A tete-e-tete

What does Compellent Technologies
acquisition mean for Dell?

The acquisition is the next step in
Dell’s strategy to help customers better manage their data growth,
reduce their storage costs and simplify the management of their IT
infrastructure. The opportunity to acquire Compellent complements our
strategic acquisitions of EqualLogic, Scalent, Ocarina and Exanet by
extending Dell’s key intelligent infrastructure tenants of
automation, optimization, scalability and virtualization Compellent’s
100 percent channel
focus provides Dell’s PartnerDirect Channel Partners with a new set
of storage products to sell. As a result, Dell will be able to
provide customers with new storage choices and an alternative to
legacy non-virtualized arrays.
In addition to iSCSI, Compellent’s
multi-protocol architecture includes Fibre Channel, and FCoE for
customers that continue to leverage Fibre Channel for their storage
network. There is a large Fibre Channel install base and Compellent
is a solution that enables Dell to provide FC capabilities in line
with our vision. Also, Compellent delivers the lowest total cost of
ownership in the industry — slashing the time and cost of storage
up to 80 percent.

There has already been competition
in the storage domain in India. What are your immediate priorities?

Dell is expanding its storage
technology portfolio to better address the needs of its customers in
the virtual era and that is our foremost priority. The volume,
velocity and value of customers data is creating a need to change the
way they manage people, processes and procurement. In the virtual era,
customers manage
rapidly changing workloads and require storage that can keep up with
dynamic requirements, solve the TCO equation, and automate the
set-up, deployment and management of their IT environments.
Dell’s enterprise strategy in the
virtual era helps control operational costs while making it easier to
keep up with growing business, competitive and market demands without
sacrificing choice and flexibility. Our intelligent infrastructure
solutions, including servers, storage and networking, provide
advanced automation, industry-leading optimization and flexibility
through scalable storage solutions.

What will be your market strategy
and partner-driven initiatives?

Storage offers some of the biggest
opportunities for business growth in the IT market and we believe we
could help our partners become more profitable through a sustained
understanding of storage solutions-selling. As organizations
understand the importance of data management and increase their
investments in implementing storage solutions, Dell’s comprehensive
portfolio of offerings offers a tremendous opportunity in the

The primary objective of our channel
program is to deepen our engagement with Enterprise partners and
there is a significant Dell investment of money and resources for
this purpose. The thrust is on solution selling and partners are
being enabled with demo units apart from technical trainings. We have
employed various means to reach out to our partners and have tried to
gather feedback and suggestion from them. We have gone ahead and
committed ourselves to a lot of initiatives that our partners wanted
us to invest our resources on. The changes made to our Partner Portal
is a case in point wherein we have taken these ideas and implemented
to make the Partner Portal more user friendly and have included a lot
of tools our partners would find useful.

Highlighting the initiatives taken for
channel engagement, the EQL demo program is currently on wherein the
product is discounted heavily to encourage partners to purchase the
EQL box. We are also investing heavily in building skill-sets of
relevant partners, including sending key partners to Kuala Lumpur in
Malaysia for a three day intensive training program on Storage. We
are aligning instructor led classroom training programs and extending
online courses to cover more relevant areas. Incentive plans are being
accordingly with much higher incentives for both the partner
organization and partner sales representatives for selling enterprise
solutions. There are specific incentive programs on qualified lead
generation and closure on EqualLogic and joint lead-gen events in
partnership with Microsoft and VMWare to generate virtualization led
storage deals. Instead of adding new partners, Dell has focused in
growing the base of certified partners which has grown by 30 percent
(number of EA certified partners). ESG business through partners has
grown at the rate of almost 20 percent QoQ. In fact, currently,
approx. 76 percent of deals coming in are getting approved for the
partners. Dell is educating and certifying
partners to be able to better engage with SMBs in India. Dell
launched the PartnerDirect program to create value for resellers to
reach out to more customers. The PartnerDirect program has helped us
make the Dell brand available to the SMB segment which does a
significant part of its business through the channel.

Will this acquisition intensify the
competition around virtualization? Please share some insight.

Compellent helps customers capitalize
on the ‘Virtual Era’ by reducing data management costs and
streamlining operations significantly. It delivers the lowest total
cost of ownership in the industry — slashing the time and cost of
storage up to 80 percent. By entering into a definitive agreement to
acquire Compellent, Dell further edges towards becoming the most
formidable player in the storage arena.

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