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Dell EMC partner strategy stays the course for FY20

Ahead of its 2019 global partner summit, Dell EMC isn’t veering from its core channel priorities.

Since the formal launch of the Dell EMC Partner Program in 2017, the company’s channel strategy hasn’t seen any significant overhauls. In February, which marked the start of Dell Technologies’ fiscal year 2020, Dell EMC revealed it would introduce a handful of partner program updates. Changes included simplification to the program’s tier requirements and market development fund processes.

“The overall framework and structure of the program is very consistent. We actually feel like our strategy is working when you see the overall results that we have,” said Cheryl Cook, senior vice president of global partner marketing at Dell EMC, in an interview.

Cook pointed to several areas within Dell Technologies’ fourth-quarter and fiscal year gains where partners played an important role. “From a channel perspective, if you look at our overall business in Q4, the channel grew 14% year on year, and for the entire fiscal year that’s up 17% year on year,” she said.

The company’s distribution business continues to be its fastest route to market, outgrowing the rest of the channel, Cook noted. She said distribution grew by 16% for the fourth quarter and 21% for the fiscal year.

Dell EMC partner companies brought in about 16,100 new customers in the fourth quarter. That caps off the fiscal year of about 63,200 total new customers, Cook said.

Additionally, deal registration volumes increased by 14.5% in the fourth quarter. “We had a little bit over 121,000 deals approved in the quarter, and, for the [fiscal] year, we had over 487,000 deal registrations,” she said.

In terms of the portfolio, Dell EMC server orders were up 21% year over year for the fourth quarter and 32% year over year for the fiscal year, Cook said. “It’s clear that we are hitting an opportunity in the market where customers are investing and modernizing their infrastructure, and, as the market moves to software-defined offerings, we have the market-leading franchise in the compute offering.”

Storage orders weren’t as strong. Orders increased 3% year over year for the fiscal year, Cook said. The company, however, maintains an optimistic storage outlook. “I think all of those efforts [we have made] seem to be paying off. We have returned [our storage] business to growth, so that is going to be an important area of focus for us,” Cook said.

Meanwhile, Cook said the VxRail business is growing at triple digits, “an expression of the opportunity of aligning VMware and Dell EMC and how we can bring the power of these strategically aligned businesses together.”

Since merging with EMC, Dell EMC has touted the cross-sell opportunities for its partner base. The vendor continues to encourage its partners to sell more than one line of business. “That is an area that we continue to reinforce and to point to for partners,” Cook said. She noted that the number of Dell EMC partner firms selling more than three lines of business were “up significantly this year.”

Partners are realizing that there is a “natural opportunity” to sell across multiple lines of business, she added.

The Dell EMC Global Partner Summit 2019 will be held in conjunction with Dell Technologies World from April 28 to May 2 in Las Vegas.

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