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Dell NZ ramps up channel focus with Cyclone trial...

Dell has funded its first head into the New Zealand channel, with an enterprise solutions focused position at Cyclone Computers.

Pete Murphy, Dell New Zealand country manager, says if the trial is successful, Dell will look to replicate with several other positions throughout the New Zealand channel.

“It's a very valuable investment for the partner, and it certainly helps ensure both organisations are aligned to achieve the goals we have set.

“And if it works out we will certainly look to replicate it.”

Murphy says so far the trial is 'going well' and he expects it will expand locally, 'based on current indications, probably toward the end of this year'.

The Cyclone position, of Dell partner architect, is a technical position, specific to driving servers, storage and networking, rather than pushing the notebook and desktop area.

“They augment the partner's sales team to provide a technical specialist for the Dell portfolio.”

Dell has committed funding for the first year.

Two similar positions have been funded in Australia as part of the trial, as the vendor – previously known for its direct sales strategy – pushes more of a channel-first focus.

“Dell's heritage has been direct engagement with customers, and as we begin to embark on a partner-lead strategy, clearly there is some level of relationship we need to build with the partner community and some trust we need to generate in order for them to build a business around our technology platforms," Murphy says.

“Making substantial investments like people helps accelerate the ability to generate trusted relationships. Put your money where your mouth is if you like, but really to demonstrate that we are deadly serious about driving a strong and long lasting partner business, and this is just one of the investments we have made to accelerate that.”

As reported by The Channel last November, Dell has been considering establishing a distribution tier in New Zealand.

Speaking this month, Murphy would say only that the company's go-to-market model is under review.

“What I would say is that we will be unambiguous in terms of our go-to-market model as related to specific geographies and market segments in terms of broadening the scope of our partner community and expanding the partner-lead business much more aggressively than we have before.”

While Murphy wouldn't talk specifics, it is understood the company is looking to wind down the number of accounts it works directly with, instead moving strongly to a partner-lead strategy.

The company is expected to announce the strategy before the end of this year.

Murphy says the company has been focusing on onboarding new partners across a range of geographies and specialties.

“The portfolio we have now is so broad. It's not just PCs, notebooks, servers. It's storage, networking, software, security. So it's a matter of how do we make sure we have that we have the right partnerships across all of those specific areas.”

Murphy says security has been a particular growth area for the company this year.

“Security is an area we're not well known for, so we acquired the likes of SonicWall and SecureWorks and so we've onboarded and seen great growth from that perspective.”

The company had onboarded around 10-15 new security partners earlier this year.

Dell has about 70 active partners in New Zealand.