Partners Hail Dell $24.9 Billion-Buyout Completion As Channel Game Changer


Jed Ayres, the senior vice president of partner management and marketing for MCPc, the $262 million Cleveland, Ohio, national solution provider ranked No. 89 on the SP500, said he is "thrilled" that Dell is now a privately held company.

"We were all rooting for Michael," he said. "This is awesome! It allows Dell to look past 90-day windows and start thinking about the business in a much longer cycle from ... a customer, technology and partner perspective. This is an inflection point that is going to give Dell a competitive advantage."

That competitive advantage is going to spark even greater growth for partners like MCPc, whose Dell sales are already up 50 percent compared to one year ago, said Ayres.

Dell has put together a 22-member national partner program, which Ayres said he views as the best of all the major vendors including Hewlett-Packard, Cisco and NetApp. "I believe the Dell program is the richest and gives us the best support and ability to plan of all the major vendors," he said.

The Dell program puts growth targets on each segment of the business from client to servers and storage and provides national partners with lucrative rebates with 50 percent of those payouts reinvested back into the partnership, said Ayres.

Ayres said he sees a private Dell moving even more quickly to build out a channel offering that is more strategically aligned with partners and offers more detailed account mapping and planning. "Dell is aligning with us in a much more meaningful way," he said.

Partners credit Dell with driving a dramatic change in the direct sales culture at Dell with an influx of new channel talent including the appointment of Frank Vitagliano, a 40-year channel veteran who joined Dell six months ago as vice president of channel sales.

Michael Goldstein, president and CEO of LAN Infotech, a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., channel partner, said he sees big new channel investments coming from Dell now that the company is private. "It's coming right from the top from Michael," he said. "And bringing talent like Vitagliano to the company shows the channel commitment."

Besides deeper channel investments, Goldstein said he expects a stepped up pace of acquisitions aimed at delivering more rapid product and services innovation. "Michael has always been a great innovator," he said. "You are going to see more acquisitions with the company moving quicker."

One sign of innovation at Dell, said Goldstein, is the new Dell PowerEdge VRTX midmarket SAN in a box. "VRTX is a phenomenal product," he said. "I don't think anyone has anything like it. It's a great start. We're looking forward to seeing more products like that."

PUBLISHED OCT. 29, 2013