Dell EMC has upped its commitment to increasing channel sales in midrange storage -- a market the company calls a $14 billion opportunity.
The company revealed its ambitions in the midrange storage space back in August, introducing new Dell EMC partner incentives to spur channel sales. Last week, the vendor built out its storage portfolio with new products and updates, including two SC all-flash data storage arrays and enhancements to the Unity storage array for boosted efficiency and cost savings. Dell EMC also unveiled the Future-Proof Loyalty Program, which provides customers with all-inclusive software, hardware investment protection, storage efficiency guarantees, data migrations and free Virtustream Storage Cloud, the vendor said.
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Additionally, Dell EMC recently appointed Scott Millard, formerly the channel chief at Virtustream, to lead the storage business, reporting to Dell EMC president of global channels, John Byrne.
Speaking to SearchITChannel, Millard said Dell EMC is expanding its storage focus both internally and in the Dell EMC partner community. Millard noted that Dell EMC is "aggressively investing in hiring, specifically around … 'specialty sales'" -- dedicated channel resources for primary storage, converged, hyper-converged and data protection portfolios. He said Dell EMC is in the process of hiring more than 100 additional storage specialists.
Last week, Dell EMC also increased its sales performance incentive funds for selling its all-flash products, Millard said. Dell EMC partner incentives around storage will continue to expand in 2018, he added.
"We are working on expanding these incentives … next year," he said.
Enterprises face transformation hurdles
Enterprises continue to face obstacles in the path of IT innovation projects, including those falling under the banner of digital transformation.
That's one takeaway from recently released reports from Logicalis Group and Datalink. Logicalis' global CIO survey, which polled 890 CIOs from 23 countries, found that 33% of respondents plan to increase digital transformation budgets. Meanwhile, a Datalink-commissioned IT executive survey reported more than 50% of the respondents cited the funding of IT innovation as "extremely challenging." Datalink is a division of Insight Enterprises.
Other barriers include skill set requirements, complexity, legacy technology and security considerations. As for the latter, the Datalink study cited security as a "primary concern" for IT executives thinking about deploying workloads to the public cloud. The company's survey, undertaken by IDG Research Services, found 75% of the executives polled are more cautious now compared with one year ago with respect to making decisions on moving workloads to the public cloud.
Overall, CIOs' absorption with keeping the essential IT infrastructure functioning may be hindering them from taking on more forward-facing projects.
"A high percentage of technology leaders spend the majority of their time on the day-to-day activities -- keeping the lights on -- and not necessarily shifting and moving toward … how these digital technologies can help them with their business," said Vince DeLuca, CEO at Logicalis US.
Developments in the security space
SonicWall Inc. has rolled out a new set of professional security services. The services cover implementation, solution and architecture services and will be developed and delivered exclusively through qualifying SecureFirst partners, the vendor said. In conjunction with the services rollout, SonicWall launched the Partner Enabled Services Program, which aims to vet and enable partners to provide the security services.
Security First Corp. introduced a partner program centered on its data protection product, DataKeep. Through the program, partners will have access to support for sales enablement, marketing and channel pricing discounts, Security First said. The vendor noted that it seeks partners that have existing security practices.
Security ratings company BitSight Technologies said that more than 120 partners worldwide have joined its global channel program. Channel-derived business is expected to make up half of all BitSight's revenue by the end of 2017, according to the company.
- Rackspace, a cloud services provider based in San Antonio, has completed its purchase of Datapipe, a managed services and cloud services provider. The deal -- the largest ever for Rackspace -- extends the company's managed public cloud services to include Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform and Alibaba Cloud. Rackspace in September disclosed an agreement to acquire Datapipe.
- Most early adopters of AI and cognitive technologies believe their moves won't displace workers, according to a newly released Deloitte study. Nearly 70% of the 250 "cognitive aware" U.S. executives surveyed said they anticipate "minimal to no job loss" in the next three years, according to the consulting firm. Some executives expect AI adoption to create employment opportunities. The Deloitte survey noted 29% of respondents see the addition of new jobs coinciding with the uptake of AI and cognitive technologies.
- Cloud provider Green Cloud Technologies introduced a partner portal for its managed services provider and value-added reseller partners. Using the portal, the company said, partners can access tools for provisioning, managing and reporting on Green Cloud services. Green Cloud added that it plans to integrate its backup-as-a-service offering with ConnectWise professional services automation software during the first quarter of 2018.
- Ubersmith, a subscription business management software vendor based in New York, unveiled a partner program. The program groups partners in three categories: Technology, Services and Channel. Each partner category has Registered, Advanced and Premier tiers. Program features include sales and marketing support, access to sales enablement resources, dedicated tech support and product education.
- Netsurion, a provider of remotely managed data and network security services for multilocation businesses, is partnering with Lucas Systems, an information systems provider targeting quick-service, fast-casual and retail establishments.
- Masergy, a provider of hybrid networking, managed security and cloud communications based in Dallas, said it has extended its Global Office service to Hong Kong. In light of that move, organizations with Hong Kong locations can replace their Public Switched Telephone Network services with Masergy's unified communications as a service and SIP trunking offerings, the company said.
- Ingram Micro Inc., a distributor based in Irvine, Calif., launched a training-development-as-a-service offering that the company said helps IT vendors address the channel's need for e-learning, e-training and partner enablement resources.
- SnapLogic, a self-service application and data integration provider based in San Mateo, Calif., is partnering with CSC Brasil to support customers in Latin America. CSC Brasil is a consulting firm and solutions provider that focuses on data analytics, business intelligence and infrastructure management. SnapLogic's channel program works with consultants, systems integrators, OEMs, resellers and technology partners.
- Kony, an enterprise mobility and digital applications company, named Michael Johnson as its new senior vice president of channels and alliances. In his new role, Johnson will look to expand Kony's channel ecosystem and revamp the vendor's channel strategy.
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