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Dell’s Jim DeFoe On Retirement, Michael Dell And Advice To Partners

‘The commitment that [CEO] Michael [Dell] has and the passion that Michael has is pretty amazing,’ says Jim DeFoe, senior vice president of Global Distribution for Dell.

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What was your role after Dell’s market-shaking acquisition of EMC?

My focus during the EMC merger was around the distribution standpoint. As we looked at the integration of distribution business and then the overall partner program, we wanted to drive some key principals that we continue to have today. The principals around making the program simple, making it predictable, making it profitable for our partners and distributors.

One unique aspect of our distribution business is when we combined the two companies, if you look at the amount of distributors that we had, we ended up with well over 350 distributors worldwide. We looked at that and wanted to make sure we had the right set of distributors – both from a local standpoint but also from a global standpoint. So we went through a rationalization strategy and really focused on getting a set of distributors that were both local and global that could really train and enable our partners, specifically Gold and Authorized status partners, to be able to sell the complete end-to-end solution from Dell Technologies. So we went through a rationalization strategy. That 350-plus distributors are down to less than 180 today. It was quite an undertaking.

Do you expect Dell to continue to consolidate distribution?

You’ll probably continue to see us do a little more of that – rationalization over the next year or so. It is really to drive more opportunity to a fewer set of regional and global distributors that we can help influence this market.

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