Channel Can Help Dell Deal With Slowdown

Dell, which has just announced $3 billion in cuts and has shed 3,200 workers during the last nine months, is making moves toward both managed services and the channel in an effort to bolster its business. The vendor faces the difficult challenge of redefining itselt amid a looming economic slowdown. The question is, what role will it have the channel play in its future plans?

The hardware vendor updated its cost-cutting strategy, but it still faces difficulties trying to gain traction with its distribution and channel strategies while doing that. Its expansion into the channel (and international emerging markets) costs money, and Dell is trying to spend a lot less. Even so, working with channel partners doesn't involve a huge capital investment and could offer a fairly quick payback in terms of market-share gains. (Dell luanched a channel program in December.)

There are also signs that the company is getting a little more savvy about channel opportunities. One report on Ziff's Channel Insider site notes that Dell has launched a direct managed services pilot plan that probably will shortly involve the channel. Let's hope ao, because Dell certainly isn't going to cure its current malaise by igniting a channel conflict issue around managed services. It has a much greater upside working with VARs and resellers.

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