Michael Dell: Cross Selling The Dell Technologies Portfolio Pays Off In Revenue Gains, Double Digit Channel Growth

Dell Technologies Chairman and CEO Michael Dell says the channel is reaping the rewards of the vendor's strategy to be all things IT to all customers, as the company makes share gains at the expense of its competitors and revels in better-than-expected sales.

It's been a year since Dell engineered the landmark $58 billion acquisition of data storage giant EMC, and through the first half of its first full fiscal year, the results have beaten forecasts, Dell said in an exclusive interview with CRN.

"We had a pretty aggressive plan, and for the first half of the year, we had about $2 billion more revenue than we planned for, and a lot of it was in the revenue synergies across Dell Technologies," Dell said. The company last week reported $37.1 billion in revenue for the first half.

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"There's a portfolio effect, which is to say that when a decision maker looks at the total portfolio, they say I'm going to bet on you guys, I'm not going to bet on the other guys. A large portion of that growth we're seeing – the double-digit growth in the first half with the channel – is share shift against some of the others, and there's a lot more where that came from, so we're excited.

Some recent market statistics seem to support Dell's argument.

In the second quarter, Dell EMC server revenue increased 7 percent to $2.8 billion and giving the Round Rock, Texas, company a 19.9 percent market share. Meanwhile, Dell EMC's chief rival and market leader HPE saw its revenue decline more than 9 percent, and its market share dip to 23 percent from 26 percent a year ago, according to numbers released this week by research firm Gartner Inc.

Dell said partners had a lot of success cross-selling Dell EMC servers and storage as part of a strategy to stay relevant in a rapidly changing infrastructure market.

"A lot of partners that were selling storage, now are selling storage and servers," Dell said. "They go together really well, and that's one of the reasons you're seeing upside on revenue synergies."

"For storage partners, there are two choices: one is continue with what you're doing and grow in the faster-growing areas like converged, hyper-converged, unstructured data, Isilon, software-defined," Dell said. "Then, the other choice is you can add servers from the No. 1 provider of servers in the world, and it's all Dell EMC."

Michael Goldstein, CEO of LAN Infotech, a Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., solution provider that works with Dell Technologies, said the integration of the Dell Technologies family of companies "went better than anyone assumed it would." He adds that the ease with which LAN Infotech can cross sell that portfolio puts the company on pace for 15 to 20 percent more revenue with Dell than its other vendor partners.

"It gives us the ability to cross sell products that before, we'd have to start trying to find a relationship," Goldstein said.

"It's easier to know where to go. We see it on the security side, on the networking side. It's great to have the one place to go. As our landscape is changing, I don't have to research other sources. I call the Dell team, and there's something that's in there that fits," Goldstein said.

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"RSA has been good for us on the security side. I'm already a Dell partner, and a third of the hard work is already done for you because you're already in the system.

"I'm looking for information on data protection, and the partner portal is amazing. It gives ideas rather than Googling what we're going to do."