Dell's UK channel boss Sarah Shields has encouraged partners with both Dell and EMC practices to merge them before the imminent close of the mammoth acquisition.
Dell's takeover of EMC is due to happen between now and October. Although one of the final big hurdles – gaining approval from China – was cleared last week, Shields (pictured) said a number of other regulatory bits and pieces still need to be done before so-called "day one", when the deal goes through.
"I think the teams have done a phenomenal job in terms of the preparation for the integration and we are all set for day one," she said. "When day one is, I don't know. There are a lot of things which need to happen before day one. There's stuff at a corporate level – a lot of the regulatory stuff you've got to do, and various registrations. From a team perspective, the integration teams have been bringing the teams together ready for day one. Most of us have met our counterparts, but we already knew them because it is such a small industry."
At EMC World in May, the vendors jointly announced that from 1 February next year, there would be just one channel programme for the combined organisation.
Shields said that partners would be wise to align their own businesses with this.
"My advice to any partner is if you have an EMC business and a Dell business, bring them together," she said. "We will be bringing the teams together and there will be one programme for the UK channel. We're seeing that already – many partners have embraced it and have had [joint teams] in place for several months now. It's exciting."
When asked if she would advocate separate EMC and Dell specialists merging, she said:
"I think the point about EMC partners and Dell partners coming together is really interesting. That would be great to see. I think this opens up opportunities everywhere.
"The opportunities are endless. The 'stronger together' phrase has never been more prevalent. If you look at the EMC offering and the Dell offering, there is very little overlap and a lot of synergy."
Dell has not been obliged to report its results publicly since it went private. But Shields told CRN that the UK channel business performed exceptionally in the first half, which recently closed.
"We have smashed the number in the UK channel. It's been brilliant. We've got the highest NPS [net promoter score] we've ever had and we've got the highest staff satisfaction scores we've ever had. It's been formidable. The team are operating at the best levels I have ever seen. It's just been six months of brilliance."
The one thing which has caused the firm a headache is Brexit, she said.
"It has had an impact – currency is at the lowest point in 30-odd years, so that's that," said Shields. "It has had an impact on buying decisions as well. A lot of customers held off, wondering what was going to happen. Most of that came in as soon as rumours of price hikes came. The impact is being felt and I think there's a nervousness about UK-headquartered corporations. But there's a massive need for IT now. The world goes on."
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