaders are currently “ingraining digital in everything they do”, with the majority of organisations currently struggling to keep up with the pace of change.
“There is a big opportunity for the channel to be the guiding force to enable this wave of change for their customers, but navigating these complexities is not an easy ask,” Tian Beng added.
“There are lots of elements that will need to come together for them to be successful at transformation. We’re constantly improving how we train and build capabilities for our partners that allow them to assemble those pieces in ways that facilitates adoption.
“We're also creating training and enablement programs, MDF funds and back-end rebates that commensurate with our ambition to clearly have an aggressive share gain plan next year.”