Dell’s Channel: Reflections on 2014 and Looking Ahead to 2015

Wow, what a year it has been! I started as Dell’s new Channel Chief in November 2013, taking on the amazing opportunity of expanding our channel efforts to help our partners succeed together with Dell.  We kicked off 2014 with brand new additions and changes to our PartnerDirect Program announced at Dell World last year. These changes included consolidating the channel and direct sales teams into a single organization to drive collaboration in the channel and offering a 20 percent compensation accelerator for any sale of PowerEdge VRTX, storage, networking, software, thin client, workstations and SecureWorks solutions to a new customer which was delivered through the channel.

Dell networking switches and thin clients

Today I am happy to report that in our most recent quarter, the channel now represents 40 percent of Dell’s global revenue and Dell channel revenue is up double digits in 10 of our top 11 markets. Together with our partners, we are outgrowing the market by 3-4X and we have generated over 82,000 new deal registrations, which is a 9 percent increase over last year. We have also been applauded in the media for all of our strong work within the channel and have won 30 awards and Editor’s Choice selections over the past year. In a recent article CRN reports, “A year after winning its $24.9 billion hard-fought battle to go private, Dell is on the attack and said it's set to take on an IT industry in upheaval, delivering ‘reliable and predictable’ end-to-end IT solutions in contrast to uncertainty at rivals including Hewlett-Packard and IBM.”

Another big development this past year was the integration of software solutions into the PartnerDirect program. We have experienced huge software growth and partner engagement, and in October had a sell-out crowd at our first annual Peak Performance Partner Conference for our software channel partners in Orlando, Florida. Media reports from CRN summed the event up as, “The Dell Security Peak Performance conference is the first time in three and a half years that Medeiros and the Dell SonicWall security team have held their own security conference for partners. It comes with Dell stepping up investment in its security business, which includes some 5,000 employees throughout the company devoted to security and Dell now managing 60 million security end points.”

Tiffany Bova and Cheryl Cook on stage at the Dell PartnerDirect Summit at Dell World 2014

As we look ahead to next year, we have a lot of exciting new programs and incentives to offer our channel partners and customers. As just announced at this year’s Dell World, we are committing $125 million in enhanced incentives and programs, including the Dell Storage Accelerator, Windows Server 2003 Migration, and Growth Accelerators for the Client Solutions and Enterprise Solutions Groups. We are also offering new Core Client Solutions and Workstation competencies to engage and reward our partners as well as new advanced competencies in Storage and Identity and Access Management to open up opportunities for partners who prefer to focus more deeply on these solutions in the coming months. Partners can maximize their technical and sales skills, as well as achieve Premier Partner status and benefits through these advanced competencies.

We also announced that we are investing tens of millions of dollars to enhance our IT systems and provide additional tools for lead management, deal registration, training and certification, navigation, and mobility and are accelerating our efforts to enhance the online and offline partner order experience.

We love feedback and have been fortunate to hear from partners giving us their firsthand accounts of how the program enhancements in the last year have helped their businesses grow:

“Our Dell business is up over 50% and is outpacing our total business growth. Our company is growing faster with Dell than with other partners. Why? Superior products and Dell’s end-to-end solutions story is really helping our business grow.” – Jason Cherveny, President and CEO – Sanity Solutions

“Because of Dell’s channel program, our business has grown over 50%. We’ve experienced 3X the server growth. 2X the Networking growth. 2X the Software growth. Storage is up 25%!” – Scott Winslow, President and Founder – Winslow Technology Group

For our partners, in closing the year and this blog, please look for all of these new and improved solutions and programs and much more to come in 2015. We appreciate your business and would love to hear from you! Please send us your thoughts and suggestions either through your Dell representative or in the comment section below. I also encourage you to engage with me on Twitter via @CookCherylS. We hope you all have a safe and happy holiday season and I’m looking forward to continuing our partnership in the New Year! 

Cheryl Cook

About the Author: Cheryl Cook

Senior Vice President at Dell Technologies, Cheryl Cook spearheads development and strategy for the Global Partner Marketing organization. Beyond her main global responsibilities for branding, partner program marketing, channel events, partner communications and MDF/BDF program investments and execution, Cheryl drives long-term partner marketing strategy, together with Global Alliances, OEM, and global and regional business teams. A vocal advocate for the partner community, Cheryl is a 20+ year partner veteran, known as an innovative, collaborative leader who creates compelling business solutions that accelerate partners’ success. Prior to her current role, Cheryl served as Vice President, Global Channels and Alliances, leading channel strategy for the company worldwide. Her responsibilities included setting Dell’s partner strategy company-wide, as well as developing and executing channel programs, training, certification, and global marketing programs that enabled partners to grow their business with Dell. Cheryl and her team contributed to the growth of Dell’s global channel business from 33% to over 40% of Dell’s total revenue. Prior to running Dell’s channel business, Cheryl served as Vice President of Enterprise Solutions, where she was responsible for the go-to-market strategy and execution for Dell storage, server, networking and related software businesses. Cheryl has more than 25 years of IT and high-tech experience. Before joining Dell in 2011, Cheryl was Senior Vice President at Nuance Communications managing sales across all lines of business. She also served as Senior Vice President at Sun Microsystems with global responsibility for $6B in enterprise solutions revenue. A contributor to Fortune Magazine’s 50 Most Powerful Women’s community, Cheryl is an active proponent of women in business and technology. Cheryl is the founder and executive sponsor of the Dell Technologies Women’s Partner Network, an initiative that supports and empowers our community of women partners. Cheryl also contributes to Dell’s Women in Action and Dell Women's Entrepreneur Network. Honored by CRN numerous times as one of the Power 100 Women of the Channel, 50 Most Influential Channel Chiefs and Top 100 Channel Sales Leaders, as well as Channel Partners Top Gun 51, Cheryl serves on the board of directors for ARC Document Solutions, is a member of Channel Focus Club 50 and holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the University of Florida.