Dell is trying to make its Premier club for resellers more exclusive by upping the enterprise revenue requirement to maintain the accreditation.
But the move has caused some concern among the firm's channel fraternity, who are worried that the top tier will become the preserve of the largest resellers.
The Texan tech titan introduced the Premier and Preferred Partner tiers in May 2011 to distinguish partners that had been certified in one or more tracks.
But Dell claims its channel programme has "matured" and as such the sales threshold is shifting to "reflect the elite statute" and "appropriately signifies" the cash haul that resellers are bringing to the table each year.
Resellers that bagged Premier Partner status before today will retain the badge and associated benefits, largely related to marketing funds and rebates, until 31 January 2013.
But by next February all Premier partners will need to have turned over $1.5m of enterprise kit in the UK, Germany, France and the Netherlands or $750,000 for the rest of Europe in the previous four rolling quarters.
"The adjustment of our Premier Partner tier is designed to keep this top level as an exclusive group of those who have demonstrated the highest level of commitment and capability to Dell," said Europe exec director for channel marketing and programmes Kathy Schneider.
There are currently 600 Premier and Preferred Partners in PartnerDirect across Europe.
Stuart Rae, managing director at Dell Premier Partner nViron, said the revenue threshold will be a "challenge but still achievable".
However he said the strategy was a divergence from "technical recognition to high sales figures" and argued "this will favour the largest resellers".
He added: "I hope Dell will continue to put value on technical expertise, particularly around storage, virtualisation and security. Dell needs resellers that can engage at a technical level and training is a big part of our business model." ®