Dell Technologies subsidiary Virtustream has pledged to move away from a "traditional alliance model" in an effort to forge deeper relationships with resellers.
SVP of strategic alliances Christina Colby explained that her role is twofold, being both Virtustream's channel boss as well as managing its relationship with parent company Dell EMC.
Six months into her role, Colby (pictured) acknowledged that the vendor has previously been unsuccessful in fostering relationships with resellers.
"I wouldn't say we have deep relationships with VARs in EMEA, specifically... We want to change that," she said.
"I'm trying to transition away from the traditional alliance model, with deal registrations and that kind of thing, towards more joint and embedded solutions with our partners.
"We need to move to a proper ecosystem trying to drive truly symbiotic relationships, joint accountability and joint solution delivery.
"We haven't traditionally used distribution, but that being said we are quite open to it."
It seems increasingly common for vendors to claim that they are moving away from a traditional partner programme.
Yet Virtustream continues to also fall under the Dell EMC partner programme and, even in its own dealings with partners, Colby added that she didn't see traditional partner relationships ending completely.
"Don't get me wrong, there are transactions where that makes a lot of sense, but if we single-thread it to that, it constrains us quite a bit - that's our bottleneck, fundamentally," she said.
"So when we have the ability with an ISV, as an example, to be able to provide the support so they can turn their software into SaaS, I want to do that as well.
"I'm not saying that we will get away entirely from deal-based opportunities, but we need to have more of the direct solutions and repeatable offerings."
Colby also said that Virtustream's strong relationship with Dell EMC and its other subsidiaries, including VMware and cloud-based integration specialist Dell Boomi, gives it "an exciting edge" in the market.
"There are tremendous opportunities for us," she said.
"And we have new leadership, so we're seeing a reinforced focus in EMEA.
"We are growing with our focus on hybrid cloud landscapes… And we want to become the market leader for running mission-critical applications in the cloud."
In May, long-time Virtustream leaders Rodney Rogers and Kevin Reid stepped down after founding the enterprise cloud player nearly a decade ago. Rory Read is now president and CEO.
In addition to a renewed EMEA focus, Colby added that the firm is targeting a specific type of partner.
"Our objective is to tie back to those that have strong relationships in the industries where the mission-critical apps that we focus on are deployed," she said.
"So, for SAP that can be quite broad; anything from manufacturing to retail to financial services. For Guidewire, it's insurance customers, for Epic, it's healthcare.
"Those in particular are three mission-critical applications that we have keen focus on.
"Looking ahead, we are also starting to target the fintech space and expand there."
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