Dell's partner portal has more information on the prerequisites of its partner program, and certifications

Dell Offers New Partner Certifications for Cloud Builders, Providers, and Brokers

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Dell announced on Thursday that it has launched a new certification for its channel partners that provide cloud services and solutions to customers based on Dell technology.

The Cloud Services & Solutions Certification for PartnerDirect channel partners is available now in North America, and will launch in Europe on April 12, 2012, according to the press release.

Certifications in the hosting industry have value, but a certified employee is not necessarily more of an expert than a self-taught one, according to a recent feature on the WHIR exploring the value of certifications for hosting professionals. Certifications like this one from Dell are possibly more useful from a marketing or customer win standpoint. If given the choice between a cloud provider with a certification or one without a certification, the majority of customers would choose the former.

“Organizations, of all sizes, are looking to implement cloud computing solutions to align efficiency and deliver business results,” Bob Skelley, executive director, Dell Global Certified Partner Program & Channel said in a statement. “We have created a certification practice area with choice and flexibility that will solidify partners’ value to the end customer. We invested the time and resources to fully understand the cloud solutions our partners need to provide in the market.”

The Dell cloud certification program has three pillars including cloud builder, cloud provider and cloud services enabler. The cloud builder is a partner that offers all the necessary services to design and develop a cloud infrastructure for their customers, while a cloud provider will operate a NOC enabled with Dell technology to provide cloud services to customers, including IaaS, PaaS, or SaaS. The third and final pillar is a cloud service enabler that acts as a broker for cloud technologies and services. According to a presentation at Parallels Summit in February by Gartner VP of research Tiffani Bova, cloud services brokerages will represent the single largest revenue growth opportunity in cloud computing through 2015.

The requirements for cloud builders are apparently already established, although they are only available to partners through the PartnerDirect portal. According to a report by ChannelBuzz, Dell updated its PartnerDirect program last year to include a Premier tier for partners that hold two or more Dell certifications. In addition to the new cloud certifications, Dell offers partner certifications in networking, security and systems management.

Certified partners are considered preferred or premier partners, and receive special pricing based on this status.

The requirements for joining Dell’s PartnerDirect program include a valid reseller certificate, an active company website and an existing customer number. It is unclear what the specific prerequisites are for the cloud certification program.

This comes a week after Dell’s John Igoe spoke about its take on cloud hosting, and its involvement with OpenStack, in a session at World Hosting Days. Igoe predicts that about half of businesses are looking to have workloads running in an OpenStack cloud within two years.

Talk back: What kinds of certifications do you have as a web hosting provider? Do you find your customers ask/care about certifications? Let us know in the comments.


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