2012 – The Channel Perspective

It’s almost five years since we started selling through the channel in Europe with Dell PartnerDirect, and it’s safe to say that, while the previous four years were headline years, 2012 has also been outstanding for both Dell and our partners; I want to talk about some of the great highlights that have come out of the Dell PartnerDirect program this year.  Three things really stick out for me – more partners (and more partners growing their Dell business), our continued move from pure PC sales to a far more comprehensive solutions offering for partners and customers, and a steady stream of acquisitions helping to build out our end-to-end solutions portfolio.

  • More than half of Dell’s European sales now go through indirect channels . We’ve now got over 900 Certified Partners in Western Europe. Many are seeing their Dell businesses growing by 30 per cent or more. Now, growth is nothing without volume, but this shows that you can use Dell to survive and thrive in your business despite the current economic climate.
  • We’re building far more complex, integrated solutions. Both server and networking businesses within Dell grew by 14 per cent in Q2. A third of Dell’s revenue, and over half of our profit comes from data centre solutions. In fact, we’re the only major computer vendor to increase server sales in the third quarter, according to both Gartner and IDC. We’re also seeing revenue growth year-on-year in this market. Let’s not forget about the other areas, too. Storage is a big deal for us – and the latest European event proved that it’s a big deal for the channel, too.
  • Thirdly (and this is linked to the point above), we’re acquiring organizations that give us – and our partners – significantly more scope, breadth and reach. Here’s a quick run-down for 2012. While it’s worth understanding what each business does, that is less important than understanding the bigger picture – what we are building in conjunction with partners:
    • Quest – scalable systems management, security, data protection and workplace management.
    • AppAssure – streamlined datacentre operations with backup and recovery software
    • Wyse – client cloud computing. See our earlier blog on what this means for partners here.
    • SonicWALL – network security and data protection – and one of the most recognised firewall and unified threat management brands in the business.

What of next year? If anything, it’s likely to be just as eventful for the industry as this and previous years. From my perspective, I’m looking forward to carrying on the great work we began five years ago with our partners; we’ve come an awful long way, but there are also plenty of great places we can go to. One thing I do know: it’s never going to be dull. Here’s to a fantastic, profitable 2013!

As everyone begins to break for the holiday season, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas, and a wonderful New Year.

About the Author: James Wright