Digital transformation is a reality for organisations of all sizes, and IT partners need to help them make a successful transformation. Kathy Gibson attended from Dell EMC Channel Update in Sandton to find out more

The IT industry is experiencing a massive change as companies in all industries and all geographies are under pressure to transform themselves.

Jonas Bogoshi, channel director of Dell EMC SA, points out that the industry today is changing – and changing fundamentally.

“If you are an IT department today, you have a challenge: on the one hand you have the business asking about digital transformation that helps to make businesses more profitable; on the other hand you must manoeuvre a plethora of technologies and make sense of them all.

“Channel partners are having to answer the question: what companies have to do to transform for the future,” he says.

And this is not just for large companies, but for small companies as well, Bogoshi points out.

“If you are running an IT company you have to decide where to invest your money to have the biggest impact on your customers.”

Bogoshi says there are four good reasons for companies to building their businesses with Dell EMC:

* Today, Dell EMC has the industry’s most innovative and comprehensive portfolio.

* We have the fastest growing channel business.

* We have introduced one of the best partner programmes in the industry.

* We have rules of engagement that we adhere to, and which give you peace of mind.

In terms of market share – be it cloud, server or laptops – Dell EMC is gaining traction. “This tells you that the merger of Dell and EMC was the right thing,” Bogoshi says. “Between them they provide solutions from the edge to the cloud.

“Their technologies map to the fundamental building blocks for digital transformation.”

Bogoshi adds that Dell EMC leads the market in many areas, including some of the fastest growing industry segments.

“Today your customers don’t want point solutions any more. They are looking for solutions.”

Dell EMC solutions are aimed at enabling three key transformations, he says:

* Dell EMC helps resellers to help their clients drive workforce transformation.

* Dell EMC helps resellers to help their clients with IT transformation – how they have to modernise, automate and transform to a truly digital environment. This can take cost out of the environment.

* Dell EMC helps resellers to build the key transformation – a holistic transformation that takes into account the business context.

“Today if you are trying to build a business with the biggest impact, focus on these three transformations,” he says.

Bogoshi adds that, since Dell EMC is the fastest-growing channel business in the industry – in fact, only 30% of the company’s South African business still goes direct today.

“More and more we are moving from being a direct business to an indirect business,” he says.

“One reason is that this is a function of market maturity. But the other part is that Michael Dell decided that the merged company would be a channel-centric business.”

Dell EMC has put its money where its mouth is, and has reduced the number of named accounts from 1 000 to just 300.

“The final reason to partner with Dell EMC is the channel programme,” Bogoshi says.

The programme is designed to be simple, predictable and profitable.

“in terms of simplicity: there is one programme worldwide. And there are just three tiers – gold, titanium and platinum.”

Moreover, qualification is on an annual basis.

Partners can get rebates from the first dollar; they get rebates if they grow year on year; they get rebates for new customers; and they get rebates if they add services. They also qualify for market development funds.

“So regardless of whether you invest in networking, security or client – you can make money,” Bogoshi says.

“If you aggregate all the benefits, ou can from 1,5-times to 8-times what you got last year.”

Predictability is important, he adds.

“As an OEM partner, what you want is predictability, so you can build your business. Dell EMC brings four things to the programme to ensure predictability:

* A deal registration process is managed on a global basis and is immune to human intervention.

* Line of business incumbency has been introduced to protect partners against the possibility of Dell EMC making your customer direct

* There is a differentiation between direct business and named account. Today, no account is out of bounds if customers decide to deal with a partner – regardless of whether it is a named account.

* A governance process has been put in place to protect partners, and punishes Dell EMC employees who transgress the processes.

The call to action, Bogoshi says, is for resellers to register as a Dell EMC partner as soon as possible. “Then meet with our distributors who will help you become a gold partner.”


So what’s in it for the resellers?

Dell EMC’s PowerEdge server has been voted as the top server in the world – but now resellers need to get behind the product to help it make a mark on the local market.

Greg McDonald, from Dell EMC’s server sales team, points out that customers are choosing PowerEdge from Dell EMC.

“But what’s in it for the reseller?” he asks.

* Global server sales are increasing by $14-billion over the next three years and Dell EMC channel revenue share is growing in double digits;

* Resellers can get ahead of the game and prepare for PowerEdge success by taking advantage of our sales and training content;

* They can benefit from compelling pricing and deal registration to help increase margins;

* Partners can increase profitability by adding professional services to all your server opportunities such as consultancy, deployment and support;

* They can offer customers a PowerEdge Solution to meet every core data centre challenge; and

* End-to-end best-in-class innovative solutions means there are no compromises.

