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Dell’s Path to Rebuilding Through Channel Partners
November 8, 2016
Dell’s Path to Rebuilding Through Channel Partners


When you think of Dell, what comes to mind? As a kid growing up in Texas, Dell and its iconic CEO were encouraging reminders that success and innovation could grow in the Lone Star State. Michael Dell was our Bill Gates. So much so that in 1991, our family never dared to consider any brand other than Dell when purchasing our first home computer. It was that machine which introduced me to design and coding and the internet – a platform that I never imagined would become such a centerpiece of my professional (and personal) life. And probably not  coincidentally, it was a Dell laptop that welcomed me into the workforce as a sales professional. I took care of that thing like newborn baby.

Dell Inc. – the “original” Dell – was founded in 1984, and played a huge part in constructing the landscape of personal technologies over the succeeding decades. But it’s Dell’s recent merger with fellow goliath EMC that’s given the company an entirely new future.

Now known as Dell Technologies, the restructuring—the largest tech merger in history—was to “redefine itself in emerging technologies.” And while the company has consistently offered some of the strongest and most diverse PC laptops in the industry, even the giants make mistakes.

In a recent blog post, Anurag Agrawal, CEO and analyst of Techaisle, spoke with Jeff McNaught, executive director and chief strategy officer of Dell cloud client-computing, and founder of Wyse Technology, a cloud-based company Dell acquired in 2012. As Agrawal puts it, Dell’s channel strategy “misstepped” when Wyse was first acquired.

The original plan behind the Wyse acquisition was to grow the business through Dell’s account executive channel that works directly with customers—more specifically, the midmarket and low-end of large enterprises. As Agrawal points out, McNaught admits “they over-indexed on that strategy.”

To restructure their channel, Agrawal says Dell is now on a “correction path” that increases its participation with the channel, which includes a 100 percent channel business model. McNaught says roughly 60% of Dell’s revenue comes from the channel, and the goal is to reach 70% by the end of 2016.

Dell has plans to implement several initiatives, including aligning employees with distributors and getting individual channel members into roles that provide better training and increased communications. This restructuring strategy is built around three tenets:

  1. Education: Training channel partners on Dell’s product offerings and how they affect the SMB market
  2. Development: Providing solutions and use cases, and transferring that expertise to channel partners
  3. Support: Providing an effective, efficient pre-sales support to channel partners out of the gate

Ultimately, the goal is to get Wyse back into the position it was before the acquisition. Moving forward, the company will need a strong channel partner base to succeed.

Dell’s restructuring is clearly built around a contemporary vision of channel enablement. And when viewed from a more comprehensive vantage point, Dell’s situation is representative of a modern reformation of channel networks. In other words, the tech giant faces the same problems that many SMBs face.

Modernizing the channel takes careful considerations—and partner sales acceleration is one of the most effective ways to grow a business faster, make it more efficient, and increase its agility. From improving sales efficacy and speeding-up sales cycles, to increasing efficiency by cutting customer acquisition costs, centralizing and simplifying channel efforts is proven to drives sales and increases revenue unlike any other strategy in business.

Daniel Graff-Radford
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