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Dell Shuffles Channel Organization

The executive most closely associated with Dell's current channel approach is moving on.

Greg Davis was the public face of Dell's partner program, helping to launch Dell PartnerDirect in December 2007, to sell the program to a skeptical channel and to advocate for it for the ensuing six years. 

With Dell now officially a private company, Davis on Monday sent out an e-mail to partners that he is shifting to a new role as vice president for Software and Peripherals at Dell. Filling in for Davis is Cheryl Cook, who becomes vice president of Global Channels and Alliances for Dell.

Cook is an internal hire with external channel experience. Until this week, she was vice president of Enterprise Solutions at Dell, but she previously spent time at Sun Microsystems as senior vice president of Americas Sales, a role that included responsibility for Sun's channel.

The role Cook will fill is slightly different from Davis'.

In the e-mail to partners, Davis explained one way the scope of Cook's job will be narrowed. "Our regional channel leaders will continue in their present roles, but will now report to regional Dell sales leadership. This means they will be able to integrate more closely with our sales and product teams, which will allow for faster feedback between partners and business unit leaders," Davis wrote.

Specifically, that means channel executives Frank Vitagliano and Jim DeFoe will report to North America sales leadership; Laurent Binetti, to Europe/Middle East/Africa; and Richard Lee, to Asia/Pacific/Japan.

In another way, Cook's portfolio will be broader. "This team will have responsibility for defining and delivering innovative programs, training and certification and global marketing programs for our partners to grow, differentiate, and flourish with Dell. Her organization will ensure a consistent and coordinated approach to our Channel, Alliances, strategic ISV, and OEM partners," Davis wrote.

Dell spokesperson Laura Thomas said that Davis had not had responsibility for alliance partners and strategic ISVs.

Davis sought to assure partners that Dell's focus on the channel of the last few years would continue. "Our channel strategy and the global nature of our PartnerDirect program will stay the same. We will continue to focus on: winning in the data center, investing in training, being easy to do business with, and being your long-term partner. And PartnerDirect will continue to enable the sale of end-to-end and point solutions through one simple, consistent program," Davis wrote.

Davis leaves behind a much more robust partner program than the unofficial program he started with. When Michael Dell unveiled his intentions to turn his direct-sales empire into more of a channel company in mid-2007, Dell already had about 30,000 partners.

Through nearly six years of constant effort, Dell has built its channel into about 143,000 partners worldwide, and the company says that more than a third of global commercial revenue flows through the channel now.

Posted by Scott Bekker on November 19, 2013 at 10:42 AM