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Channel has reasons to be optimistic, says Dell

Dell’s UK channel boss has outlined the reasons why partners are cautiously optimistic about the rest of the year

There are many reasons why the channel can feel optimistic about the second half of the year and the prospects going forward, according to Dell's UK channel boss.

Rob Tomlin, vice president UK Channel at Dell Technologies, has recently returned from the vendor's Tech World event and has been taking the temperature across the partner base as they react to the current economic headwinds.

"The general consensus and feedback from the biggest partners to the midsize partners to the boutique partners, is cautious optimism," he said.

He added that technology was seen as an answer to many customer needs and partners saw risks for those users that chose to stop investing.

"All the partners were saying to me, 'Look, customers don't have a choice - they have to do something because doing nothing is not an option'. They talked about security and data as well, as the biggest challenges that customers are talking about," he said.

"The partners are thriving in being trusted advisors to their customers and [helping them work out] where to go next."

Tomlin said that those partners involved in datacentres were in a good position; those able to navigate customers through multi-cloud environments were also showing resilience; as well as those able to help users solve security concerns.

The recent Tech World event also provided more support for partners that sell Microsoft, VMware and Red Hat applications, through a greater number of pre-built solutions that can be taken to market.

The event also shone a spotlight on AI, with the channel given a nudge to take a closer look at what the technology could deliver.

"The other big one is the role of figuring out how to take advantage of AI. It's probably as big an opportunity for channel partners as virtualisation was 20 years ago. And what do I mean by that - because AI as a statement is a very confusing statement? But actually it's for customers that have got software that need GPU acceleration. Just like when it was customers that had 100 servers that can be made into 20 servers, right? Similar conversation," he said.

"Partners are trying to figure out how they quickly build practices that will go to that software ISP or that customer that's got large workloads and turn what we make into solutions," he added.

Another reason for the channel to be optimistic about the future is around the transition to Windows 11, which can be seen as an opportunity framed in helping users improve their workplace environments.

"Partners are trying to accelerate customers to value on the Windows 11 transition in the workspace, to provide a work-from-anywhere workspace. There is a seven million unit opportunity from a product that was bought three or four years ago, which is Windows 10 or 7," he said.

"Our partners are brilliant at selling workspace solutions and they are trying to show customers that you can't not transition and there's a big opportunity there. That will hopefully bring the PC market back into growth - as the analysts predict in the back end of the year." He added that to encourage activity Dell has launched the 100 Club programme, to help partners find deals of 100 units plus.

Tomlin said that partners had also embraced its Apex "everything as a service" offering, which also saw some enhancements at Dell World, and all of the vendor's UK distributors were in a position to deliver Apex.

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