Combined Dell-EMC Preps Channel to ‘Sell More, Make More’

Craig Galbraith**Editor’s Note: Click here for a list of March’s important channel-program changes you should know.**

EMC WORLD — Dell’s pending $70 billion acquisition of EMC, which is being called the biggest tech merger in history, raises a number of questions regarding how the storage giant’s channel partners will be impacted.

The deal combining the companies, which Dell chairman and CEO said on Monday will be called Dell Technologies, is expected to close sometime this year after all of the necessary regulatory approvals have been given.

EMC's Joe Tucci (left) and Dell's Michael Dell on stage at EMC World in Las Vegas, March 2, 2016. Photo courtesy: EMC Corp.Dell and Joe Tucci, EMC’s CEO who will step into an advisory role once the sale of his company is complete, addressed EMC’s Global Partner Summit as part of EMC World in Las Vegas this week, answering questions from partners curious about their future with Dell Technologies.

Tucci said the deal seemed like a natural merger of two complementary businesses — a combined company that’s now strong in servers, storage, virtualization, cloud infrastructure and PCs.

“One of the ways partners look at this is there’s no company that has the breadth of portfolio or strength that we do as a group, so that’s certainly a positive factor,” Tucci said. “If you look at EMC partners or Dell partners, it’s not as if there are a lot of big ones that we are lacking. We want to go deeper with those partners that we already have. I think that’s a more important factor in our growth.”

Michael Dell noted that in some ways, partners are out in front of the merger.{ad}

“The channel partners have already completed the integration. They’re selling them together as one solution,” Dell said. “What we’ve observed is if you take the EMC channel program and the Dell program and put them side by side, they’re actually very similar. I see the same or more excitement from the channel as I do from the end customer.”

Gregg Ambulos, senior vice president, Worldwide Channels, EMC, offered details on what partners can expect from the companies’ partner programs once the acquisition is complete. At first, Dell Technologies will maintain two separate channel programs and deal-registration programs, but partners will be able to sell the combined portfolio of products and services if they belong to both programs. There will be significant cross-checking to avoid channel conflict, he said.

Sometime in 2017, the Dell and EMC partner programs will merge into one unified program, including one common approach for deal registration. There will be “robust incentives,” Ambulos said, and a centralized structure to ensure consistency worldwide.

“This is a huge opportunity,” said Ambulos. “This merger is going to give you the chance to …


… do more, sell more and make more. Today the channel is not just important. It’s obviously essential and critical to our business models.”

Sixty percent of EMC sales are now done through the indirect channel.

“I’m really excited. I only see positives, having a complete portfolio that we can bring to market is incredibly valuable,” said Jay Snyder, SVP, EMC Strategic Alliances and Sales, in an interview with Channel Partners. “… I’ve yet to find a downside … I’m sure there will be some challenging things, but this has been about as synergistic as you could imagine.”

Tucci acknowledged that there might be “some angst” from partners who saw the “old Dell” as not being channel-friendly, but that’s changed greatly over the past few years, he said. The same might’ve been said for EMC itself. But that’s all changed.

“When I joined EMC (in 2000), it’s safe to say we weren’t very partner-friendly. I think we’ve come a long way…. Michael Dell understands the importance of a global partner. Without our partner network, [this merger] wouldn’t have been possible.”

“This is not the end of something great,” Tucci told the entire EMC World audience.  “It’s the beginning of something greater, and you’re going to be part of it. Hopefully you’ll say, ‘I was there at the beginning of this very successful company.’”

“We are committed to be simple, predictable and profitable,” Ambulos added. “Coming together, we’ll be even stronger. Together we’ll continue to lead this change, and together, with [our partners], we’ll be truly unstoppable.”

Follow senior online managing editor Craig Galbraith on Twitter.

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