Dell, as an organisation, is on a transformational journey at the moment and the channel route is the main way it intends on penetrating the market, according to its A/NZ channel and alliances general manager, Geoff Wright.
“Worldwide, Dell gets 50 per cent of its revenue through the channel. We’re a bit behind that here in Australia, but we’re certainly on a path to get to that number as soon as possible. To do that, we’re having to change as an organisation,” he said.
Wright claimed the organisational structure within Dell has been tweaked, making its sales team customer managers, where they use the channel to work with customers and sell with them. He indicated that customer engagement is an added advantage for the company.
“The commercial sales group is excellent at managing customers and opportunity and being able to link them with the growing channel illustrates the direction we’re taking as an organisation. It’s all about the customer and that’s where we’re going with the channel,” he mentioned.
Wright also said bringing on Ingram Micro and Avnet as disties for the region has boosted the company’s channel presence further.
“They’ve helped smaller partners to get the support they need. It just brings another element to the channel. We’ve always had a partnering mentality at Dell.”
Wright also claimed its vendor partners has solidified and intensified its position in the channel and has enabled the company to respond to the needs as well as the demand of the marketplace.
“They are now partnerships that are far more collaborative because now we’re working within the channel space together as well. Within this space, Dell’s top partners might be Microsoft’s top partners or VMware’s top partners.
“The Intuit event in Tasmania, for example, also shows our commitment to the channel. Tasmania is now 100 per cent channel and our partners there deliver with us all the opportunity, and a lot of these partners are actually leading those opportunities,” he added.
According to Wright, Dell is not looking to engage in new partnership deals but intends on strengthening the existing ones.
“We’ve got some big and solid vendor partnerships and we’re focusing on making those deeper, and being more successful together. As for our channel partnerships, we look to them to direct us on where we need to invest in and what we need to do to grow the partnerships,” he added.
Wright said partners have provided Dell with feedback that includes: investing in helping them gain certifications around its products, expanding the Dell channel team to support its growing channel, and increasing collaboration between the Dell sales team and the channel partners.
“We’re one of the few end-to-end vendors in the market. The channel can work with us from the desktop through to the datacentre – one vendor, one suite of products, all working together. And they want help in being experts on this end-to-end value proposition.”
In building on its channel team, the company recently increased its external channel support headcount by three and is looking to fill another five people to that team.
“This success took five years in the making. We’ve been working long and hard to develop our channel strategy. As an organisation, we need to focus on the customer but also be flexible to work together with the channel to deliver opportunity. That will happen over time,” he added.