Expanding into the channel has brought new vendor acquisition opportunities to Dell, as the vendor’s recent buyout of channel-focused storage vendor EqualLogic has proved.

EqualLogic became an acquisition target for Dell only recently, according to Paul Bell, president of Americas for the PC maker.

“It would have been much more difficult to do an EqualLogic acquisition six months ago,” Bell told Channel Insider. His company’s former direct-only sales model would have made it hard to buy any technology vendor with such a strong channel focus, he said,

By announcing earlier this year plans to introduce its own channel program, Dell increased the size of the pool for potential acquisitions to include channel-focused companies such as EqualLogic.

Dell announced last week its intentions to acquire the vendor for $1.4 billion.

Bell reaffirmed that the company plans to “preserve the EqualLogic channel program as much as possible” rather than absorb it into Dell’s own fledgling channel program.

Dell plans to make public the details of its new channel program in the next six weeks.