Dell ‘making big bets’ on telco and edge

Vendor’s channel execs weigh in on market opportunity for partners at Global Channel Summit

Dell Technologies has listed telco and edge computing as lucrative opportunities for its channel partners.

“If you look at the investments the company is making, they are making two big bets. We’ve made it in telco, and we’ve made it in edge,” said Dell’s senior vice-president of global alliances, Denise Millard, adding that Dell wants to “capitalise on this shift to 5G”.

Millard made the comments at the Global Channel Summit at Dell Technologies World in Las Vegas this week.

Kyle Dufresne, Dell’s senior vice-president of OEM and edge, said the company spends more than $4.5bn on research and development (R&D) each year, and as part of that, Dell sees 5G as “a true enabler in the marketplace”.

“We see big telco providers as great partners – they are all looking to build out this capability,” said Dufresne.

“How do you create capabilities in the enterprise? These telco providers are looking to deploy this capability globally. All these things are far-reaching, they’re really complex to deploy and maintain. It’s just a great opportunity to work with you all and our telco providers to create these solutions in the marketplace.”

Dell is also pressing home to partners a reported $1.3tn market opportunity around edge computing. Millard referenced a recent IDC study that estimated that by 2024, more than 90% of operational processes will be deployed at the edge. Today the figure is 20%.

“It is at an unprecedented pace of growth,” she said. “The company is really leaning into partners, and it is an ecosystem play. Many of these solutions are going to require not just one partner, but multiple partners. It’s going to require every one of us in this room to go deliver on those solution areas.”

Dell also announced this week that it has added Dell Apex Cyber Recovery Services, a new managed service, to its infrastructure-as-a-service Apex (IaaS) portfolio. Millard described this as “an incredible opportunity for all of us, whether our partners embed that or resell it or underpin it, because many of them want to deliver as-a-service to their own customers”.

Dufresne added: “Data is being created everywhere. People are looking to make sure they protect themselves across all those attack surfaces. At the same time, if they do have a breach, it’s really important to be able to help them recover.”

Elsewhere, Cheryl Cook, Dell’s senior vice-president of global partner marketing, reiterated that it was working to provide partners with more flexibility and simplicity in their dealings. In February, the company announced that it was to combine its channel partner ecosystem with OEM and cloud to make life easier for partners that operate across different segments, she said.

“We simplified our partner programme, we equalised the benefits to better meet your needs so that you can do what’s right for the customer and maximise the partnership you have with Dell Technologies,” said Cook. “So, whether you’re embedding or reselling, all that counts.”

Also on stage, Dell global channel chief Rola Dagher thanked partners for their trust and loyalty. She said the vendor had built “one of the biggest and most lucrative partner programmes in the industry”.

Dell’s channel business is now worth $59bn, which Dagher said was testament to its partnerships. “$59bn – it’s a huge number,” she said. “Think about Adidas or Nike – it’s bigger. It’s more than the GDP of 116 countries.”

Dagher told partners: “You are the reason we have scale. You provide the skills and the knowledge needed to solve our customers’ problems and you are powering our success.”

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