I was told that "white is the new black" by a friend of mine in Munich who designs children's clothes. But, traveling through London, Stockholm, and Copenhagen over the last 3 days, all I saw were shades of black. Men in black, women in black, cars in black, furniture in black – everything in black, except children who wear anything. I'm thinking a fashion transition from black to white could be a challenge.
In Denmark, we met with the trade press there at a sparkling new Dell facility located in the midst of a modern, all-inclusive, "resi-dustrial" community that is planned to extend from the old Copenhagen downtown to the airport. It's a grand urban vision where schools, homes and industry coexist in harmony. There was a terrific energy there and it was one of the coolest office spaces I've seen.
Our first meeting was almost completely focused on the channel impact of Dell's acquisition of EqualLogic. The journalists from MediaProvider expressed skepticism about Dell's ability to transition their direct sales model to also include a successful channel in Denmark and they wanted to know how EqualLogic's short experience there was going to make a difference. We shared a story about one of our largest customers in Denmark, SDC Udvikling, a financial services company supporting over 170 banks in Scandinavia with 300 TB of banking services data on Dell EqualLogic storage. One of our largest customers since 2004, we've seen a steady stream of orders for PS Series arrays ever since. Our Danish channel partners will realize the same level of customer satisfaction and repeat purchase rates that we have established all over the world.
A successful channel business is worth the investment of both parties. We offer product training, sales training, marketing programs and an opportunity to sell some of the hottest IT solutions to a huge customer base. Our partners will invest in demo equipment, attend training sessions, and promote the company through a host of demand generation programs available.
Our second meeting was with a journalist from Altom Data. We took him through our product and technology overview which covered some of the advanced features of our SAN. Wanting to understand the technology in more depth, we explained how the PS Series would scale from 2TB to nearly 200TB and how that would allow Dell and its channel partners to sell to customers of all market segments. We went on to discuss the product's virtualization architecture and how that enabled the evolution of thin provisioning and tiered storage. He seemed very impressed. There is a keen awareness of Green Computing in Europe. Thin provisioning and tiered storage are two key technologies for making storage green.
There's a lot of hard work ahead as we forge a transition from purely direct sales to include channel partners. It's all made much easier by having such a strong product and technology that makes a real difference.