Spotlight on Channel Engagement Part II
Dell EMC partner program has new vigor which comes from the fact that the combined Dell EMC portfolio is ideally placed to equip the channel ecosystem with great capabilities to accelerate digital transformation for organizations.
Tian Beng NG, Senior Vice President and GM, Channels, APJ, Dell EMC interacts with Zia Askari from ChannelDrive.in about the importance of the channel community and how a Dell EMC amalgamation is now bringing in more profitability for channel partners.
As far as the channel community is concerned, what are some of the activities that Dell EMC is planning to do to ensure that channel partners are moving in the right direction when it comes to selling storage and solutions?
Firstly, the good news is that we believe, we have one of the stronger portfolios in the industry. If you look at storage, according to IDC and Gartner, our market share positions us as leaders in most of the product categories. So what I think, firstly, is that we have obviously a very, very strong portfolio that is available to our partners on storage.
Secondly, as I mentioned, we have increased our rebate significantly in storage – compared to last year, our partners can earn about 2.5 times more in storage rebate than last year. So we’ve dramatically increased the rebates to make it a lot more attractive for partners now.
And then, additionally, we have all the training and enablement in place to really motivate them to get training and certified.
And most importantly, we do have incentives in place to actually motivate sales representatives of our channel partners to sell through a platform that we call Partner Advantage. Whenever they sell some of our product solutions they actually get incentives locally to motivate them to actually sell our storage solutions.
Tian Beng NG
What are some big verticals that you are targeting with the help of your channel ecosystem?
We can really service all the different types of industries out there. So it is not like we focus on one particular vertical or one particular industry. Because we have such a broad portfolio, the good news is that we can really address all the different types of industry and verticals on there.
If I have to prioritize, I think government, BFSI, telecom, manufacturing and SMB – these would be, the five areas or the main verticals for us. We do work very closely with our partners on the government side when it comes to Smart City projects. We work with a number of partners on a number of Smart City projects in India and across APJ.
What kind of innovation can we see from Dell EMC in the coming future? What kind of innovations are you working on?
We are the world’s largest privately controlled technology company. We are actually a private company and being a private company actually brings us a lot of advantage.
And one of the advantage is to really have the freedom to focus on our customers and invest in R&D. So innovation and R&D all that is really, really important to us. And because we are a private company, we are actually able to do this I think a lot better than any public company. So across Dell Technologies, the whole group, we actually do invest a lot. In fact in the last three years we have invested USD 12.7 billion in R&D.
How big is the Dell EMC channel ecosystem today? What are your plans on expansion? What are some of the geographies that you are looking at when it comes to expanding your channel ecosystem?
We don’t disclose our revenue figures because we are a private company. But I can say that 70% of our overall business goes through channels in APJ.
So it’s a big majority of our business that comes through channel partners. In APJ if you look at the number of partners that we have – it’s huge. We have close to 20,000 partners across APJ. A majority of them are what we call ‘authorized partners’.
Authorized partners mean they can work with us but they buy primarily through a distributor. The next are metal tier partners, whom, as I explained earlier are partners that are gold, platinum and titanium of which there are 573. The metal tier partners are our largest partners who buy direct from us or, in some cases, from a distributor.
We are working on a channel strategy that is helping us go ‘deep and wide’ which is essentially getting deeper into one partner and selling wider across verticals.
You also mentioned that you are looking for more growth coming from your distribution partners. So would this mean that the authorized partner segment would be growing or delivering more growth to you?
All channel segments are growing. Distribution has been a highlight like I mentioned earlier. Our distribution channel has been growing double digits. So, yes, that has been growing very, very strongly for us.
And I did mention that for six months, since we launched the program, we have seen very positive growth. More than 50% of our partners are actually growing which is fantastic.
How do you look at the virtualization space today and what are some of the opportunities that you see are projecting towards the channel community? Specifically working towards the virtualization space. And of course now you are partnering with VMware as well?
VMware is one of our strategically aligned business. Strategically aligned business means that it’s part of the Dell Technologies family. In fact there are three other companies: Pivotal, Virtustream and SecureWorks. These four companies, Pivotal, Virtustream, SecureWorks and VMware are what we call as strategically aligned business. That means they are part of the Dell Technologies family but they are standalone.
On virtualization, yes, there’s a vast opportunity that we continue to see. A lot of our partners are very focused in that space. We are very optimistic there is going to be a lot more opportunities in the whole virtualization space.
In the virtualization space, in addition to VMware, we also work with Microsoft and Citrix.