Beyond Great Technology – Growing the Dell Channel One Acquisition at a Time

Michael Dell has made no secret of his plan to continue on with an aggressive M&A strategy to help Dell expand its influence and reach from the desktop to the datacenter. In fact, he has reported publicly that additional acquisitions are planned for 2011 and beyond. Before Dell started heading down this acquisition road, something that was less apparent was that through new acquisitions from companies such as KACE, EqualLogic and also Compellent, Dell would quickly expand its channel presence since these companies brought with them not just great technology, but their own strong reseller partnerships.

With these acquisitions, Dell continued to bolster its channel leadership by introducing new solutions that offer unique IP for partners that tackle two of the hottest market growth opportunities—systems management (KACE) and data management (EQL and Compellent). These solutions are “margin rich” for the right channel partners looking to gain a competitive edge and a differentiated product offering. Consider that KACE is among the industry’s fastest growing systems management vendors while also being recognized as a “Visionary” in Gartner’s 2010 PC Configuration Lifecycle Management Magic Quadrant.

KACE benefited immensely from being part of Dell’s channel program, adding more than 100 new certified partners last year alone. However and less well known, we‘ve found that we can help make introductions too.

Pre-acquisition, the majority of our sales were via the channel. Similarly, both Compellent and EqualLogic sold considerably through the channel. Beyond innovative and rapidly growing new product lines, Dell also received from these acquisitions channel-related expertise, which has evolved its approach to partnering and how its channel program is structured.

Softchoice is a great example of a reseller partner working more with Dell which had been an established KACE partner selling our award-winning KACE management appliances for almost three years. While having had only limited engagement with Dell prior to the KACE acquisition, Softchoice and Dell have begun to grow and expand their relationship.

“Solving business issues through high value solutions is our number one goal and Dell’s recent acquisitions have proven very complimentary to our strategy,” said Josh Greene, VP of Sales of the West Region for Softchoice. “When it comes to addressing issues related to systems and IT asset management, KACE offers exciting technology that eases the strain on IT. That’s a great fit given our focus and another reason we have been investing in a deeper relationship with Dell.”

This evolving channel story is another example of the wonderful symbiosis between KACE and Dell and highlights how Dell is seeing benefits beyond just adding great technology from its successful acquisition strategy.

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About the Author: Ken Sims