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Dell UK boss talks of channel benefits

The recently appointed senior vice-president and general manager of Dell Technologies UK shares an update and discusses the major themes in the market

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It has been four months since Steve Young stepped into the UK senior vice-president and general manager director role at Dell Technologies, and it’s already clear to him where the channel can make a difference to the business.

Young came into Dell as a result of the EMC acquisition and has 21 years under his belt at the combined organisation. Having served in partner-facing roles, Young has a clear understanding of the benefit of the channel.

“I’ve always seen the huge value that the channel provides...the channel does three things: allows us to get to places we can’t get to, brings skills and capability and scale that we don’t have, and ultimately allows us to do business that we can’t do,” he added. “I recognise the importance, especially in this time when customers are looking for more.”

The past few months have been ones of gauging the state of the market and channel base and getting a picture of what’s happening in the market.

“Since the start in February, I spent a lot of time really listening to customers, partners and team members. I would say there’s been some major themes talked about, whether [by] public sector customers, big banks, big global banks, small and medium-sized companies, education, establishments, health service, and so on. The themes are all very similar, typically multicloud or hybrid cloud,” he said.

“Many organisations have made significant commitments to the public cloud. Whilst the public cloud is an answer, it’s not the answer for everything. So I think we’re seeing the honeymoon period is ending with a public cloud. People are more looking for public cloud-style services, no matter where their data and application sit,” he added.

The multicloud drive is clearly an opportunity for the vendor’s channel partners, and Young has seen security repeatedly come up in partner conversations.

“We’ve seen an increase in hacks into education organisations, the public sector, and critical national infrastructure. Hackers are becoming more active, whether they’re disgruntled employees or nation-state sponsored. People are getting hacked – and, people are realising that it’s going to happen,” said Young.

“It’s a case of, ‘What do we do when it does happen? How do we recover our most critical data and restore in our organisation, the events that have a ransomware attack?’. So, that’s been a major theme as well.”

The third theme that has emerged out of the conversations is the topic of hybrid working, which has seen a massive increase since the pandemic, added Young. 

The final theme is the idea of being able to offer and consume everything as a service (XaaS). The experiences customers have enjoyed with public cloud over the past few years have acted as a runway to encouraging a similar XaaS approach in other parts of their businesses.

“Organisations have been used to consuming public cloud as a service and are now looking for the ability to consume everything as a service. So whether it be infrastructure in your own datacentre, on the edge or via colocation, organisations are looking for that ability to consume XaaS and avoid large capital investments,” said Young.

The channel can expect Young to be a leader who focuses on being a customer-first one, nurturing the culture at Dell UK so it can be positive and collaborative.

“We’re collaboration-focused at this time where our customers are looking to do more, but with fewer more strategic partners. We cannot do everything and that’s why our channel partners, our system integrator partners and advisory partners are critical in the ecosystem that we build. With those organisations, we think we can deliver better outcomes to our customer.”

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