From AI and multi-cloud to business transformation and diversity, Dell Technologies’ channel leaders dish on their expectations for the first year of the data decade.
As we finalize plans for our upcoming financial year in February, my channel leadership team and fellow partner colleagues are talking a lot about our expectations for the new year.
This isn’t the first new decade I’ve embarked upon here at Dell. As we planned for 2010, I led Global Strategy and Planning for our Large Enterprise Business Unit, and as we prepared for Y2K, I was the director of Service Parts Planning in Dell’s America’s Service Delivery organization. I vividly remember the teams who worked alongside me, and the trends we explored as we entered the last two decades.
While the trends have obviously changed a lot over the past 20 years, one thing that hasn’t changed is the need to have the right partners by our side, all aligned to the same goals and strategy. With that in mind, my channel leadership team and I have put together our top eight channel trends of 2020, as informed by our partner community.
1. We Evolve as Partners Adopt New Business Models
Gregg Ambulos, Senior Vice President, North America Channel Sales
The rapid introduction of new, sophisticated infrastructure and application solutions is upon us as emerging technologies hit their stride. Information technology is becoming more specialized, not standardized, requiring both Partners and OEMs alike to build expertise. Because of this, there is a shift is happening across the partner ecosystem, blurring the lines between partner types. For example, solution providers are now beginning to put together their own solutions, breaking into the OEM space, and systems integrators are focusing more on cloud. As partners continue to break into new spaces and realize the profound impact that AI, IOT and security technologies will have on business, we will continue to evolve how we provide opportunities for meaningful top and bottom line growth.
2. The Channel Embraces Social Impact
Cheryl Cook, Senior Vice President, Global Partner Marketing
Having a Corporate Social Responsibility program and doing good is becoming increasingly important to our customers. I think we’ll see an explosion of partners both embracing our program, and creating their own, and it will help drive sales. Our partners are looking to do more, and we have an amazing opportunity to work together on social impact projects. Our leadership in this area is a huge differentiator with our recently announced 2030 Progress Made Real goals. We have resources our partners can leverage today to tell our story, and I have personally had partners ask me about how to start their own women’s initiatives, like our Women’s Partner Network.
Jim DeFoe, Senior Vice President, Global Distribution
I expect to see diversity & inclusion initiatives become more mainstream in 2020. More and more, channel partners are recognizing that diversity and inclusion initiatives will not only help solve some of our society’s deepest challenges, but also help build and empower a stronger, more productive workforce for the future.
3. Multi-Cloud Becomes Table Stakes
Scott Millard, Senior Vice President, Specialty Sales, Global Channels, Alliance and OEM
The partner ecosystem is seeing more frequent partnerships with hyperscalers rather than direct competition. Leveraging different clouds for different applications can have enormous upside, but it can also create massive complexity and slow the decision-making process. Whether just beginning the multi-cloud journey or seeking to optimize it, partners are becoming an ever more important part of customers’ multi-cloud plans. At Dell Technologies, we are helping partners provide solutions that span all locations through Dell Technologies Cloud with VMware Cloud Foundation.
Anwar Dahab, Senior Vice President, EMEA Channel Sales
In 2020, the infrastructure for digital transformation will continue to be multi-cloud and hybrid cloud. No customer is considering a 100% public cloud strategy. Instead we see a repatriation of certain workloads and applications running on multiple clouds for cost, performance, scalability, regulatory and security reasons. Partners who have the skills to migrate applications and design, implement and maintain multi-cloud environments will continue to win. Partners who can make multi-cloud consumable on demand will win even more.
4. Multi-Cloud Becomes Go-To GTM Model
Jay Snyder, Senior Vice President, Global Alliances
It will be a Multi-Cloud world for customers as they look to unlock the power and flexibility of technology to drive their digital and strategic agendas. Determining workload placement and how to design an IT environment for business success will be critical for customer success, and nobody is better equipped to deliver on this vision than System Integrators. Once defined, Service Providers will be key by offering both managed on-premise and off-premise private clouds as well as serving as a broker to the public cloud when the workload warrants it. What used to be accidental due to multiple teams leveraging many clouds, multi-cloud will become an intentional strategy driven by workloads and cloud-native applications. This will be the go-to-market approach customers want, and our partners are primed and ready to enable customers on this journey.
5. Demand for Flexible Consumption Models Accelerates
Tian Beng Ng, Senior Vice President, APJ Channel Sales
We can expect to see accelerating demand for new, more flexible consumption models in 2020. With the rise of multi-cloud, the IT industry is experiencing massive change, disruption and transformation, and that is putting closer scrutiny on customer and partner finances. This impacts how partners are selling and delivering solutions to their customers and how we support them. With Dell Technologies Cloud, we can help our customers achieve their cloud ambitions. Combined with flexible consumption offerings enabled by Dell Financial Services, this represents significant opportunities for our channel partners.
6. Artificial Intelligence, Analytics Spending Grows Significantly
Alvaro Camarena, Senior Vice President, Latin America Channel Sales
Analytics spending is forecasted to grow significantly in the coming years. We can attest to that growth not only in the behaviors we’re seeing with partners and customers, but also with the processes and improvements we’re making here within the Dell Technologies Partner Program. As we continue on this journey, our partners can count on us to continue investing in AI to empower their customers’ digital transformations and to simplify the way we work together.
7. Generic Offerings No Longer Cut It
Hayley Tabor, Vice President, Global Industries
As customers look to differentiate themselves, they’re looking for real solutions that allow them to use their IT capabilities to innovate their business within their specific industry. They want trusted expertise and deep knowledge of how their industry works. Generic offerings no longer cut it for customers in highly-specialized sectors like healthcare, energy, retail and surveillance. It takes dedication to industry-specific demands with a focus on innovation to win the trust of customers and ultimately drive innovation across a multitude of industries.
8. The Journey To 5G Continues
Bryan Jones, Senior Vice President & General Manager, OEM | Embedded & Edge Solutions
5G will spawn new business models that will see billions of devices consuming and generating data like never before. This transformation will not happen overnight. Instead, it will be a gradual journey toward a complete architectural evolution. Now as the network architecture evolves, it will be critical for service providers and equipment manufacturers to rethink their partnerships and procurement models. And, as the essential infrastructure provider, Dell Technologies is set to drive the 5G transformation.
Partners: We want to hear from you! Tweet us your 2020 predictions.