Dell puts no limits on its channel growth

AUSTIN, TEX. – I’m back home after spending a week at the Dell World 2014 conference. It was my first time at Dell World. Actually it’s the first ever Dell show that I took part in outside of my home city of Toronto.

The Dell executives I spoke to at the show – both Canadian and American – are over the moon at the results from Dell World 2014. Several key executives told me the event far exceeded objectives. Dell World had record breaking attendance at just over 6,000 people. More than 600 of those were channel partners many of them compete partners who showed up to Dell World because they did not agree with HP’s decision to split. I should point out that the channel partner executives I spoke to told me they understand why HP decided to split and have accepted it.

But this is good news for Dell because it shows that loyal partners from other vendors are interested in what they have to offer. Further proof of this is that HP held a party Wednesday night in downtown Austin where they invited channel partners attending Dell World.

I was told this by a few channel partners from both Canada and the U.S. and they did not like the tactic at all and were not planning on going. I asked around the next day to find out how successful the HP party was, but no one I spoke to had any details.

We all know that Dell changed its stripes seven years ago when they launched the PartnerDirect channel program and began embracing the solution provider community. Several Dell executives admitted the channel journey has been slow, but they are committed to it.

Michael Dell, the CEO of the company, said at the show that there is no limit put on channel growth. Currently more than 40 per cent of Dell’s worldwide revenue is through the channel. They expect that to grow significantly now that they have entered tier 2 distribution through alliances with Ingram Micro, Tech Data and Synnex.

One market analyst said don’t be surprised when Dell reaches 90 per cent channel business in three years. I think that’s a bit ambitious myself but I can see Dell getting to 70 per cent in three years if they can execute on their new tier 2 strategy in all regions. At the very least Dell has now positioned itself as a strong alternative to HP with the channel and the service providers.

One quick hit before I go. Long-time senior leader for Softchoice Steve Leslie as left the organization. CDN was told that Leslie did not leave Softchoice for another job and that his presence will be sorely missed. CDN wishes Leslie the very best.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Former editor of Computer Dealer News, covering Canada's IT channel community.

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