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Dell vows to be easier to work with

One of the main tenets of its channel strategy is to be simple and the firm has introduced a framework to simplify engagement for channel partners

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Dell Technologies has vowed to simplify how it does business with the channel promising to make improving life for its partners one of the main ambitions for 2018.

Speaking at Dell’s Global Partner Summit in Las Vegas, Dell’s channel chief, Joyce Mullen told partners: “We must make it easier for you to do more business with us…If we do nothing else, we must get this right. It is my number one priority.”

Partners have complained that cross-selling across Dell’s extensive portfolio of technologies is too complex.

As a result, Mullen this week announced the Dell Technologies Advantage framework, which has been designed to make it easier for channel partners to sell across its different businesses and improve the speed with which it provides quotes and pays rebates.

Dell “is finding a way to leverage the portfolio in as seamless a way as possible”, Marius Haas, president and chief commercial officer of Dell EMC, told Microscope, adding that part of the current complexity was caused in part by a greater than anticipated influx of net new VMware customers through Dell.

He said the vendor was looking to “create a capability where [partners] can get a simpler way of engaging the full portfolio under a single contract.”

Haas said it’s “a little tricky when you’ve got a separate, publicly-traded entity like VMware”, but that it is possible to “create an umbrella structure or framework where the ease of doing business with all of Dell technologies is top of mind.”

Elsewhere Mullen promised that by the end of year, partners will see a deal registration process that is “faster and more accurate.”

The exec said Dell was looking at a four hour-turnaround on deal registration responses, and 48 hours for storage, “and making sure it’s right the first time, at least 95 percent of the time.”

In addition, she vowed that the firm would get partners price quotes faster, with 80% of partners’ pricing requests back in four-hours.

Scott Miller, senior director of strategic partnerships at Dell Titanium Black partner, World Wide Technology (WWT) said while the Dell Technologies portfolio has been “positioned broadly as this great market opportunity, tactically there’s a lot of work to do in the field,” noting there are still multiple sales teams across all Dell’s businesses.

“I think Dell as a brand is very powerful, but it’s very hard for customers today to buy,” her told Microscope. “I don’t want to say it’s broken, but it’s awkward, clumsy. It seems like there’s a lack of efficiency…Our customers and our account team are looking for one throat to choke, and today there isn’t one.”

However, Miller said WWT was “bullish” about its partnership, and that “Dell is a great company to work with, and I think what Joyce Mullen is doing is very exciting.

“We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us to help them streamline efficiencies that make it easier for both us and our customers,” he added.

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