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Dell EMC Tests X-Series Distribution Exclusive with Tech Data, Arrow, Ingram

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Looking for a faster route to the small and medium-size business (SMB) market for its Networking X-Series products, Dell EMC is turning exclusively to its top three global distribution partners and select regional distribution partners, the company announced on Thursday.

Dell EMC's Jim DeFoe

Dell EMC’s Jim DeFoe

Touted as a first-time endeavor with distributors Tech Data/Avnet, Arrow and Ingram Micro, Dell EMC is testing the waters for exclusive distribution of additional product through distribution, beginning with Networking X-Series products, already on the market for well over a year.

“By offering X-Series as a distribution-exclusive product, we are demonstrating our commitment and investment in channel growth for the Dell EMC Infrastructure Solutions business,” Jim DeFoe, senior vice president global distribution at Dell EMC, wrote in a blog. Going forward all partners – both existing, and any new partners joining the Dell EMC Partner Program – will access this product via distribution, he told us.

Additionally, he mentioned that the time is right for this new distribution strategy – particularly in light of recent sales growth of Dell EMC networking products through distribution – noting that about 60 percent of product goes through the channel today.

“The price point, the velocity, the support and sales engagement that our distributors provide — we think that it’s the right time to test the first-ever exclusive product. And we’ll continue to evaluate the success of this launch for other lines of product that we offer as well, that they [distribution] could be exclusive providers,” said DeFoe.

The Dell EMC Networking X-Series is a family of smart, web-managed 1GbE and 10GbE switches designed for SMBs. The X-Series is a network solution designed to cross-sell and attach to Dell’s notebook products. The company admits to having a large untapped market with Dell laptop attach rates and sees opportunity to grow in this space.

X-Series products offer intuitive management, enterprise-class features such as power to wireless access points, phones, cameras, compact switches and other network devices directly from the network with Power over Ethernet (PoE/PoE+) switches, and is available in several models based on user need, the vendor said.

From this first exclusive distribution strategy alone, the company expects to see an increase in adjacent product business such as server and client, as distributors increase their conversations with partners about other products in the Dell EMC portfolio.

DeFoe noted that Dell EMC’s distribution route to market is fast growing – a great value to its business – and that the company is committed to investing with its distribution partners worldwide.

The company says it already has made several big bets with distribution this year. For example, it has been fielding partner leads coming in through its partner portal and sending them right to distributors, providing them with an opportunity to expand their partner base and an opportunity to expand the Dell EMC portfolio with those partners.

With the announcement of this exclusive Networking X-Series products distribution strategy, Dell EMC is developing sales campaigns and sales training for its sales teams.

Beginning this month in North America, EMEA and Asia Pacific-Japan, the Networking X-Series products will only be available through distribution partners. By the end of the year, all regions will follow this distribution-exclusive model.

DeFoe expects the company to evaluate this strategy over the next few quarters, monitoring success on criteria such as market share gains, and the distributor’s ability to handle product exclusivity while also considering other lines of expansion for this route to market.


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