Dell EMC is driving tighter alignment with VMware to make it easier and more profitable for solution providers to sell combined Dell EMC-VMware offerings.
"In August, we made it so partners can now buy VMware directly from Dell EMC. We've seen some very good success from that. Huge uptick there. We will expand that this year [into other countries]," said Marius Haas, president and chief commercial officer at Dell EMC, in an interview with CRN. "That's part of what partners have asked for: 'Make it easier for me to buy Dell Technologies assets all in one place, and simplify that whole procurement process.'"
The Hopkinton, Mass.-based company also is looking to give partners credit for all revenue generated across the Dell Technologies portfolio in regard to tier status in the Dell EMC partner program, according to Haas.
Joyce Mullen, Dell EMC's president of global channel, OEM and IoT solutions, told CRN she's striving to make it "as easy as possible" for partners to buy Dell Technologies assets in a simplified way.
"We're looking at trying to figure out how to give credit for training that a partner does in a VMware program, maybe make that training credit apply to the Dell EMC program, for example, if they want to buy it from us," said Mullen. "We're trying to look at different ways to simplify this so that the partners have to train once on the same content, but it maybe will apply to both programs. So we're looking at things like that."
Dell EMC also is looking to create more VMware synergies on the hyper-converged infrastructure front with VxRail and has transitioned to a Dell server architecture model with VxRail. "We did that for the main markets, but we didn’t do it around the globe. Now it's coming around the globe extremely fast," he said.
One channel source close to Dell EMC and VMware, who did not want to be identified, said the collaboration between the two companies is proceeding at a breakneck pace.
In fact, he said, the two companies have combined on a VxRail test-drive program that far exceeded sales lead expectations in the channel. "The Dell EMC-VMware sales engagement in the field has never been better," said the source.
Partners also are seeing success in VMware and Dell EMC attach rates, said Haas. "We had many partners buying from us direct that wanted to buy the whole portfolio, yet they have to still go to VMware. We said, 'Why don't we just simplify all of that?'" he said. "It allows partners to quickly get the whole portfolio, one-stop shop, one contract and go."
Michael Tanenhaus, CEO of Mavenspire, an Annapolis, Md.-based solution provider and Dell EMC partner, said a tighter VMware-Dell strategy helps remove friction and build business momentum.
"When you're talking about how to grow the business, it's all about momentum. When a manufacturer puts friction in the process, it slows you down. It hurts your growth, your ability to engage and you can do only so many deals per month. So as you pull friction out of the process, you go faster. So I would put this in the category of friction remover," said Tanenhaus. "We can accelerate a little bit faster because the friction is out."
Another area Dell plans to create better VMware synergy is in security. Haas touted VMware's top-notch security offerings, such as AppDefense and AirWatch, as products that fit well together with Dell's security portfolio including RSA and SecureWorks.
"There's absolutely an opportunity for us to take this whole thing end to end and show you how to secure every device, every application on that device, secure the transmissions, secure and monitor your infrastructure – it's endless around what we should be able to do with our partner ecosystem around those," said Haas.