Dell partners have expressed fears that changes to the vendor's rebate structure could leave them out of pocket if they overachieved in 2010.
The hardware Goliath has confirmed it is introducing a new rebate structure but stressed that its overall rebate budget would remain constant as a percentage of its partner business.
Details have not yet been officially provided, although some Certified partners understand the flat-rate rebate on some product sets is being slashed from this quarter.
One had been informed that their quarterly target for enterprise product sales will remain at $100,000 (£62,000) but the rebate for hitting this will drop from five to two per cent.
Under the previous system, partners could earn an extra two per cent "stretch" rebate for topping enterprise sales made in the year-ago quarter by 60 per cent. Under the new system, they can earn an extra one, three or five per cent for exceeding last year's number by 15, 30 or 45 per cent respectively, according to the partner. This means the total rebate available is still seven per cent.
"We had a very good year with Dell last year so the new growth targets will be a challenge," said the partner, who wished to remain anonymous.
"As a Dell partner that was successful last year it feels like it will be tougher for us and easier for those that weren't so successful."
Emmanuel Mouquet, general manager PartnerDirect EMEA, confirmed that changes were being made.
"Over the course of three years in the channel, we have regularly changed our quarterly rebate structure, based on partners' feedback and joint business imperatives," he said. "The new rebate structure is rewarding partners that continue to grow their infrastructure business with Dell.
"Our rebate philosophy is value and performance based, and we do expect partners to earn more while other partners will earn less quarter after quarter," he added.
"Overall, our rebate budget remains constant as a percentage of our partner business, and we are committed to delivering the best value for our Solution partners."
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