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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.”