Dell EMC readies its channel partners for a storage revolution

Vendor is determined to stop storage share losses with a new aggressive “refuse to lose” sales strategy

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Dell EMC readies its channel partners for a storage revolution Haas says Dell EMC also going to create training programmes, enablement programmes, MDFs and back-end rebates commensurate with its ambition.
By  Manda Banda Published  January 18, 2018

Dell EMC is waging an all-out assault on the storage market, investing $2bn, hiring 1,200 new storage sales specialists, and initiating for the first time channel storage sales quotas aimed at driving big share gains in 2018 through channel partners.

Leading Dell EMC's storage charge is a trio of tech veterans: Marius Haas, president and chief commercial officer for Dell EMC; Joyce Mullen, the company's recently minted global channel chief and Scott Millard, an EMC veteran who is now vice president of global channels specialty sales at Dell EMC.

Dell EMC is determined to stop storage share losses with a new aggressive "refuse to lose" sales strategy, Haas said.

"We are saying, ‘Enough is enough,'" said Haas. "It now needs to be real clear that we expect our team members and our partner ecosystem to really rally around the storage business. There are competitors out in the market and for some reason, in some cases, they have done better than we have. So we're taking an approach around, ‘Hey, we're going to take a ‘refuse to lose' approach in the business."

At the heart of the storage sales offensive are new robust storage compensation incentives for solution providers and the Dell EMC sales reps working side by side with those partners.

Dell EMC plans to grow in the neighborhood of 5 to 10% above the market in its high-end and midrange storage business during fiscal year 2019, which begins in February, Haas said. The growth will "no doubt" come at the expense of competitors including NetApp and Hewlett Packard Enterprise, according to Haas. "We clearly need to make sure that we have the right resources to go in the right depth, to have the right architecture conversations that also enable our partners to sell the full breadth of the portfolio into all markets aggressively, from the high end all the way down to the low end," he said.

Dell EMC has hired 1,200 new specialty sales personnel dedicated exclusively to storage, including data centre partner managers and channel specialty sales executives focused on the partner-led selling motion around storage, converged infrastructure and data protection.

The company also has a parade of new storage products set to be rolled out in its new fiscal year. Those products stem from the massive $2bn the company spent on storage-specific research and development in fiscal year 2018 in preparation for the storage charge.

Dell EMC is counting on channel partners, who account for about 70% of Dell's midrange storage business, to drive the share gains. The company is incenting partners to attack the $14bn midrange market in 2018 by implementing, for the first time, a storage-only quota for partners. In the past, Dell has a combined storage and server quota, but that's no longer the case.

"We are getting real precise around the expectations of our sellers to say, ‘Storage is critically important. You're going to be driving it.' We got a phenomenal storage team that came to us with the EMC acquisition. Now what we want to do is turn that into an engine that is just going to drive extremely hard," said Haas. "We're also going to create training programmes, enablement programmes, MDFs and back-end rebates commensurate with our ambition to clearly have an aggressive share gain plan next fiscal year."

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