PC Maker Dell Adds Channel Veteran to PartnerDirect Team

By Jessica Davis  |  Print this article Print

Channel veteran Nancy Reynolds' appointment by Dell to its channel team marks the first time the PC maker has hired an external channel veteran. The rest of Dell's channel executives were promoted from within the formerly direct-only company, or joined when Dell acquired their companies.

Channel veteran Nancy Reynolds’ appointment by Dell to the position of director of business strategy for the PC maker’s year-and-a-half-old channel program, focusing on the large enterprise sector, very well may be the signal solution providers are looking for that Dell is serious about the channel.

After all, while Dell announced plans to create a formal channel program two years ago, and implemented that program in December 2007, it did so with a staff of channel executives that were Dell veterans, not channel veterans. The channel veterans Dell did claim as part of its team were gained through the acquisition of other companies—not through hiring channel veterans directly.

So the hiring of Reynolds, who has spent 17 years in channel operations at Novell, Trend Micro and Palo Alto Networks, could very well signal a change for Dell—one that shows that Dell really is serious about adding professionals with channel DNA to the team.

Reynolds, who has been on the job at Dell for a month now, reports to Dell’s global channel chief Greg Davis and is spending her first 90 days learning the ropes at Dell and out in the field talking to Dell partners.

"Dell has done a tremendous job in building out channel infrastructure globally," Reynolds tells Channel Insider. "I’m working to identify gaps in the infrastructure by region and segment."

And in her early meetings with partners, Reynolds says she’s hearing positive feedback. But partners also say they see room for improvement, according to Reynolds.

"Partners need to know that Dell has their back and that Dell won’t let them down in the face of the customer," Reynolds says. And that’s something that Reynolds, as a channel veteran, can bring to Dell, a relative channel newbie.

"They are new to the channel and how it’s done," she says. "They were looking for some outside expertise from someone who has worked with the channel in the past.

"If I’m the first [channel veteran hired from outside] I don’t think I’ll be the only," she says.

And Reynolds has a promise for Dell partners.

"My goal is to deliver for the partners," she says. "Dell is very good at delivering for corporate. I need to make sure partners are the winners throughout the exchange. That’s the only way we will grow."

Jessica Davis covers the channel for eWeek and Channel Insider. Her technology journalism career began well before anyone heard of the World Wide Web and has included stints at Infoworld, Electronic News/EDN, and the Philadelphia Business Journal. Her work has also appeared on CNN and Forbes.com. She has covered hardware, software and networking, as well as the business side of technology. She has won several journalism awards, including a national ASBPE award for best staff-written column, and was named Marketing Computers hardest working tech journalist on their inaugural list of top tech journalists. Jessica can be reached at jessica.davis@ziffdavisenterprise.com