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Channel Chief Mullen On New Dell EMC Partner Program And IoT 'Goldmine'

Mark Haranas

‘We're going to go after these 2,000 customers and we're going to lead with channel partners in these accounts,’ says Dell EMC Channel Chief Joyce Mullen in an interview with CRN.

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Dell EMC Opening 2,000 Accounts To Partners

Dell EMC channel chief Joyce Mullen said the company's new Enterprise Preferred Program will drive partner sales by granting partners access to around 2,000 customer accounts along with "advantageous" front-end pricing.

"We have really good share-wallet in our top accounts, but in the next set of accounts we are underpenetrated from a Dell Technologies’ point of view. So we're going to go after these 2,000 customers and we're going to lead with channel partners in these accounts," said Mullen in an interview with CRN.

Mullen spoke to CRN about the benefits for partners in the new program, VMware synergies and the “goldmine” opportunities for the channel around Internet of Things.

How big of a sales opportunity is Dell EMC's new Enterprise Preferred Program for your partners?

It's huge. The program is a set of accounts in Bill Scannell’s [president of global sales and customer operations at Dell, pictured] space. He has the top 3,000 accounts. We've looked at those accounts where we don't have as a strong share wallet as we do in the top accounts. So we have really good share wallet in our top accounts, but in the next set of accounts, we are underpenetrated from a Dell Technologies’ point of view. So we're going to go after these 2,000 customers and we're going to lead with channel partners in these accounts. The elements of the program that we will focus on are detailed account plans, including teaming agreements where it makes sense with VMware. We will offer really advantageous front-end pricing improvements because we have heard we need to do a better job on the front end of pricing -- for storage in particular.

How will you drive more channel revenue through the program?

We have a program to neutralize the compensation impact for our sellers, so there's no channel tax. We've invested in more resources to work on the account plans that are focused on these particular 2,000 accounts. We're leveraging joint sales and partner planning to drive one joint approach to market. For storage opportunities, we're offering a new deal registration with incremental discounts tied to it. It's pretty exciting. In the next month or so we will announce an extension of that to apply to even more accounts.

Talk about Dell EMC's new IoT bundles and surveillance solution.

These bundles are going to be sold through distribution and be available to partners. They require services. There's such a goldmine in IoT for partners who choose to invest in understanding the environment and outcomes that can be delivered with IoT. Around 70 percent of the data in six short years will be created on the edge. It's an enormous opportunity for partners around how do you go get smarter at knowing what those edges are. Where are those edges? In IT terminology, we normally think about edge as remote/branch-office-type stuff, but I'm talking about cameras, robots, sensors in agricultural fields and things like that.

How can partners make money off these new IoT solutions?

The edge is confusing [to customers] and it requires an enormous ecosystem, which means there's services opportunity for our partners who choose to develop them. I imagine that in a few years there will be partners specializing in energy management or partners who might be specializing in transportation and logistics, and all of the technology requirements that go into those types of solutions. We already have some partners that are doing that within industrial automation and manufacturing, for example.

How are the technology and sales synergies between Dell EMC and VMware going?

A year ago, we started to develop our capabilities to offer VMware ELAs through the Dell EMC normal transaction process. We're seeing a lot of traction there. We're seeing a lot of traction in alignment around some of the hyper-converged solutions in the field, so VxRail has been super successful. That's a beautiful thing when the VMware salespeople and the Dell salespeople are all lining up to try to find the best solution for the customer. We're seeing better alignment there. We're seeing some good improvement around data protection alignment. I'm pretty happy with the progress we're making. I know we have way more to do and our partners will tell us that too.

How is Dell EMC making it easier for partners to sell cloud?

We've just made some serious progress like with the new Dell EMC Cloud Marketplace. I'd like to make even more because I want to tailor it even more to partners. With any of these [cloud] announcements, we have to say, 'What's in it for our partners? Do we have the right wrappers around it for partners in terms of services capabilities? How do we help our partners, even before we launch these new solutions, build competencies so that they are ready to roll?' We have work to do around that. That's something I’ve got to do.

So how will you make cloud an easier sell for partners?

I realize we could do such a better job if we could figure out with every product launch to put a partner lens on this thing to say, 'What kind of services should we be offering? What should we do in advance of general availability so some of our key partners are ready to roll so that we can get out of the gate faster with our partner community on these new products?' For some of these cloud-type solutions, I think there's an opportunity for us to actually enrich the opportunities for both partners and customers by making sure we take a look at it slightly differently.

What's your message to the channel for the last quarter of 2018?

The promise of Dell Technologies and the 'better together' story is absolutely resonating. We're seeing it in VMware's results. We're seeing it in our results. We're hearing it from partners and from customers. It's a great time to be part of this ecosystem. There is so much investment in the world in technology and we are on fire. It's really working. We're committed to continuing to drive home improvements around being simple, predictable and profitable.

Mark Haranas

Mark Haranas is an assistant news editor and longtime journalist now covering cloud, multicloud, software, SaaS and channel partners at CRN. He speaks with world-renown CEOs and IT experts as well as covering breaking news and live events while also managing several CRN reporters. He can be reached at mharanas@thechannelcompany.com.

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