With the dust still settling following the formation of Dell Technologies, the channel waits with bated breath as the industry's biggest technology merger begins to take shape.
Following the merger of Dell and EMC, the new-look vendor is aiming to redefine itself in the channel, increasing partner engagement as a result.
Dell Technologies cloud client computing solutions global vice-president, Rance Poehler, told ARN that the tech giant is planning to "humble" its approach to the channel, rebuilding partnerships alongside EMC.
"The channel is going to see a new day with Dell Technologies," he said.
"I’ve been on board with Dell-EMC only 90 days and it’s evident that we need the channel. We didn’t really have a global channel strategy in the past – we didn’t have a distribution strategy or a focused integrator strategy. Each region was working independently.
"So what we’re trying to do now is create a global strategy around the channels. I work within a VDI specialty team. Now, with EMC and VMware, we sit in the middle of it all - we’re like the glue because we’re providing virtualisation as a service to all these channels internally."
In Australia, the vendor is increasing its interactions with its three distributors, Ingram Micro, Dicker Data, and Avnet, stepping away from how Dell went to market previously.
“At Dell, we didn’t have a tightly knit channel direction," Poehler said."What we want to do with our distributors is create VDI solutions that we can bundle up and offer to the channel, especially targeting the mid-market space. That’s our strategic direction.
"We’re not looking for hundreds of partners, but a focused group of VARs and integrators. They do a great job in the mid-market. That’s where we lacked the resources and now we’re creating swim lanes into it,” he mentioned.
Poehler said this new direction has resulted in channel partners increasing engagement with Dell Technologies.
“I’ve been in a couple of meetings, with Datacom for example, and it’s interested in doing business with us because we’re now seen an end-to-end solutions provider," he explained.
"It has many choices for thin clients but what it wants from Dell is an integrated end-to-end solution to offer customers.
"The channel can go out and sell boxes all day long, but with an end-to-end strategy, the channel can build relationships with customers, the margin structure is higher, that’s what they want from now."
As Dell Technologies builds out its strategic channel strategy, with its existing partners, EMC partners, and VMware partners, Poehler said laying out the commonalities between these units presents new opportunities within the market.
“It’s an opportunity for us to scale to the channel," he said. "The timing is perfect. As we lay out our strategy and look at the various partners that the various companies has done business with, we bring that all together. We’ve already started the process and it will help focus our strategy.
"This will also enhance the VDI discussion drastically, especially as we’ve shifted our strategy to end-to-end solutions.
"We don’t have a single competitor that can talk end-to-end. They can only talk about endpoints. Our strategy is differentiated and this will help us scale our business."
Dell Technologies cloud client computing business South Asia and A/NZ general manager, Jai Sahney, said the vendor will be focusing its play in certain vertical markets such as healthcare, education, retail, finance, and government.
“These five verticals are very strong, interest-wise, in VDI," he explained.
“We are spread across other verticals but our key plays are healthcare and education. We’re trying to expand into other verticals too.
"We’re working with our partners, Citrix and VMware, to come up with the right bundled solutions so partners can execute it."
Locally, Sahney said the vendor recently held discussions with Ingram Micro in Australia, in a bid to develop a specific channel bundle targeting education and healthcare.
“We want to focus its resources and ours to hand this play to the channel for the mid-market," he added.
“Ingram Micro is a global distributor and what we need are distributors that can execute globally.
"And Ingram Micro has as a lot of interest in scaling with the new Dell Technologies. We’re still work in progress, but it’s definitely about having an end-to-end discussion."
In addition, Dell Technologies will also soon run enablement training in Australia to certify its partners.
“We’re creating bundles and will put them into distribution," he added.
"We’ll then train up partners, get them certified on the planning and build an attack plan to go after those specific markets with. The value that channel partners are seeing with Dell Technologies is a single provider that can provide end-to-end VDI.
"VDI has always had a perception of being complex, so now, there will only be a single throat to choke."