In addition to unifying the Dell EMC channel, the company is implementing a raft of new initiatives that will affect channel partners.
There are roughly 3,000 Dell partners and 800 active EMC partners. Roughly $35 billion in revenue is generated by channel partners, which now represents 40 percent of Dell EMC’s total revenues. Collectively, the Dell EMC channel now services 20,000 customer accounts.
Although there is a 60 percent overlap between EMC and Dell partners going into the merger, there’s only a 20 percent overlap in customer base. Between the internal sales force and the channel, Dell now has more than 40,000 salespeople at its disposal.
While still a work in progress, Dell EMC plans to reclassify every partner using Gold, Platinum, Titanium and Titanium Black tiers. Each partner will be assigned a classification based on the amount of revenue it generates in a specific region or market segment, the total amount of Dell EMC products and services they regularly attach to their deals, and the share of total wallet. In return, partners gain more access to pre- and post-sales support.
There are three main sales organizations inside Dell Technologies. Marius Haas, formerly of Dell, is president and chief commercial officer of the group to which John Byrne, as global channel chief, reports. Bill Scannell, formerly of EMC, is president of Enterprise Sales, which covers roughly 3,200 customer accounts. Jeff Clarke, formerly of Dell, leads the PC group as vice chairman of operations and president for Client Solutions. As head of the unified channel, Byrne has a dotted-line reporting relationship with both Scannell and Clarke.
Dell EMC will not compensate salespeople that take a deal registered by a partner direct. A second offense will result in termination. Dell partners will be able to register deal confirmations from Dell EMC in 2.7 hours.
Partners can claim they have established a relationship as primary IT services providers with certain customers that prevents other partners from poaching business unless the end customer specifically chooses them. Dell EMC will set up a committee to review conflicts and determine actual customer choice. Previously, EMC had a “hard deck” identifying top-end customers that would be serviced directly by EMC, but it turned out that 50 percent of the business generated by those customers still flowed through channel partners. The LOB incumbency approach is first being applied to storage partners.
The combined Dell EMC portfolio is three times larger than any rival. But Dell EMC currently claims only 10 percent of the available IT market. Dell EMC will be focused heavily on increased services attach rates for its products. It also intends to build a competitive lab to identify competitor weaknesses.
Dell EMC is using its combined financial muscle to create an OpenScale Payment Solutions option through which end customers can lease IT infrastructure under a subscription model. Dell EMC anticipates that large portions of its customer base will be shifting from capital expense to operational expense models to fund IT infrastructure. Many channel partners will have to adjust their business models accordingly.
Dell EMC has an existing hybrid cloud partnership in place with Microsoft involving Azure. Virtustream provides a public cloud that focuses primarily on higher-end ERP applications requiring low-latency infrastructure. Virtustream will soon add PowerEdge servers to its service. Dell EMC is also expected to develop closer ties to VMware vCloud Air platform operated by its sister company.
The Dell EMC Converged Systems Group, formerly the VCE unit of EMC, will continue to OEM Cisco servers and switches in the high-end segment of its Vblocks line. Dell EMC partners concerned about partnering with Cisco are being asked to embrace other racks and appliances in the portfolio.
All server platforms will be based on the PowerEdge servers originally developed by Dell. Partners can also opt to employ a range of switch options for those platforms. Dell EMC hyperconverged systems are optimized for VMware. The Nutanix systems Dell EMC resells are being positioned for other hypervisors.
This all-flash group within the storage portfolio now generates more than $3 billion in sales across 3,000 customers. Next year, Dell EMC will deliver integration between XtremIO storage systems and the Dell FluidOS platform to create a new unified block and file storage platform.
While the Dell and EMC IT infrastructure channels are being unified, many service providers will report to Tom Burns, senior vice president and general manager for Dell EMC Networking, Enterprise Infrastructure and Service Provider Solutions. The Dell Boomi business unit continues to operate a separate channel aimed primarily at integrators using the integration platform-as-a-service (iPaaS) platforms.
Despite the size of the existing product portfolio and the billions of dollars of debt incurred to create the new entity, Michael Dell vows there are more acquisitions to come.