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Dell's UK channel boss identifies growth opportunities

He might have only been in the job for a matter of weeks but Rob Tomlin has already identified areas where the channel can reap rewards in 2019

Rob Tomlin might only have been the UK channel chief at Dell for a month and a handful of days but he has already generated some ideas around where the vendor can grow the indirect business.

He joined the vendor last month, coming from Tech Data Advanced Solutions, and a two decade long career in the channel that put him in the ideal position to replace Sarah Shields as vice president & general manager, UK & I channel & distribution, after she moved into a European role.

The first few weeks have been spent getting to know how Dell works and he had the advantage of already having worked with the vendor as a partner and a knowledge of the UK channel. Already though there have been some areas that Tomlin expects to be areas it can grow with existing partners and attract in some fresh blood to grow its share of the market.

"I felt that I could make a difference. I knew that with my experience and relationships that I could take what's already a winning business and help us achieve even bigger things," he said.

"I have to learn how I can be the ambassador for our channel in Dell and outside in our partners, linking together the end user and partner teams and building that trust that comes from winning together," he added.

He said that there was an opportunity to develop the core partners and ensure that they could take advantage of the digital transformation trend.

"At the same time we have the opportunity to enable lots of specialist partners that we do need in our portfolio in the future to come on board with us. We are delighted with the partners we have got because they are doing really well and they do scale but there is opportunity in the storage space, the IoT space and the AI space to work with existing partners and at the same time for us to onboard and enable specialist partners to take Dell Technologies to market," he said.

Storage has been a theme for the last 18 months and Tomlin said that would continue but it was also keen to make sure partners were there to pick up on the emerging business in other technology areas.

Other areas where Tomlin feels the channel can seize the opportunity include around hybrid cloud, with users coming to partners looking for more advice getting the right balance with a hybrid model.

"We are going to be focusing on enabling our partners focused on hybrid cloud to do more to support their customers. A lot of that is around skills but it is also about partnering together to go to market to reach the customers," he said.

Data protection and analytics has also been identified as an area where the channel can add some real value: "We think that market is going to grow massively. It already is and our numbers show it this year".

Plus those that have enjoyed the strength of the commercial PC market this year will be pleased to hear that desktop transformation will be a focus. "it is us providing great client products and working with our aligned businesses, VMware and RSA, to help our customers to drive that desktop transformation and we are enjoying great deals now and it will continue for years to come".

Other plans for next year will include helping the channel with the skills and recruitment issue to ensure that they can tackle some of the biggest headaches.

"Number one piece of feedback I get from partners is people, how do they go and recruit the future talent that will enable them to grow to the next level." he added that it would be working out next year on plans to help the channel identify the next generation of staffers.

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