What you see is what you get with Steve Dallman, the new head of Intel’s global reseller division.
He’s outgoing, thoughtful, witty and candid. Asked in an interview to name his biggest mistake, he replied, “My first wife.” An Intel PR rep with him then buried her face in her hands. When the laughter died down, he explained that “I married too young.”
Then he gave the following advice: “We all take work home, but you can’t do it all the time there. When you do stop, get it out of your brain and just focus on your family. One good hour (with them) is better than five half-hours.”
Here’s what else he had to say:
CDN: In your new position what are your priorities?
Steve Dallman: We need to have a very healthy channel, and I define health as, ‘Are they making money on our products, and do their customers want to buy them?’ And so I look at our distributor health, which means a good supply and steady logistics. When I look at our partners, I go ‘Are they profitable, are they making money? What are the things we need to do to make them profitable?’ That gets into training, communications, time to market on products and the ability to advocate and sell and get the value that’s coming out of the products.’ The final thing is what more can we do for Intel salesmen that frees up their time so they can start working with their customers on marketing solutions.
CDN: How do you go to market differently in Europe than Canada?
SD: I’ve only made one trip…(but) when you go into Europe you’re dealing with the European Union and each country seems to have a different kind of style and flavour to it. It seems like every other sentence when I’m in Italy has to do with style and flair or the look. They’re very focused on that. In the U.S. and Canada there’s a certain level of utility and tremendous focus on the price point.
CDN: What was your impression (in your previous post) about your Canadian partners?
SD: What I really noticed is they’re highly customer-focused. They’re kind of innovative in how they’ve approached the market – they’ll have little areas where they can talk and discuss things with the customer. They really emphasize the one-on-one.
CDN: Canadian system builders I’ve talked to aren’t enthusiastic about the Verified By Intel program [where they can build custom laptops].
SD: We haven’t had the supply and logistics solutions that I think we really needed to make the VBI market really gel. It got off to a bumpy start the first half of last year. It finally got some traction in the second half of the year. So we’re out looking for a different supply aggregator solution and hopefully by doing that we’ll be able to better manage it into Canada.
CDN: What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned?
SD: Talking to our customers. Not just talking to them about how’s business, but about them and why they’re in this business. If you start understanding what really motivates them and why they get up in the morning and why they get excited about the technology, you embrace that. Then what you do and the things you bring them tend to be much more powerful, and you end up developing a relationship. That’s why last year when there were motherboard and chip shortages I felt like I’d betrayed everybody.