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April 2018

Dell is deadly serious about the channel

Michael Dell has become a very vocal channel champion in recent years. You might hear people might talk about a Damascene conversion but it’s not often that you have a very public example of it, as the IT industry does with Dell. For many years, he was the channel’s harshest critic, frequently castigating it as an inefficient and expensive route to market and questioning its value to vendors and customers alike. Those well honed anti-channel credentials stood him and his company in good stead for many years while he portrayed Dell as an energetic young upstart taking on staid, slow moving rivals with a vested interest in maintaining an inefficient and expensive way of doing business. It worked because, to a certain extent, Dell was right, not necessarily about the sales channel but about the way it was being used. There was also the fact that, for some customers, having an engagement directly with the maker of IT products gave them a sense of importance and reassurance. Over time, however, it became clear that there were ...

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