This summer has been a busy one for PartnerDirect! I thought it would be worthwhile recapping some of the developments over the last few months which are significant for our partner community in EMEA and that demonstrate our continued investment in our program and in our partners.
Back in May, we held our first ever Certification Conference for partners in Amsterdam. Nearly 50 Dell partners took part in a range of sales-focused and technical seminars and were given the opportunity to take certification exams over the course of the two days. We subsequently held successful conferences in Frankfurt on 19-20 May and Paris on 15-16 June and are already planning further events in 2010. From these 3 sessions we had 86 partners gain Certified status. We currently have 365 Certified partners across Europe with 82% certified on Enterprise.
We continue to extol the benefits of certification– one particularly eye-opening statistic is that certified partners are growing their business around Dell products over 35 percent faster than non-certified partners. If you needed any incentive to get certified then perhaps this is it!
The second exciting piece of news – and one which really emphasises our commitment to enabling our partners – is that we have officially opened the doors of our Solutions Innovation Centres (SIC) in Limerick, Ireland and Frankfurt, Germany to Certified partners. The fact that our SICs are now available to partners is a real demonstration that we take our channel business very seriously and want to provide top-level support to our partners sales teams particularly on Enterprise opportunities. To see more about our Solutions Innovation Centers, check out these reactions from EMEA Channel and CRN.
Our decision to open up the SIC was partly driven by feedback from many partners that demonstrating technology is an area where they require significant support. We have made this one of the defining focuses of our efforts in 2010, launching a number of initiatives to enable partners to show off the benefits of Dell technology. One of the most successful of these has been the EqualLogic Lunch & Learn program where Dell supports partners with demonstration units, co-marketing funds, invite templates and marketing materials to deliver a half-day demonstration for up to twenty prospects. Partners also receive financial rewards for organising events and for every new prospect that attends an event.
These latest milestones demonstrate our commitment to our valued partners in EMEA. As always we welcome your feedback and will strive to ensure PartnerDirect offers you the support you require to grow your business. There will be more announcements over the coming months so keep your eyes peeled for more news about the ongoing evolution of PartnerDirect.