Channel profitability is prime focus for Dell EMC: Anil Sethi

The new partner program is the first choice for enterprise channel companies in India, says Dell EMC Channel Chief Anil Sethi.

Dell EMC Aug 02nd 2017

Dell EMC is gaining momentum with its full-fledged portfolio, extended channel ecosystem and consolidated business blueprint in India. With Dell-EMC integration now complete, the combined entity looks more aggressive than ever before. Anil Sethi, Vice President, Channels at Dell EMC India elaborates on the outlook of Dell EMC for channel partners in 2017 and beyond.

Edited Excerpts.

What definite opportunities exist in the India market for Dell EMC and its channel partners?

According to Ravi Shankar Prasad, there is currently a USD 2 trillion to USD 4 trillion opportunity in India driven by digital transformation. This is a great opportunity for companies like Dell EMC to capitalize and help businesses transform. In 2017, channel will be the key focus for Dell EMC.

The new channel partner program, driven by the three tenets of Simplicity, Predictability, and Profitability; is the best in class for the industry. This program is aimed to be aggressive and will cover every single product and type of market in India, allowing cross selling across enterprise and commercial.


Dell EMC as a combined entity is equipped to enable customers of all sizes through their digital transformation journey while focusing on the three pillars – IT, Security and Workforce transformation.


                                                 Anil Sethi, VP, Channels, Dell EMC India

There will also be incentives for new businesses. Branded businesses like RSA, VMware and others as part of Dell EMC, now allows us to be available in every single sphere starting from digital transformation, IT transformation, security transformation and workforce transformation.

How is Dell EMC enabling channels to accelerate their business over the next three years till 2019?

Dell EMC as a combined entity is equipped to enable customers of all sizes through their digital transformation journey while focusing on the three pillars – IT, security and workforce transformation. The Dell EMC partner program is also in-line with this vision.

The program is comprehensive with unified offerings for all our channel partners. With the new partner program, between the entire commercial and enterprise accounts, partners can operate across the entire Dell EMC portfolio. Rebates have been added to the new program, making it different from the previous one. This also allows the partner access to a larger market to operate, in addition to better return on investments.

The new program is based on three tenets:  Simple, Predictable and Profitable. Simple as it offers broad portfolio with entry being simple and it has simplified the number of product categories - from 27 to 9. Predictable as instead of a quarterly cycle, it is now a semiannual cycle and partners can calculate how much rebate they can earn. And the program is profitable with increased focused on rebates and marketing development funds and also partners can earn 1.5 to 8 times more than the old program.

Dell EMC has an extensive ‘device to datacenter’ portfolio with EMC (including VMware, RSA etc.) How are you hand holding both channels of Dell and erstwhile EMC?

Based on a strong feedback mechanism, we created a channel program which was differentiated in several ways. We had to redefine the plan in a promising way with the most important part being to build trust in the channel. The community responded positively owing to the seriousness of the commitment with which we were engaging with them.



 Broad portfolio with simple entry

 Product categories simplified from 27 to 9


 A semiannual cycle replaces quarterly cycle

 Calculate the exact rebate to be earned


 Increased focused on rebates and MDFs

 Earn 1.5 to 8 X more than the old program

The erstwhile Dell program was profitable in terms of backend rebates which have now been included as a part of the new program, hence making the program profitable. The legacy EMC system was based on a half-yearly target system as compared to a quarterly audit on the Dell side, which has now been incorporated into the program. This makes the program predictable. The earlier EMC program also had a strong training program, which has again become a key aspect of this program.

There is now a single deal registration system now for all partners, thereby ensuring simplicity. The partners now get access to the world’s best end-to-end portfolio - from desktops, notebooks, servers and all of EMC’s storage portfolio.

How is your team helping the channels move from traditional hardware centric model to new trends of software defined infra, cloud? Do you see any roadblocks?

To provide an enhanced customer experience to customers and grow revenues with a business first approach, prior to beginning the digital transformation journey, it is extremely important for organizations to prepare a roadmap for successful transformation. This is where a comprehensive training and certification program for channel partners comes in. We are very focused on training, (face-to-face or webinars). These training modules are not just for external stakeholders but also internal teams.

For reducing the go-to-market time for our customers, we have specialized resources who can help configure faster. This along with a Smart Pricing concept has reduced the time taken to give a quote to the customer. We have specialized teams in all the core areas, be it storage, compute and networking. 

What is the strategy for non-hardware partners inclined towards software and services for technologies like cloud, hyper converged infrastructure (HCI), and virtualization?

Dell EMC as a combined entity now has the capabilities to offer partners complete edge-to-core solutions. The program now seamlessly brings together channel partners from across product portfolios under one umbrella.  The new channel program is spread across all the partners and portfolios such as Clients, PCs, Compute, Storage, Networking and Virtustream. All the partners in various quotas are licensed to sell the above mentioned product lines. The partners are now categorized in the categories – Gold, Platinum, Titanium and Titanium Black (only for elite partners).

There is another category of ‘Strategic Partners’. In India, Dell EMC has about 35 strategic partners with a ‘National Account Manager’ allocated to them from Dell EMC. These partners are a subset of the above mentioned categorization of partners. These partners have been identified based on their competency, business skills, reach in the market, market presence, and reach across different verticals and geographies.

We have a team called Emerging Channels that looks at bringing new partners into the fold while we build and sustain the relationships we have with existing partners in the program. We want partners to work with us long term and we want to equip them with the skills, capabilities and relationships to stay competitive in the market.

What are the technology trends and business climate for Indian enterprises to adopt HCI in India?

India holds a great potential for HCI among other storage models. India’s external storage market witnessed a growth of 13.8 percent year on year (YoY) (in vendor revenue) and stood at USD 74.6 million in Q1 2017, according to IDC.





Titanium Black

Modernized IT infrastructure and reduced infrastructure footprint are the key IT priorities across organizations. Technologies such as hyper-converged infrastructure and software-defined storage are gaining traction to address both optimization demands and remove infrastructure management complexities. HCI is the fastest-growing part of the IT infrastructure market because customers want radical infrastructure simplification, and Dell EMC is the fastest-growing vendor in this segment with the strongest HCI portfolio. 

Your key reasons on why Dell EMC should be first choice of enterprise channel in India.

The USD 1 trillion Digital India opportunity offers significant business potential for Dell EMC.  It is the right time for new age channel partner companies to invest in technologies that will help businesses digitally transform themselves. The transformation needs to happen in businesses across the three key pillars: IT, workforce and security transformation.

The new partner program covers every single product and type of market in India, including incentives for new businesses. Dell EMC has deployed a deal registration system for channel partners to lock in a business opportunity and ease their burden. Dell EMC handsomely rewards its partners for bringing in new businesses. Partners who give us incremental business make significantly higher margins in those transactions. These aspects make the program the first choice for enterprise channel companies.

Dell EMC will stay focused and consistent in channel strategy including partner programs and market outreach. It is also important for technology companies to help and empower channel partners in accelerating their customer’s digital transformation journey. And it is imperative to educate channel partners and help them adapt to customers who are now interested in buying non-traditional IT.