by Christine Horton, Channel Futures

Dell Technologies is launching the AI Focus Partner Network, which it says offers partners all the tools they need to build an AI practice.

Within this new network, Dell includes validated designs, solution centers and AI labs. It will also offer AI competencies, training and certification.

Dell's EMEA head of channel, Alexandre Brousse, said while all certified partners are eligible to apply, not all will be all approved. Dell's plan is to sign up partners that have already established AI practices.

"We want to make sure that we can support our partners in this AI practice agenda," he said.

Brousse said a goal was to ensure partners have a good understanding of Dell's solutions, alongside those from partners like Nvidia and Hugging Face. There also is a particular focus on third-party bundle training, he added.

Additionally, Dell will help partners by providing AI use cases.

"We are seeing a lot of AI already, especially generative AI. So we already have a good point of view on use cases for vertical, for industry, for geos, etc. I want to share that also with our partners," said Brousse.

Brousse also said it's important that Dell recognize partners that specialize and invest in AI. This will make it easier to identify partners and channel customers' AI projects to them.

Partners will be able to accelerate their metal tier status as part of the AI Focus Partner Network.

"The goal is very simple, more complex. The more complex the solution is, the more acceleration you get. If you sell high-value solutions to customers, you will have more opportunity to attain your goal faster than if you just do transactional selling," said Brousse.

WWT Already On Board with Dell AI Focus Partner Network

"I would say we're probably a trailblazer," said WWT's EVP of global partner alliances, Bob Olwig.

"We're one of Dell's largest partners, if not the largest at any point in time. So we have the opportunity to see the road map, and maybe we helped shape that program a little bit, given our investments that we've made [in AI]. The data scientists, the architects, the consultants, several hundred app developers," said Olwig.

WWT has created an AI proving ground, which is a "several hundred million dollar" investment in building out reference architectures, validated designs that are multivendor from a hardware perspective, as well as software and ISVs.

"For us, it's an extension of our Advanced Technology Center, where we bring customers in to educate them on the technology, But really, it's about giving them stick time, the ability to get their hands on a multivendor solution and prove it out before they buy.

"At the end of the day, our CEO was the main cheerleader for AI, not only using it internally, but also helping our customers with it. I'm super excited about the AI emphasis from Michael Dell. We believe that AI is going to be built into everything that we do — every SaaS app, every IoT application that's out there."

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