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The Austin Diary: Takeaways from Dell’s Partner Conference, Day 1

Given Halian’s valued Professional Services partnership with Dell, Halian Group Sales Director Stuart Fry has flown to Austin, Texas for a few days to get the latest insights from the team. His round-up of day one follows!

Austin is a city famed for its music, and there was an entertaining opening to the Service Partner Forum from Dell’s Dave Griffin. Dave sang about leaving his heart in Austin, (not San Francisco!) Getting down to business, there were some seriously interesting insights and tips from the panel on technologies that are changing partner and customer management. Here are some of the highlights:

Digitisation of the Supply Chain: Tom Maher, SVP of Service Parts, talked about Dell EMC digitising its Supply Chain to create real-time integration with its Partners and effectively speeding up processes.

Innovate, not follow: Tom then went on to talk about the need for Partners to innovate rather than follow the flow. It's worth remembering that every day someone else will look at your business and say that they can do better.

AI & customer support: Denis Kelly, SVP of Consumer Support, spoke about AI and how currently 10% of their Customer Support issues are resolved through AI. His vision is to grow this to a 70%.

Diversity & transformation: Bob Feiner, SVP Deployment and Field Services, shared the view that the most important thing for his Partners is diversity and transformation, whether that be expansion into new geographies or emerging technologies. Dell EMC’s Partner strategy will be around Partners who can add value and grow with Dell EMC rather than stay stagnant. “It’s all about speed, speed, speed. Together we have to be relentless in our pursuit of speed. In our industry, Faster is better.”

Quality over quantity: Chris Quirk, SVP of High End Deployment and Field Services, described how they were at 1,600 partners 12 months ago, and now they are down to 300, with a view of reducing even further.  Chris’ objective is to spread the revenue amongst a smaller team so Partners can invest more in training and upskilling their teams.

Day 2 promises to be another full day, with the rumoured highlight that Michael Dell is coming to address us…watch this space!