Dell’s Journey: From Strengthening Finances to Channel Partner Ecosystem

Anil Sethi - Vice President & General Manager, Channels, Dell Technologies, India(Left); Tian Beng Ng- Senior Vice President & General Manager - Channels, APJ, Dell Technologies

Dell’s APAC team had recently organised a virtual roundtable discussion to update about the company’s growth, finances, and performance. Also, the speakers announced recent initiatives taken by Dell in India to improve the partner ecosystem and channel business across the country. 

The first speaker, Tian Beng Ng, Senior Vice President & General Manager – Channels, Asia Pacific Japan at Dell Technologies spoke about Dell’s earnings for the second quarter. He said, “The overall revenue went up by 9 percent. While operating income was up 4 percent, gross margin dollar was about flat, and opening expenses were a bit low compared to the last year, about 3 percent, because of some OpEx actions that we were taking. In the previous year, the overall CSG growth for Dell Technologies was around 20 percent.” 

Moreover, Dell saw a strong performance on the clients’ end and growth for ISG was actually up by 12 percent. “It was like another new record for us in terms of server and storage growth. It was for the sixth consecutive quarter that we have grown year-over-year. Meanwhile, VMware revenue was up about by 2 percent,” he added.

Speaking on the company’s offerings, he said, “Currently, we have APEX on our storage solutions, but in the future, the APEX offering will be extended to the other parts of the portfolio. APEX is our as-a-service offering. Then we have the Edge which is going to be the new big growth area.”

Further, there are dedicated teams globally that just focus on the telco segment. The other big area wherein Dell is investing is multi-cloud. Data management is another important area. 

Tian highlighted, “We believe that the future should be what we call multi-cloud by design. In the multi-cloud world, you can keep your data, whether it’s in the public cloud or it’s in colocation in the Edge or hybrid, but you should be able to move your workloads transparently right across all these different locations. We have worked with AWS, GCP, Microsoft Azure, Red Hat, and VMware, so to have a broad cloud ecosystem that will enable us to have an effective multi-cloud strategy.”

Sharing his perspective on the financial aspects and channel business, Anil Sethi, Vice President & General Manager- Channels India, Dell Technologies contributed to the discussion. He said, “We are focused on five important things, the first is continuing to grow strong. We see that 30 percent of our client solutions grew year-on-year, 28 percent towards the overall revenue for channels, 50 percent is a year-on-year growth on service business, distribution business grew about 28 percent, and storage around 10 percent.” 

The second is the partner experience. So there are multiple digital offerings to see that partner experiences are good. One of the offerings is the OSC, a concentrated tool where people can go and configure storage and server requirements. Also, there is an incentive center launched that focuses on all the different kinds of rebates and programs that the partners participate in. In addition, the company is continuing to bring different programs for its partners in the middle metal tier, including the upskilling programs. 

The third focus area for Dell is winning with its partners. So the company has been taking initiatives to ensure that the partner program gets better. This helps them to make more margins and that in turn helps to bring down the cost of the capital. This enables the partners to realise that they can participate across the length and breadth of Dell’s offering.

The next is the services that play a key business aspect for the partners. Today, Dell has 58 partners skilled in the complete deployment of storage and server services. This kind of deployment is different, and therefore, these partners are skilled, certified, and experienced.

“Upskilling has been of prime importance. Talent remains the holy grail of the IT industry. Therefore, it is important to retain the talent and there is a need for continuous upskilling. This is what we are doing with our partners and helping them grow,” he added. 

The fifth key aspect is ‘Trust’ and Dell continues to be the most trustworthy OEM today. Across most of the partners, Dell carries a high sum of mindshare. A testimony to this is that a large part of the company’s metal partners today has almost 25 percent of their wallet share with Dell.

Concluding his address, Sethi said, “We don’t believe that anybody else can solve better than us and that is why we have come up with this solution-as-a-service offering called APEX. With APEX, in the coming times, you would see everything from our portfolio offered as-a-service, except for Flex on demand, which we just launched. However, there will be different offerings apart from that data storage services, custom solution services, APEX data center utility services, and more.”


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