Fresh from the emergence of Dell Technologies in the market, Australian distributors are taking stock, assessing how the industry's largest technology vendor will impact the local channel.
For those carrying the vendor's combined portfolio - in Avnet and Ingram Micro - it's a case of holding tight, watching and waiting to react, while industry rivals take stock from afar.
“Dell’s focus aligns with Avnet’s go-to-market strategies around delivering Cloud, datacentre, data analytics, IoT, mobility, enterprise networking, and security solutions,” Avnet said in a statement.
“Our executive team is working closely with Dell to continue the process of making Dell and EMC’s portfolio available to the best business partners in the world through our differentiated and valuable business model.
“With the industry’s most comprehensive product portfolio and our solutions specialist approach, Avnet enables our partners to guide their end users toward the goal of using IT organisations to deliver business outcomes for their company."
Avnet's stance comes months after revealing plans to ARN that involved presenting integrated best-of-breed solutions to the market, while expanding its Powered-by-Avnet solution to include Dell and EMC as a combined offering.
“The sales and technical experience Avnet has with both suppliers enables us to provide our Business Partners with unique offerings," said Avnet Vice President and General Manager of Australia and New Zealand, Darren Adams, when speaking to ARN on the ground in Las Vegas at EMC World 2016 in May.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the distribution partnership between Avnet and Dell, while globally the distributor has more than 15 years’ experience supporting EMC technology in more than 25 countries.
When also speaking to ARN in Las Vegas, then EMC vice president and general manager of Channel APJ, Joergen Jakobsen said that specific to Australia, having both local distributors already selling Dell and EMC portfolios will be key to ensuring a smooth transition in the coming months for partners.
“The key is to look at how they can cross-sell products across both portfolios,” he explained. “For the distributors who are not selling both, we are receiving requests to see if they can be a distributor and the same applies for the Dell distributors."
While local Dell and EMC distributors such as Avnet, Dicker Data, and Ingram Micro, have been relatively tight-lipped about how they plan to deal with the merger, the Global Technology Distribution Council (GTDC), of which Avnet is a member, believes the deal will create a positive impact for distributors and the channel in general.
"Both of these powerhouses coming together can mean many advantages for the channel,” GTDC CEO, Tim Curran, said when the acquisition was announced.
“Their successful partnerships speak for themselves. Dell has embraced distribution and the overall solution provider channel in ways that are literally unprecedented. We are optimistic about their planned future with EMC."
While there has been no firm indication from local distributors as to whether rival vendors are preparing to alter offerings in any way to compete with the consolidated Dell-EMC, it's clear that the merger will be top of mind for the immediate future.
“At this early stage we would not expect to see any material impact on our business in general,” Distribution Central CEO, Nick Verykios, told ARN.
“There hasn’t been any change leading up to the merger, and there are no high-impact variables we can identify that would post.
“In saying that, like all mergers of this magnitude, our channel partners will make decisions as to whether they chose to support the merged entity or not. There’s always fallout, and this merger is not immune from such. We are monitoring this closely."
As with most of the local Dell-EMC distributors, many of the Australian distributors carrying products from vendors competing with Dell and EMC’s portfolio are taking stock of the situation post-merger before making moves to re-jig their offering – if they do at all.
However, some voices in the industry expect the merger to result in changes among competitor vendors and channel partners.
“Dell’s partner base will now be able to offer enterprise level solutions, service, and support to their SMB customers,” CompTIA senior vice-president, Nancy Hammervik, said following the acquisition announcement in October last year.
“Of course, its competitors will look to sweeten their alternative options and take advantage of the time it takes to transition.
"This means partners need to be savvy in protecting their own interests and the interests of their customers."