CompTIAWorld | FALL 2017 56 The Evolution of Partnerships: Todd’s Podcast Series with Top Channel Chiefs Dell EMC Inspires Tier Envy John Byrne, president of global channels at Dell EMC, talks about Dell EMC’s unified partner program – including its sought-after titanium- black tier, and the opportunities around incorporating services as solutions. Q: What did you set out to achieve with the launch of your new Dell EMC unified partner program? A: When we brought the Dell and EMC businesses together we wanted to create the most enviable, innovative and desirable partner program in the industry based on three things: [being] simple, predictable and profitable. We spent a lot time listening, traveling the globe and holding partner advisory boards, where we were basically asking the partners what do you like and what do you not like? And with that, I believe we’ve truly created a world-class program. Q: You aligned your partners into new tiers for this program. Have the tiers generally worked out as you thought? A: When we were designing this new program, we had two different approaches to tier setting. In the legacy EMC program, the top-tier partners were driving 100 million dollars of revenue annually. While in Dell’s program the criteria for the top tier was seven million dollars for client or PC sales and five million dollars for server, storage and networking. When we brought these together with the new program we did two things. One, we have two parts for each tier – you’re either big in one line of business or you can be smaller in revenue and sell multiple lines of business. We think this approach strikes a nice balance between the two legacy programs. Two, we announced the criteria and are giving partners a year to get there. We’re very big on what we call tier-envy. We want partners to want to move up, sell more and move through the program. The base tier is gold, then platinum and then titanium. We have an exclusive status within our titanium tier called titanium-black that recognizes our most innovative and successful partners with exclusive benefits. The tier setting was thoughtful and considered. I think partners like where we’re going and they can see the line of sight to making a lot of money. Q: How to you plan to incorporate services into your solutions and what does that mean for partners? A: I believe it’s a pot of gold for all of our partners. We do not want to compete with our partners on services that are professional, managed and [implementated.] We recognize that a lot of our enterprise partners are making a lot of money and we want them to keep making a lot of money. So, we thought let’s offer a rebate on it. We offer a one percent rebate across server, storage and PC sales for services. There’s a lot of excitement around it. A s technologies and business models continue to evolve within our industry, it’s only natural that our channel partnerships evolve as well. Co-hosted with ChannelE2E’s Content Czar Joe Panettieri, CompTIA President and CEO Todd Thibodeaux chatted with six channel chiefs to get their perspective on how these relationships are shifting in the presence of innovation.