CRN Exclusive: 5 Questions For New Dell EMC Global Channel Chief Joyce Mullen

Joyce Mullen: The 'Pit Bull'

Dell EMC's new president of global channels, OEM and IoT solutions, Joyce Mullen, said she's ready to step up to the plate to run Dell's $43 billion global channels business.

Dell President and Chief Commercial Officer Marius Haas touted Mullen as one of the brightest and talented executives in the company. Haas said Mullen "is an action-oriented individual" who is a go-to person in the company to get things done. "She is on it like a pit bull," he said.

Mullen, an 18-year Dell veteran, is currently senior vice president of OEM and Internet of Things solutions and has played key roles overseeing global strategy, planning and software alliances in her tenure. In an interview with CRN, Mullen talks about her channel strategy, vision and what changes partners can expect.

Should partners expect any channel changes with you at the helm?

There should be no expectation for a change of priorities or a change in how we're thinking about the channel or any of that. We're going to continue to build on the great foundation that John Byrne and his team have built. We need to execute on our priorities that are all trending in the right direction. We're going to figure out how to get in the middle of that and how to understand exactly what we can do to accelerate those trends. We need to finish this year really strong. We don’t want to disrupt the momentum going on right now. The whole point here is to continue with the strategy, the focus areas, the trends and figure out how to accelerate them.

What is your channel experience?

I've been around the channel a lot. So I've run the OEM business for quite some time and before that I ran [global alliances]. I used to work for Greg Davis when he ran the channel. So I have a bunch of experience. We have become part of the Partner Program that John Byrne built for the OEM business in the last year. This is definitely not brand-new territory for me. I'm looking forward to listening to all of our partners to try to figure out how to make this the best channel organization in the industry and certainly the best channel and sales force in the industry.

What's your first order of business?

I'm going to spend a little time with our APJ partners in Asia, but the whole plan for the next several weeks is to just listen to partners and understand from our team members and our partner community the good, the bad and the ugly. What do we need to do better? What are we doing well? What's really not working? That's generally where I've started in all my positions at Dell, just with huge ears listening and trying to figure out where we should put our energies and our focus and, obviously, John Byrne will be really helpful in that as well.

There's a bunch of materials that has come out of the [partner] advisory boards meetings over the last several weeks. That's a good starting point, but it's also really going to be helpful for me to hear first-hand from many of our partners on what exactly they want to see from us heading into next year.

What should partners expect from the integration of Dell's OEM and IoT business into the global channel organization?

The OEM business is a little bit of a different business. We sell to the development teams of customers and we also do the same through the partner network for the partner program for OEMs. So it's a relatively small set of partners who have the skills and capabilities to serve the OEM community that we've built so far, but we've been building that on the back of the channel program that John has built. So the OEM business is a pretty large business – very, very fragmented. It's over $100 billion and tons of different competitors that you normally don’t think of in that space. We have used some key partners to figure out how to expand our reach into those OEMs and also deliver important services and capabilities that we can't deliver ourselves. It's been growing successfully over the last several years. Mostly we really focused our effort in North America and we're now expanding that outside of the U.S.

What's your message to the channel?

I'm super excited to be doing this. We have a great foundation.

Our partners are telling us so far that we are on the right track and it's certainly showing up in the numbers. I got a chance to talk to several of them at the Global Partner Summit last year and heard about their improved experience with us and talked about how we can help grow their business together. We're going to build on the foundation that John's built. … I can't think of a better place that I'd rather be than at Dell Technologies during this part of history in terms of where the industry is going and what we're doing.