Chris Papa pumped up with Dell EMC channels

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In Photo: Papa

CHRIS Papa is part of that rare breed of Filipinos who opt to give his expertise within the country’s border.

He even accepted to step aside and allow his long-time friend Ronnie Latinazo to take the reins of Dell EMC’s Philippines office. Papa, to note, was the country manager of Dell before the biggest merger in the technology industry occurred.

The BusinessMirror was given an opportunity to sit down with Papa and ask how things are going now with the technology giant.

What is the impact of the merger?

The transition was swift. We were able to keep our teams intact. We are hiring more people. Some think this would impact the employees but, in this case, there is no impact at all.

Is the adjustment period after the transition long?

Not really. Since Day 1, when we were officially operating as Dell EMC, a lot of things have been done already—how to go about accounts, account alignment. A lot of preparations have been done already as early as that.

Since Day 1, we already knew what we were supposed to do, which new roles we would take, how the new synergies of the teams would be, and so on. We already knew what was going to happen. September was official Day 1 of Dell EMC, last year (2016). But officially, when we were working already as a team, it was the first week of February (2017) because that’s the start of our fiscal year. EMC adjusted their fiscal year to be on the same fiscal year as Dell. So Dell EMC is on the same fiscal year already.

By March because our strategy is under Dell Technologies (which is like our parent company), there are about seven brands/companies that you will hear about—Dell, when it comes to client products, Dell EMC for enterprise, hardware and infrastructure, VMWare, SecureWorks, Pivotal, Virtustream and RSA. Looking at it, the combined strategy under Dell Technologies is really go big, win big—everything in one place. That strategy is resonating well with our customers and our partners.

Specific to our partners, we’ve had an event to update our partners. We had a partner boot camp, a plenary discussion with partners and also a partners’ appreciation night last March. We’ve also formally shared with them the new Dell EMC Partner program. The one doing that right now is the channels.

Channels is a very important segment of the Dell EMC business. Globally, it’s a $35-billion business. This figure is relatively a huge business. It’s almost 50 percent of the combined Dell EMC company. Locally, our business in the Philippines is 99-point-something percent, which is through partners. That’s how important our partners are when it comes to the Dell EMC business.

What happened to the point-something percent?

There are some services that the customer can only place directly with EMC, so that’s what makes up the percentage. But it’s quite small. Very minimal.

We’ve launched the Dell EMC Partner Program, combining what is working well for both Dell and EMC. Within this program, our key messaging is “Simple, Predictable and Profitable”.

This [message] is actually trademarked. You can only hear of this messaging from Dell EMC. It’s trademarked because this is our key messaging moving forward, not just for a year or two. There are people or companies who try to use the same messaging as well, but, unfortunately, it’s trademarked. So they have to pull it out of the market. Just to let you know how important this messaging is. We really thought of it. And the way we’re going to operate, and the way we’re working with our partners is within those tenets.

Please expound on this messaging?

Simple, because you only now have one partner program. We’ve also simplified a lot of the things that used to be a bit complicated. For example, I can liken this with joining a contest, when there are so many terms and conditions.

In our case, we only have one partner program, one system—a single view for everything that you do together with Dell EMC.

It’s predictable in such a way that we’ve established clear rules of engagement across our partners and our employees. This is going to be our guiding principle when we engage with our partners and customers.

We’ve also put more transparency when it comes to our deal-registration system. Working with partners would entail that.

It’s essential that there is a way for us to monitor, because that’s how it is working with partners—deal registration really requires monitoring. It’s a critical component of it.

It’s profitable our partners are working with us for several things. one is the end-to-end portfolio, second is the ease of doing business and last but not the least is of course, expect to earn something from doing business with Dell EMC, like selling opportunities.

We’re going to pay on the first dollar when you sell. Before, it wasn’t like this. Now, it’s so simple: if you sell, we’ll pay you on the first dollar. You don’t have to think about other things, other conditions you have to meet.

Is there still a quota system?

Yes we still do, there is still a target system, but we are just putting a base target. Likewise, there are benefits. You sell, and for example, for the $100,000, you get a rebate based on [that] $100,000 also.

On top of that, we’re going to pay you more for acquiring new customers. When you say new customer, this can be a customer buying a lot of our storage system but not necessarily buying our client solutions. It can be any customer for us.

It could also be that the customer is using server but not necessarily storage. But if they acquire storage also on that particular account, then we can also consider that as a new customer for us even if they’ve been an old customer. If they’re buying a new  line of business or any new business from us, we consider that new business for Dell EMC, and we’re going to pay you more for that.

We’re also going to pay you more for growth. So you have your base target, you are given a rebate based on that and anything beyond that. We’re going to put in accelerators to pay you more for overachieving your targets.

We’ll also pay you more for services. As you attach more services into your offerings to your customers, we’re going to pay you more, too.

We’ve also simplified the Market Development Fund (MDF) policies. You earn MDF automatically. Unlike before, there were a lot of terms and conditions. Straightforward: you’ve sold this amount, the amount of businesses that you’ve done, and this is the percentage that you will get. And you can use that money to do MDF, such as regeneration events, certifications, so you can bring more into your business. That’s why it’s really profitable.

When we shared this briefing to partner owners, to team members, all of them were really excited about it. What Dell EMC has done is put in a hefty amount back into the channels business. Like this year, we have invested close to about $150 billion into the business. That is why we were able to do a lot of these incentives.

Why and how is Dell EMC doing these?

This is the same question being thrown to us by our partners.

For one, we’re beginning to grow our team members. We hire more people and try to cover as much customers. We have a strong strategy when it comes to channels. Every organization that has a strong channel strategy tends to do better in terms of revenue and profitability.

Our strategy is this—we have a team directly covering a set of our customers, mostly large enterprise customers and our channel partners cover the rest of the market: from large enterprise, commercial, small and midsized business, to retail. It’s going to take the combination of the right set of channel partners to cover those segments.



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