In case you’ve been living under a rock the size of Ayers, the biggest technology deal in history closed last month.
Bringing together two titans of industry in Dell and EMC, understandably, resellers remain nervous as to how such a merger will play out in the channel.
The obvious aspect is the coming together of two gigantic multinationals, forming a tech behemoth that stands to be as predictable as a toddler with a new toy.
Clearly, the channel is the toy and at this stage, resellers don’t know whether this toy will be played with gently or chewed to bits.
Generally, EMC has been a channel friendly vendor with strong enterprise roots. Yes, a focus on larger accounts means that some partners simply don’t get on the radar, but the company has a great depth of knowledge in its sales and technical staff across Australia.
But history shows that Dell has a chequered past with its resellers.
It’s common knowledge that Michael Dell pursued a direct strategy for many years, with partners forever ‘Getting Dell’d’ by his insistence on his own direct sales channels competing against resellers in deals.
To Dell’s credit, change is happening locally, but many partners still remember being burnt on deals, either through registrations or engagement.
From personal dealings, Dell has always deployed a straightforward type of salesperson - forever on the phone but lacking in deep technical knowledge of the products.
This approach makes it harder to train my sales team given the lack of support on a day to day basis, and the reality for most resellers is that Dell’s relationship with the channel is still struggling.
But in some ways, this is simply revisiting Dell’s past. What we need to know as resellers is what will happen in the future.
As a word of warning to any vendor, the term “business as usual” simply doesn’t cut it in terms of appeasing the channel - our businesses are based around vendor technologies.
While I appreciate a deal of this magnitude cannot be completed overnight, and that teething issues will naturally arise, isn’t it time for more clarity with regards to how the deal will play out locally?
Resellers have a list of questions that they need answering, such as…
- How are account managers being compensated?
- Who owns the account - Dell or EMC staff?
- When will we have a clear channel strategy for the future?
When the rubber hits the road, EMC has a much stronger channel pedigree than Dell and it would be a relief to see its go-to-market strategy win out in the end.
But of course Dell bought EMC, not the other way around, which means the market will have to wait to see what aspects of each vendor will come through in the combined channel strategy.
For partners wanting to submit their views anonymously, please get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org
This article originally appeared in the October issue of ARN magazine - to subscribe, please click here
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