Dell has rolled out a trio of storage-focused partner tools and unveiled plans to introduce a new cloud certification next quarter.
The hardware giant made the announcements at its inaugural European Storage Forum in central London earlier today.
At the event, the vendor unveiled several new additions to its Storage Smart programme, which is designed to speed up the storage sales process for partners in EMEA.
These include the introduction of a new online product configuration tool that partners can use to find the Dell products that best suit certain customer requirements.
This can be used in tandem with the vendor's Performance Analysis Collection Kit, which was made available to partners last month and allows them to remotely pinpoint performance bottlenecks in their customers' datacentres and server rooms.
On top of this, Dell partners now have access to the vendor's Storage Master application that provides VARs with educational resources to help them through each stage of the sales cycle.
Speaking to CRN, Kathy Schneider, executive director of channel programmes and marketing at Dell, said the tools are designed to make it easier for partners to deal with the firm.
"We have introduced these tools because we recognise that – while we have the intellectual property and the products to address data management opportunities – we also need to make it easy for partners to understand the products and how to position them," she said.
The vendor also unveiled its partner programme's new cloud certification, which will be added in the next quarter.
Speaking at the event, Bob Skelley, executive director of Dell's global certified partner programme, said Cloud Services and Solutions Certified Partners will be able to pick one of three areas in which to specialise.
They can choose to become Cloud Builder, Cloud Provider or Cloud Solutions Enabler.
"We are going to build a programme that will allow you to invest in any of those three areas," he said. "You can do all three or you can do just one to achieve the Cloud Certification Programme with Dell."
Barry Coombs, senior technical consultant at Dell partner Computerworld, said his firm would be interested in learning more about the vendor's cloud plans.
"Over the last couple of years, it has become more and more important for the channel to work out what its position on cloud is going to be, and we have been waiting to see what Dell's stance on cloud will be," said Coombs.
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