Dell EMC storage channel business shows positive signs in Q4

The Dell EMC channel business overall picked up in the second half of the year - always a good sign.

Cheryl Cook, Dell EMC’s SVP of Global Channel Marketing

While Dell EMC’s overall channel business in the first year of their integrated channel program has done well, storage has been a persistent sore spot. However, while it still trails other key components, it finally began to show signs of life in Q4.

“We just finished the first year of our integrated channel program, and were delighted by the overall momentum,” said Cheryl Cook, Dell EMC’s SVP of Global Channel Marketing. “The company had strong Q4 growth across all segments, including the channel, and the channel showed strength across the breadth of the portfolio. We had another strong PC quarter – the 20th in a row of share gains. We continue to be the market leader in all-flash arrays. We also continue to see record server growth. As a result, we have been able to pay down another $10 billion of debt.”

Cook said that they were pleased by the specific channel contribution to these numbers.

“We saw continued momentum and overall double-digit growth from the channel,” she indicated. “46 per cent of our medalled partners are growing their Dell business, and many are expanding the number of Dell EMC lines of business that they handle. In the second half of the year, we also did an NPS [Net Promoter Score] survey, and we got 59 from the partner community.”

Bringing new logos into Dell EMC has been a top priority, and the numbers here were good, Cook said.

“In Q4, the channel brought in 14,000 new or reactivated customers,” she said. “The total was 54,000 for the full fiscal year. So rebate payouts are up, and deal registrations are up.”

For Q4, overall revenue for the channel grew 19 per cent. Over the full fiscal year, the growth was 12 per cent.

“In client revenue, we  saw 21 per cent in channel revenue growth in Q4, and 15 per cent for the year,” Cook noted. “Servers posted 28 per cent growth in Q4, and 23 per cent for the year, which was just delightful.”

Services, another targeted area, also did well.

“We have had a strategic focus area on both clients and servers, and were pleased with the growth,” Cook said. “We refined and simplified things, changing the incentive structure so that it is more straightforward and easier to understand, and eliminating the revenue gate that we had last year.”

While storage continues to be the laggard, Cook said they did see signs of progress in Q4.

“We would like to see more in storage, although things did get better in the second half of the year,” she said. “While over the whole year, storage declined by 3 per cent, in Q4, it was up by 3 per cent. We didn’t see the velocity and execution in the first half of the year, which may have been a consequence of the integration. There are also a lot of competitors in the market. However, we continue to be the market leader, and have improved the clarity of our midrange offerings. We have improved focus and execution, and are very encouraged by the strong momentum in Q4.”

Cook said that the program infrastructure is now in place to continue to accelerate storage.

“We launched multiple initiatives in this area, including a new Customer Loyalty Program, and several lucrative partner incentives, including stacked benefits where the partner and sales rep combined can earn up to $60,000 in points,” she said. “When we look at the cross-sell opportunity, with our momentum in servers, it’s a fantastic opportunity to advance storage.”