How Dell Technologies is an ‘Innovation Engine’ for Partner Community

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Spotlight on Canalys Channels Forum 2019 |

Whether it is next generation cloud computing solutions, harnessing the power of 5G or designing solutions around Kubernetes – Dell Technologies has become an ‘Innovation Engine’ for the channel community. It is putting a lot of effort towards enabling channel ecosystem to embrace technology-oriented innovation and drive profitability ahead.

While participating at the recently held Canalys Channels Forum 2019 in Taipei, Alan Atkinson, Senior Vice President, Commercial Sales CTO, Dell Technologies interacts about the importance of innovation with Zia Askari from

Tell us about the importance of innovation for Dell Technologies today.

We spend an excess of $4B a year, which is quite a lot of money, on Research & Development. If you look at the last five years, that represents more than $20B in investments. We’ve tried to focus the innovations by streamlining our portfolio and looking at some of the trends happening in technology.

For instance, when you look at Dell Technologies Cloud, the investments we’re making around Kubernetes, vSphere, security, virtual networking endpoint management, what we’ve done to our storage and server portfolio, what we’re really trying to build is a best-in-class across the infrastructure.

We do that as integral to not only our future but to our channel partners’ future. When we talk to customers these days, it’s rarely about specific products, but much more around the cloud journey. As you may know, most customers need help. They are looking for a trusted advisor and they’re looking for services to refactor apps to get to the cloud native world. We think that innovation engine that we are very proud of, is also something that provides a huge benefit to our partner community.

When it comes to technologies, what are some of the upcoming technologies or trends that will be important for channel community?

We’ve talked about cloud for one, but 5G is also important, especially around data explosion. 5G will set off rapid expansion of the amount of data.

Data by itself is interesting, but it’s not fascinating. It’s the value that you can get from the data – the analytics. You’ve heard about fourth industrial revolution powered by data. To get value out of it, you get the data and you move the data which 5G is a key enabler of that. But you also have to digest and analyze the data which involves compute and new technologies that we’ve been talking about from the edge to the core to the cloud.

Some of the new techniques that are being done with cloud native programming, Kubernetes, virtual networking e.g. SD-WAN where you’re basically connected at low latency but with high bandwidth, these things are very exciting to us.

There are opportunities for the partner community because technology by themselves are just ‘facts’. It’s how you turn them into solutions. And part of it is how we write the cloud native apps and refactor the existing apps – it’s how we choose the right technology to build the solutions, how we are putting together the configuration to build the service that customers want.

When you look at the partner community, obviously they look for profitability and immediate way to gain from the market. Innovation as well is really important. Keeping that in mind, how do you think channel partners should approach innovative technologies or how can channel partners look at innovation?

More than anything, the change that we’re discussing and the innovation that has driven the change is an opportunity for partners to be trusted advisors. The most valuable thing a partner can provide to a customer is a trusted advisor role.

Most customers are still struggling with how to digest these changes – what are the new programmes and techniques, what is data deluge and how to monetize or get a business advantage out of it. Most of them aren’t going to do it themselves. Having a partner to help them get there and solve business problems by incorporating innovation, that is the real prize for channel partners.

Once you have that trusted advisor status, that gives an opportunity to go back again and again with more services and products, and that drives more profit

Moving forward, what are some of the innovative products or solutions that we can expect from Dell Technologies in the coming months?

I can’t give away too much but some of the things we talked about specifically from Dell Technologies include our efforts with VMware around Kubernetes and vSphere, acquisitions around Carbon Black and Endpoint Security. We talked about how we streamlined our storage portfolio and building in containers support to provide the ideal foundation for cloud native support.

We have a lot of innovation coming along on a lot of fronts across the entire portfolio. Those are things we’re very excited about and the innovation engine just doesn’t stop.

Full video interaction with Alan Atkinson can be accessed here

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