The company aims to help partners sell complete solutions—hardware, software, and services—by integrating the disparate programs of its acquired companies.
By Joel Zaidspiner
August 14, 2013
With its recent acquisitions of AppAssure, SonicWALL, and last September, Quest Software, Dell has clearly recharted a course for broader presence in the enterprise data center. ChannelPro-SMB sat down at CompTIA’s ChannelCon event in Orlando with Greg Davis, VP and GM of Dell’s Global Commercial Channels, to discuss the channel implications of the PC maker’s recent acquisitions.
ChannelPro-SMB: Can you tell us a little bit about Dell’s recent hardware and software acquisitions, and what they might mean for the company’s SMB resellers?
Davis: In the last several years you’ve seen our company invest in companies like EqualLogic and Compellent in the storage arena, and Force10 in networking. More recently, with the Wyse acquisition, we’ve entered the desktop virtualization space. In AppAssure, we’ve gained data backup solutions, and in SonicWALL, network security and firewall solutions. Most recently, our purchase of Quest Software has given us an enterprise software centerpiece, in the all-important virtualized and cloud or heterogeneous environment.
When you look at those solutions and that intellectual property, you see that they are designed for the midmarket data center. Now, we believe we can scale those solutions up to large enterprise and global customers, but the design point was around the medium business, and that medium business has always been a sweet spot for Dell and a focus for our partner programs.
ChannelPro-SMB: What do all these acquisitions signify for the channel partner?
Davis: The great benefit to our partners here is integrating all of those separate channel programs into one program and one single point of contact. That simplification is a differentiator for Dell.
ChannelPro-SMB: What have you been doing to make that happen?
Davis: The Dell software team has been working very closely with the acquired companies to integrate their solutions into the Dell Preferred and Premier Partner Program.
With that, we are updating the competencies that we train on, with new training opportunities being offered starting in September. Whether it’s security or identity management, or anything along the suite of software that we have, they can become certified as part of the Dell Partner Direct program, replacing separate partnerships with Quest or SonicWALL. These certifications could apply broadly across our server, storage, networking, security, or identity management suites of competencies.
ChannelPro-SMB: How does this reposition the customer’s and reseller’s notion of Dell as a hardware company?
Davis: It allows our resellers to elevate their discussions with customers—to focus on their problems as a whole, and to offer a complete end-to-end product line and portfolio as a solution. And so the conversations are less about how much storage you need, but how are you managing your storage.
Yes, you can buy a whole bunch of disc space and store your data, but that’s not managing it. How do you serve it up to your clients, do it in a cost-efficient way, protect it, and protect your network? And the answer to those questions becomes hardware, software, and services. All that is a part of a broader discussion that we want our partners to have with their customers.
ChannelPro-SMB: So now as a channel partner, can I can go onto the site, click to order 150 units all at once for a public school, say, and get some of the software products that I need to install, knowing that they’re compliant because a lot of those companies were already compliant for GovEd?
Davis: Absolutely. And it all works together. Your support comes from one company. You’ve got one line of credit with Dell. It becomes a very easy, seamless relationship that enables you to do a better and more efficient job for your customer, which typically translates into better profit.