Dell Technologies Reveals Channel’s Record Contribution to Growth

Channel partners are responsible for more than half of the company's business last year.

Christine Horton, Contributing Editor

April 13, 2022

4 Min Read

“We’re using adjectives like ‘historic,’ ‘record breaking’ and ‘epic performance.'”


Dell’s Cheryl Cook

That’s according to Dell Technologies’ Cheryl Cook, on the channel’s contribution to the company’s latest financial results.

Dell Technologies posted $101.2 billion in revenue for the last financial year. Channel partners contributed more than half of the company’s business.

Dell Technologies’ SVP, global partner, embedded and edge solution marketing, said the results were “pretty remarkable” given the last couple of years.

Global Channel Growth

Dell Technologies’ channel business, measured in orders, is currently worth $59 billion.

In Q4, global channel growth was 19% for the overall channel. For the year, it was up 27%.

The vendor’s distribution business “continues to be a really fast part of our overall partner community”, said Cook. For Q4, its global distribution business grew 20%. For the entire fiscal year it was up 33%.

Cook said it was a “phenomenal performance… Growing at these numbers is pretty remarkable. We certainly are seeing the partners in the channel deliver an amazing part of the overall company results.”

Across the Portfolio

Dell Technologies’ client solutions business in Q4 was up 20%. For the year it grew 39%.

Its server business continued to see strong performance in Q4, increasing by 38%. For the entire fiscal year it was up 33%.

The company’s storage business – which includes data protection and converged infrastructure business – was up 8%. For the fiscal year it was up 7%.

Cook noted that VMware “is certainly an important and strategic part of our business” despite its spin-off in 2021. “Our Q4 results in the channel were up 4% year on year, and for the full fiscal year was up 14%. So pretty phenomenal results,” she said.

Dell Technologies’ global alliance partners business grew in Q4 1% and 15% for the full year.

Its OEM business in Q4 grew 27% and for the full fiscal year grew 34%.

“I would describe our overall results as very balanced, geographically. We saw strong results in every region we operate around the world. I shared what I think is pretty balanced growth performance across the portfolio, and our lines of business,” said Cook.

Cook said that Dell Technologies partners are earning more rebates than ever. In Q4 the firm paid out 17% more earnings and rebates. For the full fiscal year, partners earned 25% more rebates year-on-year.

“They’re earning the rewards commensurate with the volume and momentum of the business,” said Cook.

The exec again pointed to the breadth of the vendor’s portfolio and the upsell and cross sell opportunities for partners.

“We have such strong evidence that partners that sell multiple lines of business, they grow faster, their margins are higher than partners that don’t,” she said.

Cook also outlined Dell’s focus on new and reactivated buyers. For Q4, the channel drove 60% of new and reactivated buyers and 61% for the year.

“Again, partners are a critical element of our overall go-to-market. [They] are really helping us drive and deliver our goals on new buyers.”

Reason Behind Channel Growth

So to what does Cook attribute this growth? A couple of things, she said.

“The pandemic has…accelerated many companies’ agendas around digital transformation, modernising their applications. We’d be hard pressed to look at a single industry that isn’t touched by this need for doing things differently. Whether it’s telemedicine and healthcare, or curbside pickup in retail, or remote learning in education, or government spend. It’s universal that the world needs a little more technology, not less.

“I also think it’s coupled with a timing phenomenon of this acceleration of the pandemic. This reality that we are in a multicloud world, there is not one-size-fits all, not everything is going to public cloud. That inherent complexity for our customers, positions the partner community, they just need their help.”

Cook said this growth is set to continue, citing macro trends such as edge computing, 5G and multicloud.

“Our customers need [partners’] help now more than ever, and that’s going to continue…If I look forward, all of that just portrays a really positive climate for growth for the partner community at large.”

No Big Changes to Partner Program

Dell Technologies World in Las Vegas is fast approaching – the company’s first global in-person event in two years. However Cook said partners shouldn’t expect announcements of any dramatic changes to the partner program.

“One, we think it’s working, and two, the partners have been really consistent that they don’t like us to change the program. They want predictability, they like consistency, they understand how to operate within the program. We will make refinements or some subtle tweaks,” she said.

“For us, we just want to continue to stay humble and ensure that we’re doing all possible to enable and empower our partners to realise the opportunity. So simplifying the operating experience for them.

“So in Vegas, you’re not going to probably see program announcements. What you’ll hear is company announcements and how those represent themselves for partners. We’ll continue to work around our relentless focus on simplification for the partner experience.”

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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