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Michael Dell On Dell Going Public And Its 'Best Year Ever'

‘We think the demand is going to continue to be very strong in 2019. The momentum we have in the channel is quite strong. It's a very different company than it was five or 10 years ago,’ Dell founder and CEO Michael Dell tells CRN in an exclusive interview.

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Talk about Dell's channel growth in 2018 and strategy for 2019.

[Channel revenue] grew 21 percent in the third quarter [year over year]. It's right in line with the business. We have $49 billion in orders through our channel partners, so lots of success. What's happening in the technology world is technology is no longer just in the IT department because companies are having to reimagine themselves in the world of AI, everything becoming intelligent and digitally connected, and massive increases in the amount of data. So that becomes the priority for the business line executives and for the chief executive of the company. It's not the IT department that has to run the general ledger or the MRP [materials requirements planning] system. It's, 'How do you actually make your products and services better with technology?' If you don't do that, your competitors may do it, or some new company will come along and you'll be [taken over by] an Uber or Airbnb. So customers are all in on the digital transformation that requires all kinds of new capabilities. Partners are jumping into this. They're having to evolve their capabilities. We've all been doing this for a long time. The successful companies are the ones that evolve. It's change or die. It's quick or dead. It's no different than it was, it's just now going faster and faster.

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