By Ken Presti, Senior Consultant, Channel Impact

Dell Promotes Substantial Growth of its Indirect Strategy; Adds New Programs

At its annual Dell World conference in Austin, Texas last week, Dell announced that the channel now represents more than 40 percent of the company’s overall revenue, with double-digit year-over-year growth in 10 of Dell’s top 11 countries. The company also reported more than 50 percent growth in distribution during 2014.

The company also announced plans for $125 million in enhanced incentives and programs to support a number of key objectives.

“[We’re] doubling down on our commitments to the channel, which is top priority for growth,” said Marius Haas, chief commercial officer and president, Enterprise Solutions, Dell.

Starting in February in North America, the new program will offer Premier and Preferred Partners enhanced financial incentives to partner sales representatives for selling Dell Storage Solutions. In addition, new partner enablement and sales materials combined with additional incentives will be made available for upgrades to Windows Server 2012R2 and Windows Server DataCenter 2012R2.

Similar campaigns focus on the availability of demo units, lead generation activities, channel enablement, and enhanced financing terms in the form of 75 days interest-free financing on all Dell purchases for an introductory period of 180 days.

Channel Impact:
Recalling a time when Dell demonstrated very little value in channel partnerships, these initiatives underscore how a well-executed indirect sales program can make a huge difference in a vendor’s financials. Clearly, Dell has recognized this opportunity, and is planning its investments, accordingly.

Riverbed Launches Technology Alliance Program

Riverbed Technology kicked off its Riverbed-Ready Technology Alliance Program at the company’s Riverbed FORCE 2014 conference in San Jose last week.

The new program, which already boasts 17 charter members, offers the opportunity to establish interoperability on combined solutions supporting a wide variety of key market spaces and verticals.

“The new Riverbed-Ready program enhances our ability to offer integrated solutions that create new revenue opportunities for our Riverbed-Ready partners and deliver comprehensive tested and validated solutions to our joint customers,” said Katie Colbert, vice president, global technology alliances at Riverbed.

Beyond interoperability, the next objective is to provide end-to-end solutions that provide deep visibility and control to inspect, direct, and protect workloads across the hybrid enterprise. Riverbed-Ready partners will focus on areas such as security, cloud and virtualization, business applications, network performance management, application performance management, networking, and storage, leveraging open APIs and various development tools.

Channel Impact:
The nature of Riverbed’s business is well suited to these types of technology programs. It’s highly likely that many of the combined solutions will find their way into the channel.

Advoda Signs Cloud Service Deal with Arrow

Advoda, a Greenwood Village, Colo.-based national master agent, will now sell its network, Internet and voice services through Arrow Electronics’ online marketplace.

ArrowSphere is an on-line marketplace that offers more than 50 cloud services from numerous providers to more than 500 Arrow solution providers and MSPs.

“Advoda network services allow Arrow solution providers to offer complete technology solutions, increasing win rates and overall revenue per customer,” said Dee Dee Lear, vice president of cloud and business development for Arrow’s North American enterprise computing solutions business. “ArrowSphere solution providers and their customers need network services to optimize their infrastructure as well as provide secure, high-performance cloud access for the end-user.”

Products and services include WAN, MPLS, dedicated high-speed Internet, VoIP, SIP Trunking, and Hosted IP-PBX. Pre- and post-sales support, technical sales architects, project and life cycle management, and full network sales process outsourcing are also available.

Channel Impact:
While much attention is paid to software and infrastructure, the types of connectivity services provided by Advoda have a tendency to slip through the cracks when alliances to support online marketplaces are formed. This agreement represents an important component to the overall solution that will be pieced together by participating channel partners.