Dell is in the process of offshoring partner support for some of its UK resellers to India, CRN has learned.
CRN this week spoke to a UK Preferred partner who had been informed his firm no longer has a UK account manager and must instead deal with staff at Dell's Hyderabad hub.
Dell declined to give details of the changes but confirmed in a statement that it is investing in a "new team" in India and is in the process of informing those partners affected.
The Preferred partner we spoke to was alerted to the changes only when he failed to track down his UK-based account manager.
He was then informed by Dell's inside sales team in Ireland that his firm's support had been offshored to India. A call with a member of the new Indian team left him with the impression that only Preferred partners posting lower sales figures would be affected.
"It's not like we are a partner who sits there and doesn't transact," he said.
"Even though we are Preferred, we are pulled into the group with those who are not transacting much."
CRN has spoken to numerous top-level Premier and larger Preferred partners who gather they will not be affected by the move.
Dell Preferred partners – of which there are 72 in the UK – must turn over at least $200,000 (£119,000) with Dell, while top-level Premier partners, of which there are only 21 in the UK, must do $1.5m.
Mark Adams, managing director of Galtec, a Dell Preferred partner turning over nearly $1m a year with Dell, said the culture for Dell partners has become very target driven.
"Dell wants to give a big kick up the backside to partners to say: ‘if you want to be part of the team, you have to sell the products'," he said.
"We have just been allocated a new partner account manager so I am very confident we are not affected by the changes."
The new Indian team may actually be more responsive than Dell staff in the UK, depending on the SLAs offered, Adams added.
"But psychologically, those partners affected will feel that they have been moved down the chain of importance," he said.
One source said that if those partners who have had their support offshored to India start spending well again, it will be moved back to the UK. The move, which comes following a period of flux in Dell's local channel management, may also tie in with Dell's drive to lean more on distribution, one onlooker said.
In a statement, Dell said: "We are investing in people to deliver exceptional customer service to our partner base at all levels, regardless of where they are based geographically.
"Any changes to account management will always be implemented on an individual basis with full involvement of customer and partner, and in accordance to any local laws and regulations. We are in the process of contacting those partners who are transitioning to new team members, however, this is a work in progress."
The partner who spoke to CRN after being affected by the move added that his initial communication with the new Indian team had been positive.
"All the guys in India were helpful enough, but the problem is that it was unannounced," he said.
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