Page 4 of 5
As much as Dell's channel has progressed with VARs, it's been just as successful internally with other parts of the organization, said Davis.
"It's come a long way. To say all 80,000 [employees] are there yet, no, I don't think so. Anytime you evolve a culture it takes more than a couple of years to do it. I do believe we're further ahead than I thought we'd be two years ago," Davis said. "With leadership around the company, the message is getting out and you see more engagement and collaboration. There still is work to be done, but we're getting there."
Davis has done an exceptional job of winning over Dell's product groups, according to Dell executives. When a Dell server won an award earlier this year, Davis blogged about it to publicize the success. It's that type of cross-pollination that has helped sway the technical groups toward the channel, Shaffer said.
"Two years ago, product groups wouldn't shoot me a note about the channel. Now it's rare if a week goes by that the server product group doesn't ask me what will the channel think about this, or what about a channel-dedicated product," Shaffer said.
In September, Dell held an event for almost 50 solution providers in California, one of its biggest partner gatherings to date. Davis asked Dell leaders from SMB, public sector, health care and large enterprise to speak to partners about their strategy for the business, how partners can engage with that strategy and the best way to engage with the Dell team. The feedback was overwhelming, Davis said.
"We don't do enough of those. We could do more of those around the country. Partners see tremendous value in it. We do see [the different Dell groups] beginning to understand how to engage with channel partners and channel partners are beginning to understand how to engage with them," he said.
NEXT: Feeling The Channel Love