Michael Dell Does The Wall Street Shuffle

Michael Dell has talked with Wall Street analysts and performed the usual soft-shoe dance so common among CEOs whose companies face financial difficulties. First, more employees will get the boot (precise numbers not known) as part of the cost-cutting "mission," a dumb reflex-response designed to placate those fixated on short-term solutions that in the long term destroy the company and its brand.

Imagine what life would be like if CEOs didn't always kow-tow to Wall Street greed, stupidity and short-sightedness? (Don't fret, I can't imagine it either.) Then, Dell went off to the second favorite executive trick: He played Santa Claus, promising to deliver gifts to everyone. Love the indirect sales channel? So does Dell! Love direct sales? So does Dell! How about retail stores? Dell loves them, too!

Now, in fact channel partners will indeed benefit if Dell keeps cutting its infrastructure to shreds. But saying he intends to grow both direct and indirect sales at the same time is a recipe for chaos. Not a good idea, Michael, because the direct and indirect channels are constantly at each other's throats and each will undercut the other. So be a mensch and choose one path already.

 If this wasn't muddled enough, Dell the Company came out and revealed to Ziff Channel Insider its plan to recruit VAR partners. And guess what? It's looking for integrators and solution providers with customers Dell can't reach! What a stroke of strategic genius! And these integrators are going to align with you...why exactly? Is it because they just want to offload to you their many extra customers? Am I missing something here? Michael, like they said in The Godfather, who is going to wet my beak??


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