Our partner-centric approach revolves around 3 key pillars – investment, profitability, and scalability: Anil Sethi, Dell Technologies

Anil Sethi

In an exclusive interaction with CRN India, Anil Sethi, Vice President & General Manager of Channels India, Dell Technologies, sheds light on the evolving landscape of technology partnerships. Amidst the rapid adoption of AI and cloud technologies, Sethi discusses Dell’s commitment to empowering partners, driving collaborative growth, and managing the associated risks effectively.

In the rapidly evolving landscape of technology, partnership ecosystems are undergoing a profound transformation, spurred by the widespread adoption of AI and cloud technologies. This shift brings forth new complexities, challenges established norms, and demands adaptive strategies from industry players.

With technology becoming more integral than ever, the ability to navigate the intricate nuances of cloud services is paramount. Distributors are reimagining their roles, embracing direct sales teams, and reshaping traditional channel dynamics. Meanwhile, an emphasis on personal relationships and experiences underscores the importance of capacity across sectors. Incentive structures are evolving towards behaviour-driven models, and the demand for performance data and actionable insights continues to rise.

Global companies recognise the pivotal role of partners in expanding market growth. By prioritising partner development, collaboration, and operational efficiency, these companies provide education, technology, and resources to empower partners to succeed. A collaborative environment, characterised by effective communication and knowledge sharing, facilitates innovation and efficiency.

Dell Technologies stands at the forefront of this transformative landscape, continually prioritising its channel partners. The global leader remains steadfast in its commitment to empowering partners and driving collaborative growth.

Sethi underscores the company’s dedication to enhancing partner experiences and implementing services-led go-to-market strategies. With partners contributing significantly to Dell’s net revenue and buyer engagement, the company focuses on aligning objectives to ensure mutual growth.

“We do recognise the crucial role of channel partners in our success. We are committed to growing and strengthening the channel ecosystem by enhancing partner experience levels and building services-led go-to-market strategies, aided by new incentives and distribution support,” says Sethi.

“Our commitment to supporting partners extends to our dedicated teams, including channel managers and partner account managers, who work closely with partners to provide technical assistance and guidance. This collaborative approach ensures that partners are well-equipped to address the diverse needs of their customers and deliver optimal solutions,” adds Sethi.

Reaffirming Commitment with 2024 Partner Program

The recent launch of the 2024 Dell Technologies Partner Program further exemplifies this commitment, emphasising collaboration, investment, and innovation to drive shared success in an evolving technology landscape.

Sethi mentions that their partner program has been rated as one of the best in the industry. With the partner feedback process in place, Dell has found that even its partners view their program as simple, predictable, and profitable. The partner program enables the partners to plan their resources better, decide on the opportunity strategy more accurately, and have more controlled and beneficial outcomes.

He points out, “Consistency has been key for us, both in terms of our programs and offerings. In a rapidly evolving market, stability in our approach has been instrumental. Our long-term investment in these programs has paid off, as evidenced by the enduring partnerships we’ve cultivated over the years. We’ve retained our partners and maintained a steady share of their business, reflecting the strength and reliability of our relationships.”

Reflecting on the past year, Sethi notes the consistent growth and new opportunities that have emerged, highlighting the company’s robust coverage in infrastructure. This steadfastness is underpinned by a strong partner program, now in its sixth year, which has been instrumental in fostering enduring relationships and driving mutual success.

“Our partner-centric approach revolves around three key pillars – investment, profitability, and scalability. By investing in our partners and providing avenues for profitability, we empower them to scale their businesses efficiently and consistently across regions. This alignment of objectives ensures a symbiotic partnership where both parties thrive and grow together,” shares Sethi.

Furthermore, by empowering partners through skill development, technical support, and financial assistance, Dell ensures their continued relevance in the market. Initiatives like the capital solution program provide partners with the flexibility needed to thrive in a competitive landscape.The company’s emphasis on skill development, technical support, and financial assistance ensures that partners are well-equipped to address the evolving needs of customers and deliver optimal solutions.

“We’ve focused on enhancing the skills of our partners to ensure their continued relevance in the market. Our programs are designed to incentivise skill development, not just revenue generation. This emphasis on skill-building has equipped our partners with the expertise needed to navigate the changing technological landscape effectively,” asserts Sethi.

Investing in Key Growth Areas

As AI takes centre stage, Dell is at the forefront of innovation with offerings like the PowerEdge XE9680 server, optimised for heavy data loads and high-speed processing. These GPU-based servers are optimised for heavy data loads and high-speed processing, catering to the burgeoning demand for AI-based applications across various industries. Whether it’s the BFSI sector or manufacturing and automobiles, AI is rapidly transforming the landscape, promising significant advancements over the next five to ten years.

