Dell Adds Vitagliano to Channel Lineup

New Dell channel sales chief Frank Vitagliano

New Dell channel sales chief Frank Vitagliano

If anyone needed more proof of Dell Inc.’s desire to cement their reputation as a partner-friendly vendor, the Round Rock, Texas company’s choice this week to lead their channel sales operation should do the trick.

Dell tapped well-known channel veteran Frank Vitagliano as its new vice president of channel sales, a move sure to give the company even more channel credibility for what has already become a formidable partner program at the traditionally direct-sales vendor.

Vitagliano, named by Channelnomics among the channel and tech leaders to watch in 2011, comes to Dell after six years at Juniper Networks as senior vice president of worldwide channels at the networking firm. Prior to his stint at Juniper, Vitagliano became a household name in the channel during with 33 years at IBM where he worked his way up from director of channel marketing in Big Blue’s PC unit to become vice president of worldwide distribution channels in 2003.

Vitagliano left Juniper earlier this year, leading to much speculation about where the seasoned channel advocate would land.

“Frank’s years of experience and outstanding relationships within the channel community will be a great asset to Dell and further demonstrates commitment to our Channel business,” said Greg Davis, vice president and general manager of Dell global channels, in a statement e-mailed to Channelnomics late last week.

Vitagliano starts his new job at Dell today, where he’ll be responsible for small and medium VAR channel accounts and tier-two distribution partners, and for driving growth and development strategy for North America SMB accounts, Dell officials said.

He takes over for Jim Defoe, who had been in the channel sales VP role for the past two years. Defoe now moves into a similar role overseeing the Dell team focused on large VARs, DMRs and systems integrators in North America, segments where he’s already built significant relationships, Davis said.

“We think there is a huge opportunity to invest in more relationship programs and resources to continue this growth,” Davis added. Defoe is a 15-year veteran of Dell, having moved from the vendor’s Healthcare and Life Sciences unit to the channel team in 2011.