A s a globally recognized company, Dell is probably best known for its lineup of comput- ers, servers and accompany- ing products. As the members of its free Dell Expert Network (DEN) have come to know, however, the brand can also mean so much more. Dell’s Expert Network is a benefits and rewards program for the managed service provider (MSP) and IT consultant. “We’re targeting the folks who aren’t reselling hardware,” said Alicia Bowling, DEN program manager. “These are people who have their end users, but they’ve either just gotten into the business of managed services or have gotten out of reselling hardware. Most of the time, that’s due to shrinking hardware reseller margins.” The Dell Expert Network is designed to provide a package of benefits and incentives to those MSPs that are recommending hardware to their end users and ultimately influenc- ing their purchasing decision. Members of DEN are rewarded for recommend- ing Dell as a provider but also benefit from eliminating any of the burden that is associated with selling that hardware themselves. And in today’s competitive market, Bowling believes this focus can help to increase one’s upside and profitability. “Our members may not buy or resell hardware directly, but they can still influ - ence what their end users purchase,” she said. “We built the program to recog- nize and reward the value our members bring to the Dell brand.” This aspect is just one of the many Dell Expert Network benefits. As members mature within the program, for example, they can, as Bowling put it, “move up the ranks.” This traction allows the organization to gain access to numerous perks, including tickets to industry events, access to seed-units, quarterly webinars, and other assets and elevated services. Dell also recently added an Intel vPro Activation Program within the Expert Network. This option gives Dell “elite” members access to Intel units, as well as a complimentary laptop to sample and test Intel’s processing technology. This hands-on approach allows the user to note how vPro inter- faces with specific, professional servic - es automation (PSA) software. “That [Intel’s vPro Activation Program] is something we just launched a few quarters ago,” added Bowling. “We hope to grow and expand it within the Dell Expert Network, over time so more MSPs can explore the capabili- ties that are offered when using an Intel vPro system.” Perhaps the most notable benefit to DEN, however, is the synergy and oppor- tunity that it brings. By working with Dell’s deep and well-resourced network, the MSP and IT consultant can gain access to the multiple, inclusive resources that are offered by teaming with Dell, as well as its deep roster of partner companies. “If you’re attending indus- try events, we’ve partnered with all of the big people,” said Bowling. “You name it, and Dell probably has some sort of relationship with them.” Free membership also includes access to a dedicated Dell account team roster, whether based out of Austin, Texas, or Nashville, Tenn. This connection supports a more person- alized touch than one would expect. Thus, despite Dell’s sheer size, the company’s Expert Network stands apart from comparable programs that are promoted by its competitors. “We’re there for you, every step of the way,” smiled Bowling. “Some companies only have that general 1-800 number for you to call, but we’re going to help set this program up to make it work for you. Basically, you get a personal, one-on-one relationship with a Dell Direct rep.” “And that,” she added,” makes the Dell Expert Network more intimate. It lets you know that you’re going to get taken care of. It’s a level of service that makes Dell stand out from the pack.” o PROFILE Dell Expert Network Offers Free Resources for MSP and IT Consultants Alicia Bowling, DEN program manager By Brady Hicks CHANNEL MANAGEMENT 68 CHANNEL V ISION | Fall 2021