Dell’s PartnerDirect  program features a group of independent IT service resellers and solution providers that are certified to represent the Dell brand and work with its customers around the world.
For small businesses, the program offers both an opportunity to grow an IT brand through Dell’s partner network, and also an outlet for finding IT solutions providers that fit their needs.
Below are some things you might not know about PartnerDirect.
Provides Opportunity for IT Resellers
Businesses that provide IT solutions to Dell customers as part of their business can get certified as a Dell Partner and actually use the program to grow their customer base.
Since Dell is a large brand with worldwide reach, the partner network can enable smaller businesses to provide solutions to customers they might not have been able to reach otherwise.
Connects Small Businesses to Solutions
On the other side, businesses that are looking for various IT solutions can use the partner network to find providers in their area that fit their particular needs.
Allows Free Sign Up for Partners
Any business providing IT services can sign up for the PartnerDirect program on Dell’s online portal. Registered Partners just need to have a valid reseller certificate, an active company website and an active email account tied to the company’s domain.
There is no cost for the signup, just some basic information and a little bit of time.
Lets Businesses Search by Region
Dell also provides an online search portal for businesses looking for IT support. The search is organized to find certified partners in their area. Users can look for providers within a specific geographic area that fits with their individual needs.
This is intended to make it easier for Dell customers to find IT support for their devices, but also makes it easier for Dell’s partners to find clients and work through the program.
Lists Partners Based on Competency
When a company signs up for the PartnerDirect program, it needs to sign up under a certain competency or competencies based on what types of products or services it provides.
Dell offers nine different competencies, including: Servers, storage, security, networking, desktop virtualization solutions, cloud services and solutions, data protection, systems management, and information management.
Provides Various Levels of Membership
Once a company has signed up as a Registered Partner, they can then choose to upgrade their partner status to higher levels of certification. Partners can sign up to become a Preferred Partner, which requires at least two employees to receive sales training and another two employees to receive technical training. Beyond the Preferred level is Premier. Premier Partners must have at least four employees trained in sales and four trained in technical areas.
There are also revenue requirements depending on the level and competencies selected. And there could be a small application fee involved depending on the type of business and the level of certification.
Allows Opportunities for Training
The training programs for both Preferred and Premier Partners are offered online. But there are also live training options if employees would prefer to receive their training in person. The time commitment required varies by level and competency.
But Bob Skelley, Executive Director, Global PartnerDirect Certified Partner Programs, said that Preferred training usually takes between 8 and 12 hours, broken up into smaller class segments. Premier training usually takes a bit longer.
Provides Added Marketing Support
Preferred and Premier Partners also have access to Dell’s Field Marketing Organization, which can work with partners to assist in marketing efforts. Dell’s marketing professionals will work one-on-one with partner businesses that have reached one of the higher levels of certification to assist in growing their customer bases.
Makes Services Available Worldwide
PartnerDirect is not just available in the U.S. Businesses can offer their services or search for providers around the world from Paris to Hong Kong to Mumbai.
Has Potential Customers in the Millions
Dell is a huge brand. But even big names don’t have all the resources to reach every customer around the world alone. That’s where Dell partners come in and the opportunities seem huge. In a phone interview with Small Business Trends, Skelley explained:
“There are millions of small businesses out there and there’s physically no way that one company can reach out to all of those customers. So this program gives us the opportunity to reach out to different customers and provide services through this partner ecosystem.”
The PartnerDirect Program originally launched back in 2007. It currently has more than 130,000 global partners and about 4,000 Preferred or Premier partners. But those numbers are growing daily, according to Skelley.
This suggests there is plenty of room for more providers too.