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MicroScope at 40: Rola Dagher, Dell Technologies

Dell’s channel chief shares her thoughts about the past and future of the channel as MicroScope marks its anniversary

As part of the ongoing celebration of MicroScope’s 40th anniversary, the publication continues to canvas views about the evolution and future of the channel from market leaders.

The latest to share her thoughts is Rola Dagher, global channel chief at Dell Technologies, who has witnessed plenty of change over her time in the industry.

How do you think the channel has changed over the past 40 years?

Though I can’t speak for the past 40 years, drawing on my 20+ years of experience, I’d say there’s been one major shift in the channel, and that’s a change in focus. The channel is no longer simply a space to sell competitively priced hardware. We’ve seen the channel evolve into an ecosystem, comprised of solution providers, distributors, OEMs, partners and more, who strategically solve customer needs for today and tomorrow.

To empower our partners to deliver in new and innovative ways, we’ve also evolved our partner programme, knocking down silos between partner types to provide a more streamlined partner experience, so partners can focus on their customers’ needs.

In this evolved model, the relationship we have with our partners is more important than ever. Our partner ecosystem is an extension of our team – they have the power of Dell Technologies behind them and they extend our reach with their skills and scale; their success is our success.

Where do you think the channel is going?

In the past few years, we’ve seen a massive acceleration of digital transformation and an increase in complexity, as customers relocated employees, shifted supply and changed how they interacted with vendors and customers. This led many into a multicloud solution by default – a hybrid of on-prem, off-prem, private and public cloud solutions. Together with our partners, we want to move our customers to multicloud by design.

Apex, our as-a-service solution, is all about delivering a cloud experience designed to meet our customers’ needs for simplicity, agility and control. These changes were accelerated by current events, and as-a-service and multicloud are here to stay.

The second shift is data. There has been an exponential growth in the amount of data that is generated, driven in part by edge solutions and multicloud. By 2025, Gartner predicts that 75% of enterprise-generated data will be created and processed outside a traditional centralised datacentre or cloud.

Partners that can successfully help their customers make sense of data, utilising insights from artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), for example, and who can help customers turn that data into actionable real-time decisions, will thrive.

Finally, we are seeing a heightened preference to work with companies that prioritise environmental, social and governance (ESG) requirements. In today’s world, a company’s value is measured not only on its financial performance or portfolio, but on its contributions to addressing social issues.

ESG priorities are part of the Dell Technologies DNA, and together with our partners, we can create solutions that will deliver positive impact. It’s another important differentiator when partners go to market with us.

How important is the channel?

In 2022, more than $1.3tn in enterprise IT spending is at stake from the shift to cloud, growing to almost $1.8tn in 2025, according to Gartner, and channel partners are key to capitalising on it. Partners maintain deep relations with their customers and are positioned to better understand customers’ current and future business needs. 

Our relationship with the channel is a two-way street, with partners utilising our solutions and providing feedback, via advisory boards and in-field interactions, that enables us to keep innovating across cloud, security, internet of things (IoT) and edge – to name a few – all while capturing the best outcomes for our customers and advancing their experience and relationships with us. 

The channel ecosystem is evolving and so is our industry. At Dell Technologies, our partner programme is also evolving to better meet the needs of our partner community. We are committed to the long-term success of our partners. We are on a journey together – and together, we stop at nothing.

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