Michael Dell: New Channel Structure Creates More Growth Opportunities For Partners

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Keeping the channel business as a separate organization limited the growth of the business, said Michael Dell. "That limited the full potential of the business," he said. "Now we have taken that away. We can grow even more, and it's one seamless process. It just makes the whole thing simpler and easier."

Dell has said that the percentage of Dell sales going through the channel has the potential to at least double to as much as 60 percent of the company's commercial sales with no limit on just how high it could go.

When asked if the organizational changes will accelerate that momentum, he said: "It is really up to our partners. There is no reason why we can't get there faster."

Bob Venero, the CEO of Future Tech, a Holbrook, N.Y.-based Dell partner, No. 266 on the SP500, said he expects Dell to hit the $30 billion mark in channel sales in just three years as a result of the structural changes and a stepped up channel commitment as a private company.

"Dell has done a tremendous job in the channel going from a mindset that was 100 percent direct just six years ago to a $15 billion channel business," said Venero. "That is a momentous accomplishment. These changes are reducing a layer and making the sales engine of Dell more nimble. We are now a sales organization in alignment with Dell. The delineation between direct and indirect is becoming less and less."

Venero said he expects detailed account planning and mapping, which is already being done, to at least double as a result of the changes. "I think what you are going to see is a strategy that will accomplish both the partner's and Dell's goals," he said. "I see Dell now at the same top level with our other tier-one OEM partners. That is a very strong statement for a company that was 100 percent direct sales six years ago."

Dell said the company is already seeing a good number of partners selling across its entire enterprise solutions portfolio, and he expects even more to follow suit as the company steps up its moves to the new organizational structure. "We are seeing more and more of the partners building out their competencies across everything we do," he said. "That is absolutely what we are looking for."

Dell said he is "very optimistic" about the company's future as a private company building out a robust channel. "I continue to meet with channel partners on a regular basis and am super-impressed with the engagement and all the progress we are making. This is just going to accelerate it."

When asked just what kind of progress he expects Dell to make over the next year as a private company, Dell replied: "More channel love!"


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