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Channel strategy boosts global growth, says Dell during Malaysia solutions launch: interview

AvantiKumar | April 13, 2015
Since privatisation, IDC data shows Dell has gained PC share worldwide on a YoY basis for the eighth consecutive quarter, says Dell's Ng Tian Beng during a visit to Kuala Lumpur.

Ng Tian Beng, MD Dell South Asia & Korea; VP, Commercial Channels, APJ 

Photo - Ng Tian Beng, Managing Director, Dell South Asia & Korea; Vice President, Commercial Channels, Dell Asia Pacific & Japan.

 

More than a year after going private, Dell has gained market share for PCs on a year-over-year basis for the eighth consecutive quarter, according to IDC data for Q4 2014 said the computer company.

During an interview with Computerworld Malaysia on the side-lines of Dell's major channel partner and customer event in Kuala Lumpur (9 April 2015), Singapore-based Ng Tian Beng, who is the company's managing director for South Asia & Korea, and Vice President, commercial channels, Asia Pacific Japan, reaffirmed that: "The channel is an integral part of the company and a core element for when we plan, be it in marketing, compensation structuring or go-to-market strategies."

"According to that IDC data. We had share gains across all regions, in both commercial and consumer, and in notebooks and desktops," said Ng, when asked about the company's performance since privatisation just over a year ago. "Besides that, no company ships more storage worldwide than Dell," he said. "The 2H FY15 period saw Dell Storage growth of +5 percent; gained storage share in 3Q and 4Q in all price bands."

"Dell Servers on the other hand, maintained the No. 2 position in the global x86 server market with 21.0 percent unit share and was the only top 3 x86 server vendor to gain worldwide unit share year over year [IDC Q4 2014]," said Ng.

"The privatisation saw us upping the ante on our drive to become an end-to-end solutions provider, with the Asian market a key component," said Ng. "In line with this, a key area of focus for us is on building up our channel partner ecosystem in the region."

"Historically, we're more well known as a direct sales company, but over the last couple of years, the culture at Dell has changed," he said. "Now, the channel is an integral part of the company and a core element for when we plan, be it in marketing, compensation structuring or go-to-market strategies. We are not putting any ceiling or limit on our growth. We plan to keep outpacing market growth."

 Channel meets megatrends

"The four so-called technology megatrends - cloud, mobility, Big Data and security - but these four all are related to one recent topic of conversation, that of the Internet of Things (IoT) for our customers and is vertically related," he said. "To help them apply and gain value from these changes, all the solutions from Dell are really from our strategy of four key pillars - Transform Connect Inform and Protect."

"Channel helps us meet the requirements of customers," said Ng. "Our Engineers Club is just one programme but a very important one launched originally in 2012 in China and then two other countries: China and Korea."

"This year we have launched it i[the programme] n five Southeast Asia markets - Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines and Singapore," he said.  "Channel requested this programme to deliver a key benefit, they said of specialised training - such as Storage Acceleration Programme and a rewards programme."

"The recent expansion has been met warmly. It is still early days but we have 1,054 members so far, who have joined voluntarily from across the spectrum of the Channel," said Ng. "Members of the Dell Engineers Club are offered compelling training courses, focused on a range of technology topics via classrooms and online learning platforms. Members can pick trainings relevant to them and will also have industry experts guiding them based on aptitude."

"Go to market change involves more focus on channels but direct selling, which was Dell's original differentiator, but we are not giving up direct selling: we believe in giving customers a choice. Customers can still buy direct from us," he said. "But the shift to channel has been a major strategic change for us."

"On a global basis, channel accounts for 40 percent of our business now," said Ng. "However.in Asia the percentage is even higher: in Asia Pacific and Japan it is actually  about 50 percent higher and in South Asia is at two-thirds. In Malaysia, channel also accounts for about two-thirds of our business. In Malaysia, we have large customers like GLCs [government-linked companies] and conglomerates."

"Globally, another interesting finding is that last year, Dell's channel business grew in double-digit figures in 10 of the company's top 11 countries," said Ng. "This shows that channel is growing rapidly. Also, we are already working with three of the top five worldwide distributors. Our worldwide distribution business is growing at 50 percent year-on-year."

"Channel partners are coming to us for our programme, which has benefitted from learning from the experience of other companies' programmes," he said. "There is an advantage to coming to Channel later than others, in that sense."

"Currently, no company ships more storage than Dell in terms of terabytes (internal and external storage), according to IDC," added Ng.  "We are the only company in the top three server company list to gain share from the Q4 data. By the end of this year, we may well be the only major company still offering end-to-end solutions."

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