Dell-EMC Bets Big on Channels, India and China


Bangalore: When two of the world’s largest data providers and manufacturers of computing equipment merge, what you get is a $74 billion behemoth that could control much of the IT solutions industry. Add to the fact that they are privately held and they appear an even bigger, given their ability to invest and scale up.

Dell and EMC Corporation closed the multi-billion dollar merger deal in September, and the industry sat up and took notice of the formation of world’s largest privately held Technology Company. What is now becoming clearer is that the new entity will dominate the small, midsize and large enterprises space.

With Dell holding fort across the solution building space for small enterprises, mid-tier businesses and EMC pitching in with its expertise over the larger companies, the entire market appears to be in the clutches of the newly created enterprise titled Dell-EMC.

Company head honcho Michael Dell put it succinctly when he said, “We have got the ability to innovate at scale and invest – not for next quarter, but we have the agility and the speed of a startup, but the scale and reach of the largest company in the industry.” He told Bloomberg that being private gave Dell the ability to focus on customers like no other competitor can (Read the full story).

Power of Channels

Now, Dell is opening about how he things the company can take over the world. The answer in his mind is quite simple – The Power of Channels. A published interview on (Read it here) quotes Michael Dell to suggest that the role of channel partners would evolve and become bigger and critical in the industry.

Earlier this month, Michael Dell spoke at the Canalys Channels Forum at Barcelona about his newfound love for channels. “We are going to protect the incumbency of the EMC partners where they’ve been playing and been strong,” he was quoted as saying by (Read the story).

When delegates asked whether Dell, which began its journey selling PCs directly to customers, would ever become a full-fledged channel sales organization, Michael Dell quipped, “We never put an upper limit on the channel.”

And, the actions taken by the company over the last couple of weeks suggests that Michael Dell had indeed not fixed an upper ceiling for the company’s channel engagement program.

The company, which plans to share its vision at the annual conference (Dell- EMC World 2016) at Austin starting today, has brought in Greg Ambulos, former EMC channel boss, to support Dell’s global channel chief John Byrne to further bolster the channel agenda of the combined entity.

Market watchers perceive this appointment as yet another sign that Michael Dell intends to lean heavily on EMC’s channel expertise. Media reports in the US claims that the new entity has already initiated several program changes that include a move towards partner-led customer engagements.

In the article published on CRN, Michael Dell is quite succinct in his views on the channel business. He is quoted as saying: “It (channels) is becoming a larger part of our business, so therefore, it is more important. That’s pretty simple.”

And the reasons for this change aren’t far to perceive. The solutions that the combined entity offers require a bigger partner engagement. Of course, what matters is for the partners to be continuously innovating and enhancing their capabilities in the market space.

“Whether it is intelligence, Internet-of-things, data science, converged infrastructure, software-defined data centers or security, successful partners are the ones that figure out how to evolve with the changing requirements,” says Michael Dell.

Quite a paradigm shift for a company that began selling its PCs and laptops directly to the customer. Reports suggest that the company has been evaluating its customer base of the past three years and those identified to be partner centric could be given away to the channels to manage.

It is India and China

And which are the geographies that the company would focus its channel energies on? The appointment of Greg Ambulos suggests that the United States remains top of the agenda. However, in a recent published interview, Amit Midha, Dell EMC’s president of commercial business in the APAC region, indicates that the company has bigger plans.

“We will be hiring across the region, including India,” Midha, who is responsible for sales, business strategy and development, told BloombergQuint in an interaction (Read it here).

And when asked about the strategic significance of India over China, the official said that both the geographies were equally critical. “It is India and China and not about India or China,” he added.

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