Dell EMC has been officially appointed as a distributor of VMware technologies across Australia and New Zealand (A/NZ), in a move open to the vendor’s leading local partners.
ARN can confirm that following a global announcement in August 2017, phase two of the worldwide rollout sees the agreement reach trans-Tasman shores, effective immediately.
Specifically, Titanium Black and Titanium partners are now eligible to purchase VMware solutions from Dell EMC, as the vendor aligns technology offerings across the wider Dell Technologies portfolio.
“We talk about Dell Technologies but it’s crucial to make this idea real for partners,” Dell EMC global channel sales leader, Sarah Meyer, told ARN. “One of the ways we are achieving this is through driving ease of go-to-market in terms purchasing the technologies we offer.
“This is about maximising the Dell Technologies umbrella in the short-term.
“We’re having lots of conversations within the Dell Technologies family around the concept of transformational partners, focusing on those who are investing in and differentiating themselves in the form of services, solution orientated selling and competencies.
“The VMware agreement is another step in this direction for the channel.”
Speaking to ARN on the ground in Sydney, Meyer said that the initial launch is available to top-level partners that have a direct purchasing relationship with Dell Technologies, with plans in place to expand to all metal partners in the future.
“At this stage, the arrangement is ultimately limited to partners who are tier-1 or have a direct relationship with us,” Meyer explained. “But then we will open the doors to our metal partners in the future.
“Within our metal partners there will be be a clear sub-set of partners that are much more transformational in nature.”
As a result, Meyer said the tech giant will extend the offer to partners investing in transformational technologies, in terms of competencies and solutions.
Representing an extension of previous resell licences, the distribution deal is designed to capitalise on increased demand for VMware and Dell EMC solutions in the market, spanning the key metrics of workforce, security, IT and digital.
“There are some VMware licences that lend themselves to a storage, server or data centre conversation,” Meyer said. “Our role is to work with our product teams to focus on the VMware suite that aligns best to the transformations that we are trying to capitalise on through Dell Technologies.”
Of note to the channel, Meyer said partners will still receive the full benefits associated to VMware’s current partner program, with no adjustments made from a Dell EMC standpoint.
“We’ve not made any changes to the Dell EMC program in terms of rewarding partners in the form of tier credits and rebates on the sale of VMware branded offerings,” Meyer added.
“Part of that decision was because we have a limited number of partners that we are working with, and secondly, we didn’t want to create an uneven playing field in our ecosystem.
“We may or may not change that approach but at this time, we don’t have any commitment to expand our Dell EMC partner program benefits to include VMware tier credits or rebates.”
Despite this, Meyer clarified that the vendor will continue to provide partners with tier credits and rebates on the Dell branded OEM VMware products.
“From a VMware perspective, all partner purchases that go through Dell EMC will receive the usual VMware benefits,” Meyer said. “This includes rebates, tier crediting, deal registration and special pricing or account protection currently available.”
The agreement - subject to the standard VMware Distributor Program terms - has essentially allowed joint partners to buy VMware SKUs through Dell, while maintaining VMware partner benefits and support.
“It has also enabled ease of doing business with Dell and VMware, and created a simple, single sales motion for VMware and Dell partners – one PO will cover both Dell and VMware SKUs,” VMware head of commercial business and channels A/NZ, Kerrie-Anne Turner, told ARN.
As a result, VMware will continue to partner with its current distributors on both sides of the Tasman, spanning Ingram Micro and Tech Data in Australia, and Ingram Micro and Westcon-Comstor in New Zealand.
“It’s an interesting situation because we’re a new player on the block from a VMware perspective,” Meyer added. “VMware hasn’t added a new distributor in quite a few years but most of the distributors we have spoken with expected this move to be coming in the spirit of Dell Technologies.
“So I would say there are no surprises from that perspective, but we’re working on how we differentiate our position in the market.”
Following the rollout of phase one - spanning US, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, UK and France markets - Meyer said the vendor is building “strong momentum” within the channel as the agreement expands globally.
“We’ve had a lot of learnings specific to what we need to build out in terms of being a distributor,” Meyer added. “The excitement is great but we’ve signed a distributor contract and the word distributor comes with expectation in terms of what a partner requires.”
Despite the change, Meyer was quick to stress that the agreement would have zero impact on Dell EMC’s current distribution partnerships across the world.
“We use distribution in a huge way across the rest of our portfolio and we’re in by no means in a position to take any of that business and walk away from distribution in any capacity,” Meyer added.
“Those types of conversations are not being discussed at any level, it’s more around creating our niche within the distribution landscape. I believe it comes down to how we rally around our capabilities to drive our transformational solutions going forward.”