CRN Exclusive: Four Questions For Dell EMC Channel Chief Joyce Mullen

Mullen On Partner Power

Dell EMC's channel leader, Joyce Mullen, will be front and center at the  Global Partner Summit next month where thousands of partners will hear about the company's push around selling the whole Dell Technologies portfolio.

Mullen, an 18-year Dell veteran who became president of global channels, OEM and IoT solutions in November, said the company will unveil a specific program around selling the entire portfolio. "We will have a more specific program around this that we're going to talk about at Global Partner Summit," she said. In an interview with CRN, Mullen talks about the summit, which runs from April 30 to May 3, as well as Dell's focus on specific verticals at the edge.

How many partners are taking advantage of the full Dell Technologies portfolio?

We don't have a specific number for you, but we are going to be talking a lot about this at our Global Partner Summit. We know that there's an opportunity to help our partners put together solutions around these core transformations that includes assets from all across Dell Technologies portfolios. So we're working hard on trying to figure out how to build training and capability for our partners that allow them to put those pieces together in an easier way that should [increase] adoption. The partners who are figuring this out are finding there's a big services opportunity to pull all these pieces together, and we are absolutely seeing that with our fastest-growing partners. We will have a more specific program around this that we're going to talk about at Global Partner Summit, then we will be able to track those numbers efficiently.

What are three big themes that partners will hear at Global Partner Summit?

What we're going to be talking to partners about is this $3 trillion market. We're at $80 billion, there's tons of room to grow. We're specifically focusing this year on storage and data protection. There's a lot of improvements we've made in the last several quarters around our programs and support for the channel. We really want to see that turn into higher growth rates and we also want to continue to work with the channel to acquire new customers. There's a lot of customers out there that we're not touching and we know our partners can get to them. Those are the two primary areas. We're also trying to push services like crazy because we think our customers can have a much better experience when we collaborate with our channel partners to provide great services.

How is edge computing changing the way channel partners approach customers?

As we think about this broader opportunity for technology inside of these customers, we and our partners are also learning that you call on different people inside the company that you're maybe not used to. So you don’t just talk to the CIO anymore. Now you have to talk to the marketing guys, or the product development guys, the factory guys – it's a much broader universe. It's an amazing opportunity for our partners because touching all these other constituents inside of customers is not so easy, and that intimate knowledge that many of our partners have with these customers is a huge advantage.

Are there any certain verticals at the edge that Dell Technologies is focusing on?

In terms of the edge, we've actually chosen to focus primarily on a couple of different verticals: industrial automation, transportation and energy. We'll continue to expand those as we go forward. The edge examples that we're seeing in factories are around predictive maintenance and asset management. In energy, it's around predictive maintenance, asset management and process controls. There's a massive opportunity for all of our sellers to start helping customers see the possibilities as we start to increase the capabilities of compute at the edge and decision-making at the edge.

We started doing a couple of things with health care that are mostly built into medical devices, which we've been supporting for a very long time through our OEM business, but also hospital and patient monitoring, and pharmaceutical dispensing. All are cases where edge compute is very helpful and effective.