Dell ? 'committed to channel'

CEO reasserts his company's determination to work with partners
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Michael Dell committed his company to being a strong channel partner yesterday, stating that it had already implanted key changes that will ensure it is able to offer the best deals and service possible.

Speaking to US trade site ChannelWeb, Dell said that his company's $1.4 billion acquisition of EqualLogic had laid the groundwork for its entry into the channel, and went as far as to say that partners could expect an even better deal under the firm.

"Now these partners get everything they had before: deal registration, attractive margins, field channel support that's even increased," Dell said.

He also said that the deal would have an important, and beneficial impact upon the firm's existing channel partners. "I think it's all good news for channel partners in terms of expanding the range of things for the 40,000 Dell channel partners," Dell said.

"Of course, now we've added the Dell EqualLogic product line which gives them the most competitive iSCSI product line in the industry, which is right at the bull's eye of where storage is growing, and where it has very attractive margins."

He also set out to reassure that the company's combination of channel and direct sales would not impact on their operations, stating that the company's sales representatives had been told to adopt a channel-neutral perspective, and that incentive programs would ensure that they would be encouraged to act accordingly.

"Basically, our sales reps are compensated the same whether it's sold through a channel partner or its sold direct," he said. "So they have no incentive not to work with the channel, and in fact every incentive to work with the channel."

He added that the policy was having such an effect, that it was driving the formation of relationships between the direct sales team and Dell's channel partners, with leads being passed to firms by representatives.

"We're actually going to the channel partners with accounts that they don't actually have knowledge of or access to, and saying, 'Hey, here's 15 accounts in your area that know about Dell on the client side, and may be storage opportunities, and why don't you work these leads?'

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