June 23, 2021
The Dell channel drove the majority of new and reactivated buyers globally in Q1. Dell Technologies says that engagement with its partners “has never been stronger” off the back of the record-setting quarter.
Dell’s Cheryl Cook
That’s according to Cheryl Cook, senior vice president, global partner, embedded and edge solution marketing at Dell Technologies.
“It’s remarkable we set another record quarter for the company on top of what was a record-breaking Q4,” said Cook.
The exec revealed the channel drove 61% of Dell’s new and reactivated buyers globally in Q1.
This was due to partners “leaning into” the breadth of Dell’s portfolio. “The strategy seems to be right; the offerings have never been stronger.”
Currently “more than half” of Dell’s business goes through channel partners, accounting for $54 billion in revenue.
“It’s a materially strategic route to market for Dell and has been growing quite robustly,” said Cook.
Partners earned approximately 31% more rebates year-on-year in Q1, globally. Cook said this stems from a strategic focus on new customer acquisition, cross sell and upsell.
“We have been promoting to our partners that the breadth of our portfolio is a unique differentiator. The ability for a partner to expand or cross sell into multiple lines of business creates richer solutions for their customers.”
“We’ve got a pretty robust demand environment. We’ve got a world-class product portfolio. We continue to drive innovations and new announcements around that portfolio. The partners are leveraging it and benefiting from it.”
The portfolio is also driving more revenue and margin for partners, said Cook.
Channel revenues were up by 14% year-on-year in the quarter, with distribution revenues jumping 23%. After supplying the remote workforce during COVID-19, client solutions revenue was up 21%. Server revenue grew 12%, storage revenue up 3% and VMware up 1%.
Cook also noted a strong performance in Dell’s global alliances business – the large system integrators and cloud service providers. In Q1 Dell made announcements with colocation partners like Equinix, to enable the move to multi- and hybrid cloud. As such, Dell’s alliances business grew globally by 18%, year on year.
Dell’s OEM business is being repositioned to the move to edge solutions, with partner business up 26% in Q1.
Cook also said Dell would be looking to “drive innovations and enablement” around its Apex offerings, announced last month. Apex marks the company’s transition to delivering its entire infrastructure offerings as managed services. Launching initially in North America, Apex will expand internationally later this year.
Simplifying Partner Engagement
Cook said Dell was focused on “simplifying and driving a simpler operating experience” to maintain partner growth. This includes a new portal through which partners can engage with Dell. They can see their tier attainment status, rebates, training hours, MDF and rewards.
“It’s much more agile; it’s a cloud-based delivery environment. [It gives partners] a faster, more accurate, real-time experience as to how their business with Dell is performing.”
Dell also rolled out an online solution configurator in Q1. Partners now have a single quoting and ordering environment which spans the Dell portfolio. It replaces multiple quoting tools that partners needed to use previously.
“It’s about velocity, responsiveness, automation, accuracy, to improve the overall experience but it drives tangible business benefit. It’s a much better experience … for them, a much better experience for their customers, because they can be more responsive.
“We’re a very large company with a huge portfolio. We don’t want it to be daunting or overly complex. We want to be able to engage and simplify it for them.”
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