Dell claims the level of service its UK resellers receive will not be compromised as it offshores more partner sales support to India.
Talking to CRN, executive director of Dell's commercial channel, Bill O'Shea, confirmed that Dell now employs 30 inside sales staff at its Hyderabad office to work with UK partners and that headcount there would be boosted further.
Some smaller-spending UK Dell resellers – including one Preferred partner we spoke to – told us they have seen their account management offshored in recent weeks. Another partner, Unleashed IT, revealed in an angry blog post that it is severing its direct relationship with Dell in protest.
Dell's Hyderabad hub began fulfilling some UK partner inside sales support functions two to three years ago, with numbers ramping up significantly over recent quarters under a new team, O' Shea confirmed.
"My job is to maximise resources to give partners a top-quality experience," he said.
"Every now and again this means moving partners around and we make these moves with the best interest of our partners in mind. Our intention is by no means to penalise partners for dropping spend but to ensure that our account managers have enough bandwidth to spend time with partners so they can grow their business."
Although Dell has 30 inside sales staff in India, this is less than half the 80 UK partner-facing staff housed in Dublin, with Dell employing another 200 to 300 direct-selling staff in the Irish capital who also work with partners. Dell is adding partner-facing resource in Dublin, as well as external field managers in the UK, O'Shea said.
Dell's recent move to bring its direct "segment" and channel teams under a single management structure sent a strong message that it is continuing to encourage collaboration between the two parts of its business, O'Shea claimed.
"Sometimes I'm now seeing the segment teams working with our partners without us even having known about it, which is utopia: it's where we want to get to," he said.
Dell's UK business is currently experiencing "probably its strongest quarter from a year-on-year growth perspective that I can remember", O'Shea added. Growth is occurring across all lines of business – including desktops – and across all partner categories, including corporate resellers such as Softcat, Kelway, Computacenter and Insight, niche partners sitting below that and finally the mass market of resellers that tend to be dealt with by Dell's distributors or Hyderabad.
A new two per cent rebate for Premier software partners has been introduced, investment in demonstration equipment has been upped sixfold and Dell has also given some partners access to higher lines of credit via Dell Financial Services, O'Shea pointed out.
He said that partners had complained about their account management being moved in less than one per cent of cases during his five years at Dell.
"The numbers we are delivering and the written feedback we are getting from partners tells me we are doing the right things," he said.
"When we do have an isolated issue, we jump on it very quickly as we can't afford to have any negative perceptions in the market."
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