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New Dell Channel Chief Wants Partners to Expand Reach

The new channel chief for Dell Technologies says partners need to start focusing more on a broader number of stakeholders within the organizations they serve.

Rather than trying to recruit new partners to chase those opportunities, Joyce Mullen, president of global channels for Dell Technologies, says Dell Technologies will invest in providing existing partners with the tools they need to expand their reach within the organizations they serve to achieve that goal.

“Partners are going to need to call wide and deeper in those organizations,” says Mullen.

Most solution providers tend to stay close the IT organizations they support. But increasingly emerging technologies are being implemented by developers working in departments or business units that don’t rely on internal IT organizations to deploy, for example, Internet of Things (IoT) solutions. Solution providers need to have relationships with these individuals to expand the total budget allocated to IT projects so they can increase sales.

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Mullen is taking over from John Byrne, who has been elevated to lead commercial sales for North America. Mullen says having someone in that role who is an advocate for the channel bodes well for reducing any tensions that might exist between Dell’s internal sales teams and channel partners.

Of most immediate concern is that regard is increasing Dell’s share of wallet in North America. Dell has been able to gain share in the server market. But the company’s ability to attach storage sales to those servers has been lackluster relative to the potential opportunity.

Of course, competition across both the servers and storage categories has never been fiercer. With more workloads moving in the public cloud, the growth rate in consumption of IT infrastructure in local data center market is constrained. A core element of the Dell Technologies strategy in the wake of merging with EMC is to gain share in a market that continues to consolidate.

There are also more options than ever regarding what software stacks are being deployed in those data centers. Dell Technologies also owns VMware and Pivotal, with the latter business unit taking the lead supporting cloud-native applications based on the Cloud Foundry platform-as-a-service (PaaS) environment and the Kubernetes container-as-a-service (CaaS) environment. Mullen says both those platforms will be more prominent areas of focus for Dell Technologies in 2018.

The coming year promises to be one in which many emerging technologies will simultaneously be crossing the proverbial channel chasm. The challenge channel partners will face sorting out what customers are ready to cross those chasms as they make an often difficult transition to modern IT environments.

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