“Partners are central to everything we do,” said Varun Chhabra, senior vice president of Dell Technologies.

Kelly Teal, Contributing Editor

October 9, 2019

3 Min Read
Partner programs

Expect to see a host of partner enablement tools some time in 2020 after Dell Technologies Cloud perfects some behind-the-scenes work for its recently launched data center-as-a-service-platform.

That word comes from Varun Chhabra, senior vice president of Dell Technologies.


Dell Technologies’ Varun Chhabra

“Partners are central to everything we do,” he told Channel Futures in an exclusive interview.

To that end, the company is crafting strategies for partners that it can’t yet discuss, but that it will unveil next year. These in-progress efforts will support partners selling VMware Cloud on Dell EMC, which Dell just announced in April at Dell Technologies World. Dell is working with a limited set of partners to put that program together.

“We’re trying to make sure we get the partner program really well thought out,” Chhabra said.

VMware Cloud on Dell EMC is Dell’s answer to the hybrid cloud. The offering pairs Dell EMC’s VxRail hyperconverged infrastructure with VMware’s cloud software and resides in the enterprise’s data center or edge location. It’s very similar to what Amazon Web Services has structured with Outposts — except Dell has more extensive experience and knowledge operating within customers’ walls.

The data center-as-a-service platform should appeal to partners whose enterprises must comply with regulations for workloads such as finance or health care, while seeking to take advantage of cloud capabilities.

The new product also bodes well for organizations looking for options that allow for easy remote management and visibility.


VMware’s Kit Colbert

“We’re seeing a lot of interest from customers who have many edge locations without IT staff present,” Kit Colbert, vice president and cloud CTO, cloud platforms business unit, at VMware, wrote in an Aug. 26 blog.

Chhabra agreed. Today, Dell Technologies manages the data center infrastructure while enterprises can access their applications through an interface. That way, trained people do not have to be on-site to handle issues that might arise (outside of any equipment failure, of course), or to make adjustments to services.

“We’re bringing cloud experience, agility and portal-based access to workloads in the data center or the edge,” Chhabra told Channel Futures.

But Chhabra sees more opportunity for partners beyond resale of VMware Cloud on Dell EMC, and Dell’s other new cloud offerings. Enterprises will need help with data protection and backup, availability, bursting and other “building blocks” of their clouds, as Chhabra put it. Procurement, management and the like will no longer be enough. Managed service providers and other partners willing to provide higher-value add-on assistance will set themselves apart from the crowd – a sentiment Channel Futures has promoted for years.

Dell intends to enable those greater capabilities, Chhabra said. And when it comes to partners and VMware Cloud on Dell EMC in particular, look for Dell to release details over the coming months.

“We’re designing the program for what we want to do. We think this will enable a whole host of opportunities for our partner ecosystem at large.”

Dell Technologies Cloud has been on a roll throughout 2019, tackling the common problem of cloud complexity. The Texas-based behemoth aims to help enterprises easily administer, if not consolidate, multiple clouds. Indeed, Chhabra said his group often encounters organizations running applications in five or more clouds, which ramps up difficulty considerably. On top of that, migrating these workloads does not always prove the answer because of underlying infrastructure that may not interoperate. Dell’s solution is to provision a consistent experience as workloads move on- and off-premises. It does this through its products as well as partnering with public cloud providers including Google Cloud Platform, Amazon Web Service, Microsoft Azure and Oracle Cloud.

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About the Author(s)

Kelly Teal

Contributing Editor, Channel Futures

Kelly Teal has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist, editor and analyst, with longtime expertise in the indirect channel. She worked on the Channel Partners magazine staff for 11 years. Kelly now is principal of Kreativ Energy LLC.

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