Dell Responds to Critics, Reaffirms Commitment to ‘Partner-First’ Strategy

Channel exec Diego Majdalani says partner-first for storage is here to stay, but will it expand to the rest of the business?

Christine Horton, Contributing Editor

October 4, 2023

2 Min Read
Dell Responds to Critics, Reaffirms Commitment to ‘Partner-First’ Strategy

CANALYS CHANNELS FORUM EMEA — Dell is committed to its partner-first policy for “the long run,” according to its global channel president. However, the vendor wouldn’t say if it is expanding the strategy to the rest of its business.

Dell announced recently it was switching to a partner-first strategy for its storage business. As such, its internal sales team would be incentivized for putting business through the channel.

The move was welcomed by partner and analysts. But some rivals have questioned Dell’s commitment to putting partners first.

Speaking at the Canalys Channel Forum EMEA 2023 on Wednesday, Dell’s Diego Majdalani was asked whether the move was long term, or just during the economic slowdown. He said Dell “always knew that we could do more in collaborating with the partners. We took time to think what the best approach was and go and do it.”

“You’ve said it a million times … in the channel insanely loud and clear that you want more collaboration. You want more predictability and you want more opportunities,” said Majdalani. “And that’s what we tried to solve, rather than just coming up with a simple out-of-the-box answer. That’s what partner-first storage is about. It’s about being more predictable.”

Majdalani said Dell’s partner of record has been expanded fourfold with more accounts where the partner is directly the route to market. Moreover, Dell now compensates its own sales force more if they sell storage through the channel than if they sell it directly.

“When you look at the opportunity out there, 99% of the accounts where we serve, or we want to go and serve, those are partner-first opportunities. So we’re really excited about the opportunity ahead. It’s too early to call a victory, but so far things are going really well, and we’re really excited about this. I think we finally got the right tuning of managing our different routes to market.”

No Answer Yet on Expanding Partner-First

Fielding questions from partner in attendance, Canalys CEO Steve Brazier asked if Dell would now go partner-first for PC and client devices.

Dell’s SVP of channel, Cheryl Cook, said the firm would continue its work in the storage division for the time being.

“Good things will come with the infrastructure, but we’re starting with storage first,” she maintained.

Earlier at Canalys Channels Forum EMEA, Brazier had noted the trend of more vendors putting business through partners during the current tough economic period.

Canalys and Channel Futures are both owned by Informa.

Want to contact the author directly about this story? Have ideas for a follow-up article? Email Christine Horton or connect with her on LinkedIn.


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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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