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Dell EMC Doubles Down On Storage Services, Unifying Portfolio

Dell EMC executives are making sure partners have the competencies they need to sell the Dell EMC portfolio as well as their own services.

IT industry behemoths Dell and EMC came together officially over a year ago, but the integration of the combined company's services organization is ongoing. The company's leaders say partners will soon begin experiencing a more unified and efficient operation, especially in storage.

To that end, in January Dell EMC's ProDeploy and ProSupport (including ProSupport Plus) services will become available throughout more of the vendor's storage lineup.

"There were EMC and Dell platforms, and there was different branding for the services, and as of November, we've started a journey of unifying that and having ProDeploy as an offer set across the storage portfolio," said Erica Lambert, Dell EMC vice president of global channel services.

[Related: Dell EMC Ups Its Storage Game]

Dell EMC's services organization also has rolled out boosted incentives, including a 1.25 percent kicker added to every dollar of storage sales through Feb. 3, the end of Dell EMC's fiscal year.

"A lot of storage business is done over the next number of weeks," Lambert said, "and we're happy to support partners We want them taking advantage of the 1.25X kicker. Services are going to continue to be a critical part of the program." Ultimately, Lambert and other services leaders want partners to develop their own services to complement what they sell on Dell EMC paper, which seems to afford the most traction for the channel and the vendor, Lambert said.

"Our strongest partners are the ones that have their own capabilities and delivery practices," she said. "Those same partners have the highest level of services attach with Dell EMC. They're leading with services, and a customer-experience-centric point of view. They're winning, and they're winning for us."

Sonia St. Charles, CEO of Davenport Group, said she has positioned the Minneapolis-based solution provider for just that type of services go-to-market strategy. "We've hired that capability in-house because we didn't have it. Prior to that, we've used Dell to do fulfillment.

"We like to work with the customer from the beginning to end so we can do the ful¬fillment from beginning to end of whatever the solution is," she said.

The effort to unify the company's services portfolio started with the midrange Dell EMC Unity line, and will be rolled out across the entire storage portfolio beginning this month. Services offerings from Dell and EMC were similar, but bringing them under Dell's existing ProSupport and ProDeploy brands brings a more concrete integration to the suite.

Dell EMC has about 60,000 services personnel globally, about half of them working with the channel and "focused on making sure the support and deployment portfolio is aligned with the technology and outcomes [customers] are looking for," said Doug Schmitt, president of Dell EMC support and deployment services. "We're making sure from a sales perspective that the portfolio is unified, simplified."

Dell EMC's services organization also published line-of-business sales guides that help partners position their services offerings in the market, and educate them on how services can drive incremental sales and improve the overall customer experience. Services are a key component of partners' storage sales strategies, Lambert said, because they can help drive repeat business and help keep customers loyal.

"When partners sell with services, those customers come back and buy [more products] from us and we get incremental revenue," Lambert said. "The end user has a better experience. Services drives sticky customers and drives more overall opportunity for both our partners and Dell EMC. In storage, we need our partners attaching the right level of support service and selling the deployment capability, or developing their own to give the best experience for the customer that's getting that technology."

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