The server can be the primary source of competitive advantage for IT, so it’s important that customers select the right server technology.

The Dell EMC PowerEdge is able to run both traditional and emerging workloads, a flexible cost structure, and comprehensive and enduring security.

McDonald explains that the key design points for a modern IT infrastructure include the ability to adapt and scale, automate and protect both customers and the business.

Making sure that the server can adapt and scale, Dell EMC’s PowerEdge offers optimised performance for a multitude of workloads. It offers increased throughput for realtime analytics, optimised software defined storage, and more virtual desktop instances than ever before.

“Add this up and this is how we build a platform that scales for customers,” says McDonald

The automation leg is enabled by OpenManage intelligent automation that resolves issues up to 90% faster, works with next-generation APIs for consistent and extensible management, and reduced server configuration time by up to 99% with zero touch.

“Marry this up, and that’s intelligent automation,” McDonald says.

Being able to offer protected solutions is enabled by integrated security. Every PowerEdge server is designed on a cyber resilient architecture, Dell EMC is a trusted partnered with end-to-end server ecosystems and lifecycle security. It offer secure manageability protections that saves costs and ensures security.

The PowerEdge portfolio includes towers, racks, modular servers and extreme scale infrastructure.

In fact, says McDonald, PowerEdge offers a server for every workload. “There is a solution and product enabled for a specific solution is every segment.”

PowerEdge solutions address customer concerns, says McDonald.

Companies want to increase performance to cater for in-memory database processing, so PowerEdge offers NVDIMM for persistent memory.

Customers are resistant to implementing virtual desktop (VDI), but PowerEdge cuts through the problems by offering multi-vector cooling and graphic processing units (GPUs).

All organisations are keen to continue slashing their opex (operating expenses) costs, so PowerEdge offers open APIs and mobile monitoring.

Security remains as central concern and companies are looking to mitigate the security risk. PowerEdge helps in this regard with systems security lockdown.


Workforce transformation completes the circle

Workforce transformation is a new concept, running alongside IT and business transformation.

Pamila Sewnarain, client solutions lead: distribution and channel at Dell EMC SA, points out that end user demands are changing at the same time as technology is changing.

“Users are looking at technology in a different way, and we need to align the right technology to the right users,” she says.

Studies show us that at least 60% of work is now done outside of business hours – it’s no longer a location but an activity.

Another key factor is that 95% of security breaches originate at the end point – so they end point device is as important as the data centre when it comes to security.

End users are becoming more demanding: 44% don’t think their workplace is smart enough; 41% would quit over poor technology; 82% say technology influences which job they stay in; and 58% say Internet of Things (IoT) and augmented reality/virtual reality is a job perk.

Buyers have changes as well – and IT is no longer in charge. Today, buying decisions are being made by functional buyers like human resources, operations and engineering.

“Workforce transformation expands the conversation to a new level, and revolves around secure devices,” Sewnarain says.

The top workplace trends the Dell EMC expects to see emerging include:

* Immersive technology like the Dell Canvas that targets users in creative industries. It will be available in South Africa from 1 August.

* Otherworldliness is becoming desirable, with augmented, assisted, mixed and virtual reality all coming of age. The interaction between the physical and digital changes the way people interact with technology and the world around them. The Dell portfolio includes devices that are ready for augmented reality ad virtual reality.

* Modern homes rely on technology – but open up new security threats. Dell EMC secures devices on a number of levels.

* The accelerating pace of technology innovation means that there is a constant demand for new user experiences. Dell EMC is leading with an innovative portfolio and solutions that help end users become more productive.

* IoT is coming of age, and Dell EMC is investing effort and money in the world of IoT – in fact IDC recently named Dell as he vendor to watch in the IoT space.

* Prevention is better than sure, so Dell uses machine learning to enable predictive and preventative maintenance and support.

* Big data is becoming more important, and machines are changing how we react to issues in the market. Dell now includes Precision Optimiser that addresses this trend.

As a market leader in end user devices, Dell secures data in motion without disrupting end users or IT productivity, Sewnarain says.

He company provides tools to deploy and manage seamlessly from a centre location.

The bottom line, says Sewnarain, is the Dell EMC delivers a superior end user experience.

The company has changed the way it sells technology, with pre-configured bundles that let resellers target the right solution at the right user, Sewnarain adds.