The channel community will play a huge role for the new DellEMC combined entity, as the firm looks to synergize the strengths of the two brands. Anil Sethi, Vice President – Channels, Dell EMC India, shares how the mantra of simplicity, predictability, and profitability will play a key role for the success of the company
Q. What has been the approach for integrating the channel community?
The story began in 2014, when Dell India thought through of how to transform its reach across the country. In the process, the channel becomes a good model to leverage – how can we go out and reach more markets and get new logos under our belt.
Historically, Dell was a direct selling company. We worked with partners but in a limited way. We had to redefine the plan in a promising way with the most important part being to build trust in the channel.
We created a channel program which was differentiated in several ways. It managed profitability, different LoBs (Lines of Businesses), and categorized partners. The community responded positively owing to the seriousness of the commitment with which we were engaging with them.
We also announced that we would work directly with 2500 accounts and the rest were open to channel partners. Within the 2500 accounts, if the customer was willing to work with any partner, we were open to that as well.
In 2016-17, the way Dell and EMC has come together, our channel commitment at the global level across the world is phenomenal. It will be an important year for the IT infrastructure market and especially Dell EMC’s position within it. At a global level, we have invested about $150 million, incrementally, in channel program
The objective of this investment is to ensure three things –simplicity, predictability, and profitability. These are the three tenets of our program. Furthermore, we have categorized our partners as Titanium Black, Titanium, Platinum, and Gold. The rest are Authorized Partners. A key highlight of the program is that it goes by the Line of Business. For example, we have clients (Edge to Core) and within clients, we have desktop, laptop, AIOs, workstations, thin clients. Then, it moves on to compute, network, storage. We have also categorized further by products. Currently, we have about 4000 partners in India.
Q. Have your channel initiatives started yielding results?
Every new initiative takes time to deliver results. Our program is designed to support our strategic imperatives – – digital transformation, IT transformation, workforce transformation, and security transformation. We have already made important moves ahead in India since announcing this program and 2017 will continue to an important year for us and our vision for the company.
Q. Are you looking at adding new partners?
We have a team called Emerging Channels that looks to bring new partners into the fold while we build and sustain the relationships we have with existing partners in the program.
Q. Please explain your focus on empowering your partners?
We are very focused on training, be it face-to-face or webinars. These training modules are not just for external stakeholders but also internal teams. For reducing the go-to-market time for our customers, we have specialized resources that can help you configure faster; we have implemented a Smart Pricing concept; and along with the faster configuration, we’re able to sooner give a quote to our customers. We have specialized teams in all the core areas, be it storage, compute, network followed by Smart Pricing concept, and we have Insight Engine that does a great job. Through our MDF (Market Development Fund), partners are now involved in the demand generation exercise. Instead of passing leads to them, we provide them with funds and want them to provide returns on investment here. It’s all about execution now after having put in place the strategy along with our channel partners.