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Dell Restructures PartnerDirect Program

Dell on Monday officially restructured its three-year-old channel program, but Round Rock appears to have only made tweaks around the edges of the program rather than the kind of dramatic moves that might signal a reversion to Dell's direct-first origins.

When Dell launched PartnerDirect in December 2007, the big question was whether the famously direct vendor would remain committed to the channel for very long.

Now, with Dell boasting double the number of partners worldwide -- 60,000 from the 30,000 Dell started with -- and with the program still in existence more than three years later, that question seems to be settled as well as anything is ever settled in business.

The restructuring Monday takes Dell from a two-tier program to three tiers. Formerly partners were either Registered or Certified.

Now partners will be Registered, Preferred or Premier. Requirements and benefits both increase along the three tiers. Preferred Partners must get certified in one of Dell's specialty areas, which include storage, server, systems management, networking/security and managed services. Premier Partners are channel companies with multiple certifications.

"We have made these changes based on our Partners' needs -- strong field support, improved Partner relationships and greater opportunities for Partners who develop skills around Dell solutions. We believe this new structure meets these needs, while maintaining the program simplicity that our Partners appreciate," wrote Greg Davis, vice president and general manager of Dell Global Commercial Channels, in a letter to Dell partners on Monday.

Posted by Scott Bekker on May 09, 2011