Dell: Channel Partners Leading Generative AI Charge

Every conversation we have with our partners includes gen AI, says a Dell channel exec.

Christine Horton, Contributing Editor

May 10, 2024

3 Min Read
Dell and generative AI for partners
Gunay Rahimova/Shutterstock

The current clamor around generative AI has reached almost deafening levels – with the channel making some of the loudest noise.

“Each conversation we have with our partners includes a generative AI discussion,” said Ian Heath, Dell’s UK channel and distribution lead. “The momentum in the channel absolutely matches the enthusiasm we’re seeing everywhere else. Gen AI is an industry game-changer and brings so many new growth opportunities to our partners.”

Dell's Ian Heath

Heath said partners are excited AI’s unprecedented potential for productivity and innovation. He pointed out the opportunity for distributors, in particular, to use intelligent business systems that deliver data-driven decisions and valuable insights.

“They’re really leading the way,” he said.

2024: Generative AI Will Move from Concept to Reality

Heath’s remarks follow Dell research that shows the U.K. is ahead in generative AI implementation compared to other markets. Globally, 58% of respondents describe themselves as being "early to mid-stage" in their gen AI journey. That figure leaps to 71% in the U.K.

“Pretty much all customers are at some stage of gen AI strategy development and are looking for trusted advisors,” he said. “Our partners are standing ready to bridge the gaps in customers’ resources with AI solutions and expertise that will help unlock the value within their data.”

Heath said this year generative AI will move from concept to reality for many partners and customers.

“AI will continue to revolutionise the way enterprises operate and, as a result, will represent a vast revenue value-creation opportunity for our partners. Businesses require highly specialised talent and infrastructure to scale AI at speed, and that is where channel partners can really lean into support. There’s a massive opportunity ahead. It’s an exciting time to partner with companies to help facilitate the AI market and take it to new heights.”

Greater Appetite For Gen AI, But Customers Don’t Know Where To Start

Dell’s channel leaders are talking with partners to understand how they’re using and budgeting for AI and their ambitions for the future.

“Though we are still seeing some hesitancy around gen AI deployment, attitudes are changing,” said Heath. “We’re seeing more and more use cases among partners and customers, as well as greater budget allocation toward AI adoption and deployment.”

However, Heath noted that some partners are encountering customers who want to embrace gen AI in their products and processes, but who possess little AI literacy.

“They don’t necessarily know what to do, where to start, or even what they want to deliver,” he said. “This hesitancy is entirely understandable. AI and gen AI workloads are a new class of workload – requiring a new class of open, modern innovation spanning the entire AI estate.”

This includes data layers and lakes, compute, networking, storage, data protection and AI software applications.

“Our partners will be vital in providing the expertise, resources and flexibility needed to deliver and deploy the AI solutions that customers demand. We are simplifying gen AI by providing procurement, management, operational and consulting services on how to approach a gen AI strategy while allowing customers to control their performance, location, security, and privacy," said Heath.

To support partners, Heath said Dell is developing a partner profiling and activation strategy. This will direct training, enablement and development resources to partners that possess AI services and capabilities.

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About the Author(s)

Christine Horton

Contributing Editor, Channel Futures

Christine Horton writes about all kinds of technology from a business perspective. Specializing in the IT sales channel, she is a former editor and now regular contributor to leading channel and business publications. She has a particular focus on EMEA for Channel Futures.

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