“With substantial growth projected in AI applications, Dell aims to capitalise on this trend by offering tailored solutions to partners and customers alike. We’re fully equipped with products and partnerships to capitalise on this trend, offering AI solutions tailored to meet the evolving needs of our partners and customers,” highlights Sethi.

According to Dell estimates, surge in AI applications has spurred a corresponding increase in demand for storage solutions. As AI relies heavily on vast amounts of data, the need for scalable storage infrastructure is paramount. The company anticipates robust growth in the storage sector, with projections indicating a substantial uptick in demand upwards of 20%. This optimism is further buoyed by the upward trajectory of the Indian economy, driving demand for compute solutions and reinforcing Dell’s confidence in the market’s trajectory.

He further adds that GenAI is driven by data generated at the edge and hosted in the cloud. Partners that can demonstrate capability with AI, edge, and multi cloud solutions are the best positioned to capitalise on this market opportunity. The new Data Science & AI Competency and Edge Solutions Competency will validate partners’ expertise on Dell’s offerings.

“As we move into 2024, we will see the first wave of GenAI enterprise projects reach levels of maturity that will expose important dimensions of GenAI not yet understood in the early phases. Through partnership and leading our clients forward in the data era, we also need to help our customers avoid the ‘first mover disadvantage’. Whatever stage of the journey they are on, Dell is well positioned to be a strategic partner, helping customers navigate the complex ecosystem,” says Sethi.

Increased Focus on Storage

In the year ahead, Dell remains committed to expanding its storage business and enhancing engagements in the enterprise solutions market. Under the storage umbrella, apart from its primary storage solutions, the company is particularly focused on handling heavy data loads through central storage solutions like PowerFlex.

Sethi mentions, “First and foremost, our priority lies in strengthening our partnerships.We aim to significantly expand our storage business by deepening our collaboration with key partners, thereby increasing our share of the storage market. This strategic focus on data storage is pivotal, especially considering its integral role in the advancement of AI technologies.”

In this endeavour, Dell announced ‘Partner First Strategy for Storage’ in August last year. This GTM strategy made over 99% of customers and prospective customers “partner first” for storage and quadrupled the number of accounts eligible for storage Partner of Record (PoR) status. This new go-to-market strategy combines partner expertise and reach with Dell’s world-class team and storage portfolio, including data protection, to deliver transformational outcomes for customers.

Meanwhile, Partner of Record (POR) provides account protection for partners who have previously conducted storage business in an account. This investment ensures that even if the customer doesn’t directly engage with the partner, their investment in the account is safeguarded for up to two years. This systematic approach, defined within Dell’s SFDC system, ensures that partner resources are utilised effectively in addressing account needs, including technical deployments.

Extending further on this, the company is also providing training to partners on deployments, enabling them to handle single deployments independently or collaborate with Dell for joint deployments. This collaborative approach enhances the value proposition presented to the customer.

“The Partner First Strategy for Storage, including data protection, is a change in our go-to-market strategy designed to fuel continued storage growth in India and around the world. By further embracing the power of collaboration with our partners, we win more deals and drive better outcomes for customers,” explains Sethi.

Way Ahead

In addition to these strategic initiatives, Dell is steadfast in its commitment to ensure that its partners remain invested and profitable. Their continued success is vital for the sustained growth and prosperity of Dell’s business. By nurturing these partnerships and prioritising profitability, the company lays a solid foundation for long-term success in the market.

“Additionally, we are actively pursuing opportunities to expand our engagements in the market for enterprise solutions. Our goal is to foster more meaningful discussions and close deals efficiently in this space. It’s worth noting that all aspects of our business, including data centres, servers, and storage solutions, are intertwined with AI. Therefore, our overarching business strategy is inherently tied to the integration and utilisation of AI technologies,” states Sethi.

As Dell Technologies continues its journey of innovation and partnership, its unwavering commitment to empowering partners and driving collaborative growth remains paramount. With a focus on seizing emerging opportunities and delivering value to customers, Dell is poised for continued success in the dynamic landscape of technology.

“Despite operating on a large scale, our channel business in India demonstrated noteworthy growth, indicative of its pivotal role in our operations both domestically and internationally. As such, our strategy remains firmly rooted in continued investment and expansion within this channel framework. We are committed to allocating further resources and capital into this area to sustain growth momentum and fortify our position in the market, underscoring the significant reliance we place on channel partnerships for our continued success.” concludes Sethi.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here