Dell sets lofty goals for its channel

What does Greg Davis do for an encore? The newly appointed worldwide channel chief for Dell (NASDAQ: DELL) said his career path has aligned with the PC maker’s channel objectives.

Dell is taking the Partner Direct program global, and with that Davis has been tasked to manage it on a worldwide basis.

After a year of doing business in the North America channel, Davis has set a lofty goal of becoming the preferred partner to the channel. A little over a year ago this goal would be considered nothing short of lunacy, but a lot has changed in a year’s time. Davis admitted to CDN that the company still needs to augment its strategy and deal with the change in philosophy, but the Round Rock, Tex.-based vendor is fully committed to its channel aspirations.

“Certainly, we know this is a long journey. The progress in the last year has been terrific, but there is plenty more to do and there is no reason why we shouldn’t aspire to that goal,” he said.

Dell’s channel team will still be headquartered in Round Rock. Another base of channel operation will be in Nashua, N.H., where EqualLogic, a company Dell acquired in 2008, is based. Bob Skelly will lead the EqualLogic effort for Dell and his role will be global in nature.

Initially, Davis worked along side Josh Clamen, who was European channel chief for Dell, but Clamen has moved to a public sector role and Davis assumed his responsibility for Europe and Asia.

“The next evolution of Partner Direct clearly is global. We see an opportunity to globalize many efforts as deal registration grows on a weekly basis with partners,” Davis said.

His approach to the European and Asian markets will be one of consistency. Dell wants to offer the same level of benefits for European and Asian partners as its North American partners, as well as export more best practices created here.

As for the U.S. and Canada specifically, these regions will still be part of Davis’ job. He’s not looking to hire a channel chief for each country. However, three Dell executives have been moved into leadership roles under Davis; Jim De Foe is now the Area vice-president, Americas Channels, Paul Shaffer will be the new director of global channel marketing and North American programs and operations, and Sean Phelan will be director of storage sales and advanced solutions group (US & Canada); Global Channels Group. Davis will share the Canadian responsibility with Shaffer.

In Europe, Davis will have Emmanuel Mouquet as his EMEA channel sales director and Kathy Schneider as his EMEA channels programs manager.

Davis said there are countries were the Dell value proposition is not as developed as it is in North America.

“Part of our growth and part of winning in those markets is integrating our go-to-market model, and that includes channels. The biggest challenge is creating consistent programs that create unique value-add in countries that may not be similar (to Canada and the U.S.),” he said.

Currently, Dell is in 148 countries that do business in 19 languages. “We can’t do everything at once,” he admitted. Dell’s channel team will attempt to streamline its portal site to create a global distinct advantage for channel partners. Dell’s global channel expansion is a “big job”, Davis said.

He’s counting on channel partners who have customers that are expanding globally as a way to quickly build Dell’s channel network worldwide.

“I think our structure gives us a unique advantage that we can offer partners. The challenge is to ensure that a lot of the partners want to grow globally. The successful ones that I have seen start with a particular set of customers that are expanding globally. They work with those customers and they have needs all over the world and they align with Dell,” he said.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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

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