New Dell EMC channel chief takes over as Michael Kerr retires

Deanna Thomson, a 20-year Dell Canada veteran, has been appointed Dell EMC’s National Director for Canada, Channel Sales.

Deanna Thomson, National Director for Canada, Channel Sales, Dell EMC

Dell EMC has a new Canadian channel chief. Michael Kerr, long-time EMC channel chief in Canada, who briefly moved into the Dell EMC role when Tara Fine moved over to run channels at VMware Canada, has retired. His replacement is Deanna Thomson, who has been appointed National Director for Canada, Channel Sales.

Thomson comes from the Dell Canada side of the house, where she has worked since 1996. Her most recent role there was Channel Account Manager, Western Canada. Her EMC knowledge comes in part from the years that the two companies spent as partners.

“During the 20 years I have been at Dell, Dell was one of EMC s largest partners, so I’m very familiar with it from then,” Thomson said. “Since the acquisition was announced, we have also had training on the EMC solutions, and of course I’ve done all that as well.”

Dell EMC is stressing the same strategy in Canada that it is emphasizing globally – the importance of partners being able to leverage both Dell and EMC legacy technologies, to deliver more advanced solutions.

“The coming together of the two organizations creates enhanced value through that combined value of the two entities,” Thomson said. “We have a lot of partners today that are both legacy Dell and legacy EMC partners. It is a top priority of mine to discuss with key partners what all our plans are, so we can plan for our mutual growth.”

That planning became easier this week, with Dell EMC formally announcing the process by which legacy partners will map to tiers in the new program. The new entry level tier is Gold, with former Dell Preferred Partners and EMC Silver Partners moving to this tier for the 2018 fiscal year. The second tier is now Platinum, and takes the old Dell Premier and EMC Gold partners. The new Titanium Tier takes in the Dell Premier+ and EMC Platinum Partners. A fourth, invitation-only tier, Platinum Black, is reserved for the best of the Titanium Partners. Those partners are being informed of their status this week. Partners who were in both the Dell and EMC programs previously, and were at different levels, will map to the higher level in the new Dell EMC program.

“The piece I will be specifically focused on is sales leadership and building sales relationships with partners, Thomson stated. “We will determine where they want to invest with Dell EMC, so we can map to those plans. The sales alignment in the field is really the key.”

While the details of the new program will continue to be announced until the program goes live on February 1, Thomson said she expects that partners will be delighted with the result.

“We really want to take the best of the Dell and EMC programs and bring them together, and make everything simple, predictable and profitable,” she stated. “I think partners will be thrilled to be able to represent the different technologies.”