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Dell EMC Revamps Federal Channel Partner Strategy With Distributors

Mark Haranas
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With 80 percent of Dell EMC’s federal sales coming via the channel, the company is creating a new distribution model while adding partner resources and reducing complexity when selling into the highly sought-after federal market.

The Round Rock, Texas-based storage and server leader will cut its federal distribution channel down to three distributors: Ingram Micro, Carahsoft and Arrow.

“We’re prioritizing relationships with these three distributors who have our same deep understanding of the federal space in order to provide the best possible support and service to our partners,” said Kelli Furrer, vice president of Federal Channel Sales at Dell EMC in an interview with CRN. “It’s a complicated federal contracting and acquisition process. We’ve set really stringent requirements for our distributors to ensure our entire channel community is getting the greatest possible support and feel confident in their ability to do so. These three have proven federal market expertise and the ability to deliver.”

[Related: 5 Things Partners Need To Know About The Game-Changing Dell Technologies Advantage Framework]

The Dell EMC Federal partner program, which is under the broader Dell EMC Partner Program umbrella, includes roughly 3,000 solution providers. Dell EMC owns a wide variety of federal accounts including the Army, Coast Guard, FBI, NASA, Navy, National Guard and Pentagon, according to the company’s website.

The revamped program will include new field sales and back-office resources to support partners in the new distribution model, according to Furrer.

“It’s really about simplifying the go-to-market strategy for our channel partners and distributors and make it easier to do business with Dell Technologies for our end customers. We’ve been able to add new benefits and rewards to each part of our program,” Furrer said. “In this new model, the partners are able to select one distribution and do all of their federal business through a single distributor.”

One theme that Arrow, Carahsoft and Ingram Micro have in common is they all sell the entire Dell Technologies solution stack. Dell EMC is part of the now publicly held Dell Technologies family of businesses, which also include VMware, Pivotal Software, RSA, Boomi, SecureWorks and Virtustream.

Dan McCormick, executive vice president of Davenport Group, a St. Paul, Minn.-based Dell EMC and Arrow partner and 2018 CRN Triple Crown Award winner, said the new federal strategy will better enable channel partners in the federal market.

“Arrow has expertise beyond just distribution. So having them along with Dell really helps us from a channel perspective focus on the pieces we do well without having to worry about some of the complexity of not just procuring the product, but also some of the enablement pieces out in the field as well,” said McCormick.

This month, the General Services Administration (GSA) announced a government wide enterprise agreement with Dell EMC for virtual computing services. The agreement provides agencies access to Dell solutions, specifically its VxRail products that GSA officials said will be leveraged in modernizing existing data centers.

“We see [Dell EMC’s] leadership happening everywhere even with the most recent GSA win with VxRail, which is a very important area we play in,” said McCormick. “Anytime that Dell EMC can help simplify the complex environment within the federal buying process, it allows the channel a good opportunity to step in with their unique value.”

Dell EMC’s federal business route to market includes one team focused on civilian services agencies, and another targeting the Department of Defense and intelligence organizations. Furrer said Dell EMC then works side by side with partners, including large system integrators, to drive federal sales across the board.

“We’re excited about additional support and services we’ll be providing to partners through this change. We’re looking for simplification and a more consistent rebate and incentive program across the channel,” Furrer said.

Mark Haranas

Mark Haranas is an assistant news editor and longtime journalist now covering cloud, multicloud, software, SaaS and channel partners at CRN. He speaks with world-renown CEOs and IT experts as well as covering breaking news and live events while also managing several CRN reporters. He can be reached at

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