Dell banks on single-tier strategy for UK partners

Dell banks on single-tier strategy for UK partners

Vendor claims channel feedback led to one-tier model for PartnerDirect programme

Dell is planning to stick to a single-tier channel strategy when its partner programme officially launches in the UK in February.

The vendor took the wraps off its global channel programme, PartnerDirect, last week.

Josh Claman, general manager of EMEA channel group, said “Our strategy is going to be a simple approach - a one-tier model. The Dell business model lends itself to that. When we went out to the channel and asked them what they wanted, there was very strong feedback that they wanted a direct relationship with Dell.”

He added the vendor has invested heavily in its build-to-order offering, which can be shipped directly to the customer or reseller, depending on preference.

Claman also said Dell would eliminate issues of price wars by working closely with its sales teams and offering partners special pricing where necessary.

However, Graeme Watt, president of Bell Micro Europe, said the vendor might find it a challenge.

“Some resellers have embraced Dell, but there are still quite a few that will not touch it out of principle,” he said. “However, by not going through distribution, Dell could lose out because it is not able to offer the portfolio of products and solutions to resellers that distribution can.”

Tiffani Bova, research director for IT channel programmes at analyst Gartner, said: “The biggest challenge will be cultural, with Dell having strong roots in the direct model.

“Over the past two years, HP has doubled down on its channel partners and at the same time Dell has continued to rely on its direct model to gain share. During that time, HP was able to capture the top position in a number of categories.

“Dell will need to be consistent and execute against its recent announcements in a transparent way. The channel wants to see tangible changes and results.”