Storage, services still front and centre in Dell EMC channel strategy

Dell EMC is also planning some additional initiatives for later in the new fiscal year around solutions-based competencies.

Joyce Mullen, president of global channels, OEM and IoT Solutions., Dell EMC

Dell EMC is now into its final quarter of the fiscal year, and their review of channel performance in Q3 will sound extremely familiar to the company’s channel partners. Channel business overall was strong, with servers in particular being singled out for performance. Mid-range storage, a target all year of Dell EMC programmatic initiatives, is still underperforming. Storage and services remain the top two priorities heading into the new fiscal year.

“With our Q3 performance in the channel, the big news is that we have maintained the positive momentum we have shown during the year,” said Cheryl Cook, Dell EMC SVP, Global Channel Marketing. “We had our nineteenth consecutive quarter of gaining share in client, and we saw really strong growth in servers as that market continues to consolidate. Services also did well. We have been emphasizing that and the attach rate is up.”  Momentum in the Canadian market was broadly similar to the overall pattern.

Cook also noted that Dell Financial Services, which Dell EMC has also been emphasizing to partners, saw massive channel gains in Q3.

Cheryl Cook, Dell EMC SVP, Global Channel Marketing

“We had over 100 per cent growth in that part of the business,” she said. “It’s connected to strong Q3 growth in partners embracing the flexible ‘pay-as-you grow’ model, and the growth was across the board in different solution areas. We’ve been doing a good job on awareness of financial tools and what partners can offer, in particular, making it clear that partners who leverage financial services  do better than those who do not.”

Cook also noted that over 56,000 credentials have been distributed to date in the partner community, across over 16,000 individuals, evidence of momentum in recognizing the value of cross-sell opportunities.

Storage remains the sore spot, particularly in the mid-range, despite the channels team’s emphasis on the mid-range for most of this fiscal year.

“We posted triple digit growth again in HCI, and double-digit growth in Isilon scale-out storage,” said Joyce Mullen, president of global channels, OEM and IoT Solutions., Dell EMC. “We still have work to do in the mid-range.”

“We announced new storage products in November, as well as a loyalty program,” Cook said. “We didn’t have a broad-based loyalty program before, and that hurt us for a while. There was also an issue of clarity over which mid-range products are focused where. We have addressed that, and with the improvements with the loyalty program, and the addition of over 100 storage specialists specifically to work with the channel, we are looking for improvement.”

“Even though we aren’t happy with our storage performance, we still sell a lot of storage,” Mullen indicated.

So what’s ahead for the channel strategy?

“We will continue to drive more services and storage through the program,” Mullen said. “They have been strong priorities for the last two quarters, and that will continue. In Q1, we will continue to drive home that focus on storage and services, and reward partners for new business in those areas.”

Mullen said that more development of broad solutions-based competencies is something that partners can expect to see more of during the year, in response to requests for more programmatic initiatives to deal with the processes of transformation which have been picking up in the industry. She cautioned, however, not to expect them out of the gate with the new fiscal year, a traditional time for new Dell EMC channel initiatives.

“There won’t be any broad programmatic changes in these areas at the beginning of the year,” Mullen said. “That’s something that you are more likely to see as the year goes along.”