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Q&A: Partnering is a journey

Zafar Anjum | Aug. 2, 2013
Dell’s Richard Lee says channel partnering is not something that can happen overnight. The journey entails understanding each other better so as to value-add to the customer ecosystem, explains the Vice President, Global Commercial Channel, APJ.

Our individual partners may not necessarily cover the entire enterprise, but can be experts in specific areas, markets or technologies. However, to continue helping customers transform, connect, and stay informed and protected, Dell will continue to build up the competency of our partners through free training sessions. As a clear indication and demonstration of Dell's commitment to partner satisfaction, Dell's Global Commercial Channel business unit achieved its highest score yet in the latest Dell Net Promoter Survey for Channel Partners. 

What is Dell's channel partner strategy in Asia Pacific? How has it evolved over the years?

Dell's global channel programme was developed about six years ago, and the channel programme in Asia Pacific was started three years back. The initial strategy was to first have a platform to link partners with Dell. We then started building on the fundamentals, such as training for our partners, recognition platforms and communication channels.

I took this role one and a half years back, and my strategy was simple - to build up the fundamentals of our partner programme and ensure that it is an active platform. This means we need to have the right programmes and the right structure within the company to show that we are serious about channels. Michael Dell, in a speech to an open audience at Dell World 2012, said that channels is going to be an area that Dell will put a big focus on. Channels will remain important every step we take in the transformation.

Over the years, we have stepped up on our communication channels, through our annual partner summits and articulating our message through media and partner activities. We have focused on keeping our message clear and simple. The way we manage partner communication is simple - one channel account manager to one partner. The partner only has to reach out to one person for any queries across Dell's range of products.

As Dell has been on an aggressive acquisition strategy these past two years, it is important for us to communicate and share all our new solution capabilities with our partners, providing them with the right training to ensure that they are competently selling Dell's end-to-end solutions. We want our partners who are selling Latitude, to also learn about how our Dell Wyse products can help them or how our asset management case solutions can help them. This will ensure that Dell and its partners are able to win around the data centre.

Dell not only established a new channel model and broke down the barriers between the various product lines, it also set up a platform to provide comprehensive information solutions for customers, and offered more choices for partners. 


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