Michael Dell: Customers need trusted advisors more than ever

Channel will be “super important” for cutting through complexity, says CEO of the hardware giant

The channel will play “a super important role” in creating next generation solutions for customers, according to Dell Technologies CEO Michael Dell.

Addressing partners gathered at the vendor’s Global Partner Summit (GPS) in Las Vegas, Dell said that now more than ever, customers need trusted advisors to help them navigate a new world of technology.

Describing the company’s 35-year history as “just a pre-game show”, the chief exec said “now with 5G and AI [artificial intelligence] and the blizzard of connected intelligent things, the build out of smart cities and the new requirements that exist at a vertical level – that last foot of customisation and solution development is very significant. Partners play a super important role in that.

“Having those solution skills, developing those solutions that help customers in this digital transformation are essential,” he added.

“It’s all about embracing and monetising emerging technologies,” said Joyce Mullen, president of global channel, OEM & IoT at Dell Technologies.

“As we look ahead, three to five years from now, things get really interesting. Products will become much more specialised, multi-clouds will expand and become more complex, artificial intelligence will become IT’s number one customer, creating a demand for data the likes of which we have never seen.”

This she said, is “incredibly good news” for partners. “This complexity means customers will need you more than ever. And of course, you’re going to need an understanding of the technology. But even more importantly, perhaps that you’re going to need an understanding of the businesses your customers are in.

“These are big changes coming. And they represent even bigger opportunities.”

Dell Technologies’ channel grew at 17 percent last year – more than overall company growth – and contributed more than 50 percent of the company’s overall revenues, globally.

“We have eight out of 10 new opportunities involving our channel partners,” said Dell, telling partners he was “greatly appreciative of the partnerships and trust and relationships we built together.”

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