The biggest opportunity for solution providers trying to ramp up commercial PC sales is the access they have to Dell Technologies sales teams, said Dell's President of Global Client Solutions, Greg Davis.
"We have thousands of salespeople now interacting with customers, partners," Davis told CRN. "Take advantage of all those resources to drive the right solution. That's a big opportunity for our partners. I said this years ago when I was involved in the channel more: communicate. We have a very open dialog with our partners, and when we see areas that we can improve on, communicate those. We probably can't do everything immediately; we certainly make progress as we work through issues."
Davis' call for communication comes as he tries to spur commercial PC growth through the channel, especially among data center partners that haven't typically sold PCs. Davis praised Channel Chief John Byrne for developing a partner program that motivates partners "that want to expand and offer end-to-end solutions to our customers."[
"If you're one of those partners looking to expand your business, I think we offer a single program, a single company, a one-stop shop for everything you need, and that has a lot of great value for our partners, let alone our customers," Davis said.
In the wake of Dell's $58 billion acquisition of EMC last year, the company has emphasized to partners that it is of utmost importance to sell across the combined company's wide portfolio. Of particular interest to Davis are EMC partners that have not previously sold PCs. That situation represents significant "white space" for the Dell commercial PC business, and Davis' team is trying to make those sales as easy as possible for partners, he said.
"To know that you've got one company behind you and can provide one line of credit for you, or one solution is a big differentiator for our channel partners," Davis said.
Dell Technologies, by rising to the challenge of selling PCs through partners that perhaps haven't done any significant PC business previously, is helping sustain the company's position as one of very few vendors that are booking growth in the global PC market, even as that market consolidates. The company boasts of its more than three years of PC market share gains.
In the second quarter, the global PC market declined more than 4 percent, leaving Dell and archrival HP Inc. as the only major PC vendors to book shipment growth.
Keeping that momentum up and selling PCs to data center customers means partners need education and guidance, said Jeff Hay, account manager at Broadtek, a Cape Girardeau, Mo., solution provider that works with several major PC vendors. "We need education on what they've got coming out, new models, new things coming out. A lot of times, the problem is that there are so many different models, so many different choices, the SKUs are huge. It gets a little cumbersome."
Hay said enterprise requirements like high graphics use or demanding graphics processing could push the cost of PCs up, especially if the customer is looking for a VDI solution. "It's still expensive to have high GPU on a VDI solution," he said. "Dell is going to have to transition their business model to get away from the traditional PC. There will still be a use for that in some specific instances, but the cloud is where it's going."