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Dell Hires Cisco Canada President As New Global Channel Chief

‘I have a degree in getting things done. And getting things done really quickly,’ says Rola Dagher, Dell Technologies’ new global channel chief, in an interview with CRN.

Dell Technologies has a new global channel chief with the hiring of Rola Dagher, a former Cisco Systems and Dell executive who told CRN she is extremely excited to hit the ground running and empower partners unlike ever before.

“I will bring a different culture to the partner ecosystem that is based on purpose-first,” said Dagher in an interview with CRN. “Today, it’s all about stakeholders, and our partner ecosystem is the biggest stakeholder for us. I want to bring purpose. I want to bring impact. I want to bring empowerment because once you empower your partners and once you inspire them, you get out of their way to let them go out and make a huge impact through Dell Technologies.”

“I have a degree in getting things done,” she said. “And getting things done really quickly.”

[Related: The Top 50 Tech Companies Hiring During COVID-19]

Dagher comes back to Dell after serving three years as president of Cisco in Canada. Prior to Cisco, she held sales and leadership roles in Dell’s enterprise segment and Infrastructure Solutions Group (ISG), including vice president and general manager of ISG. She will lead Dell Technologies’ global channel partner strategy, vision, enablement, program design and partner experience.

Bill Scannell, president of global sales and customer operations, led the search for a new global channel leader after the departure of Joyce Mullen.

“The thing that jumped out at me about Rola was her passion, her track record of execution, an incredible desire to win—and not only to win, but win through the channel,” said Scannell in an interview with CRN. “I have no doubt that Rola is going to take us to new heights.”

Channel partners are bullish on the hiring of Dagher, who also helped lead the channel for Bell Canada for 13 years.

“I think it’s a big deal that Rola has both Cisco and Dell experience,” said Bob Venero, CEO of Holbrook, N.Y.-based solution provider Future Tech, a Dell EMC Titanium partner. “She has seen the evolution of Dell from a direct company to a channel powerhouse. That’s going to be a major value in that she is not starting from the ground up to understand where Dell has come from. The Cisco background is also very important because Cisco is almost 100 percent channel. There is no question she has the necessary channel DNA to make Dell even more successful in the channel.”

Partners praised Dell for thinking outside the box and choosing someone outside the organization for the worldwide channel chief job.

“I think it’s a great choice,” said Scott Winslow, president of Winslow Technology Group, a Waltham, Mass.-based Dell Titanium partner and 2019 CRN Triple Crown award winner. “She’s a Dell alumnus, so she’s familiar with the company and has great industry experience at Cisco. ... She’s going to have strong people around her as well. Bill Scannell, Gregg Ambulos, John Byrne, Cheryl Cook— there’s a strong support team there to keep the ball rolling down the field while she’s getting up to speed, which I don’t think will take her very long.”

In addition to the hiring of Dagher, Dell said that channel sales are now aligned to Dell’s North America and international sales leaders, John Byrne and Aongus Hegarty. The company is also introducing a new international channel lead in Diego Majdalani, who is president of the company’s Latin American division and will report to Hegarty.

“This allows us to have incredible size and scale like no other company in the industry,” said Scannell. “But also under our simple, predictable, profitable mission, it aligns the channel go-to-market and our sales go-to-market and puts everyone in alignment to drive further growth through the channel. As opposed to in the past where it was Joyce and her team, supported by me, now I’ve got all my sales leaders around the world with a vested interest in making sure we accelerate the growth of our channel.”

Scannell said having Dell’s most senior sales leaders in Byrne and Hegarty better aligned to the channel holds them more accountable.

“Now I can hold them accountable for the success of the channel,” said Scannell. “So as we come up with our go-to-market, strategy, vision and our programs, it’s not just Rola and I saying the channel is important, it’s every sales leader around the world saying, ‘OK, we got the marching orders. Now we’ll go execute and grow the business.’ So it’s much tighter alignment and accountability.”

Dagher, who officially begins her new role on Sept. 7, said she has one big message for Dell Technologies channel partners.

“Buckle up. It’s going to be an awesome ride,” she said. “Rest assured, Dell Technologies will be by your side every step of the way to help you transform to be where you need to be to meet our customers’ expectations.”

 

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