Michael Dell said the decision to become a private company is already paying off for both Dell and its partners.
Speaking at the inaugural Ingram Micro One event in New Orleans Thursday, Dell's CEO said the first quarter of 2014 was a hugely successful one for the company. Specifically, Michael Dell said the company experienced higher growth in the quarter than any of the previous five quarters. In addition, Dell's business with Ingram Micro saw a nearly 100 percent increase during the period.
"Since we're not a public company I can say stuff like this -- our business together grew 95 percent last quarter," Michael Dell told the audience. "Thank you, partners. We appreciate that."
Michael Dell said the company currently has 146,000 partners, but even with that number, he said there's still a tremendous amount of growth potential for Dell's Partner Direct program, which only accounts for about one-third of Dell's total business.
"Our channel program has evolved in a tremendous way. The momentum and growth is unparalleled," he said. "But it's only a third of our commercial business. And we think it can go to half, two-thirds, three-quarters. There's tons of upside."
One of the keys to that growth, Dell said, was taking the "best parts" of the channel programs of the companies that Dell has acquired in recent years, such as SonicWall and Quest Software. He also said those acquisitions have enabled Dell to bring more converged infrastructure solutions to market.
"You're now starting to see us integrate those [parts] together into new kinds of solutions," Dell said. As for the company's channel business growth this quarter, Dell said neither he nor his company is resting on their laurels. "We have a saying for 95 percent growth at Dell," he said. "It's called 'pleased but never satisfied.'"
Michael Goldstein, president and CEO of LAN Infotech, a Dell partner based in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., said Michael Dell's presence at the IMOne conference showed the company is serious about increasing its indirect sales business. He also said he's seen his Dell business continue to grow since Dell became a private company.
"To see him speaking here shows a real commitment to the channel," Goldstein said. "The 95 percent channel growth number was really impressive. Dell's been working very hard in the channel, both the Dell Direct team, my channel representatives, and the Ingram Micro folks, and that's been paying off for us."
PUBLISHED MAY 8, 2014