When Dell closed its blockbuster $67bn acquisition of EMC eight months ago, the two companies faced an integration process as dauntingly immense and intricate as any ever seen in the technology industry.
Partners will have been heartened to see that uniting the channel operations was one of the first items on the agenda. Almost exactly five months on from the deal's closure, the Dell EMC Partner Programme was launched. The company claimed that it was built on what resellers had identified as the best bits of each of the two vendors' previous channel offerings - namely the predictability and simplicity of the EMC framework, and the inherent profitability and greater openness of the Dell scheme. Also merged swiftly and decisively were the two sets of channel-focused employees, such as partner account managers and high-touch sales teams.
So, as far as the channel is concerned, the Dell EMC mega merger is so far, so good.
But, if it wants to keep VARs onside, the vendor needs to ensure that it continues to invest money, and just as importantly, time in its partners. In the years leading up to the merger, both companies have geared their business away from direct sales and towards the channel and each entered the union with a global channel-centricity somewhere in the 50 per cent region.
At the inaugural Dell EMC World event this week in Las Vegas, CEO Michael Dell claimed that about $35bn of the company's $75bn top line - or $7 in every $15 - is currently generated indirectly. But the eponymous chief would not be drawn on whether the merger would impact the pace at which turnover tilts towards the channel, stating only that he wishes to grow both direct and indirect revenue streams.
As was ever the case, resellers have a vast amount of choice in terms of which vendors they work with and what technology they recommend to their customers. Dell EMC has, so far, made a compelling case that it remains worthy of the channel's loyalty. But as it presses on with the herculean integration process, it must never lose sight of the fact that needs to keep earning that loyalty every day.
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