Wow!! What a venue. Coming up the drive of the Penny Hill Park Hotel I wondered whether I came come to the right place. With its exquisite buildings, lush gardens and roaring fireplaces, it really was a spectacular venue.
This was my first Dell Marketing Advisory Conference so I wasn’t sure what to expect. And walking into a room of unfamiliar faces was a bit daunting. However, I was immediately greeted by a friendly face as Lynda Brown registered me for the conference and directed me towards a much needed brew!
The conference got off to a great start with Michael Nulty taking the reins and welcoming everyone to the day. We then had to turn to the person next to us and introduce ourselves – a nice ice breaker.
Since our Managing Director, Andy, attended the Dell conference in Madrid last year, he’s been raving about this fantastic video that Dell produced, showcasing how all its acquisitions sit together. After trying to find it for ages, I finally got to see the masterpiece and it really did simplify the Dell story and explain its strategy. Take a look for yourself…
The first session was presented by Vee Baker and looked at Kace, Dell’s longest acquisition. Vee started by talking us through some of the market trends: data centre and cloud management, information management and mobile. Did you know that according to Gartner, up to 80% of an IT professional’s time is spent on manual repetitive software management? Certainly a compelling argument for seeing how we could use Kace to take that pain away from our customers. Kace has set up a technical community called “ITNinja” that’s full of useful information, and can put our consultants in touch with other members of the community. And there’s a cost calculator on the website that we can use to work out how much Kace can save our clients.
Next we heard Charlotte Chapman talk about “Dell Cloud Client Computing”, a new arm of Dell that comprises DVS and Wyse. Although my colleagues have installed Wyse thin clients for some of our customers, I have to admit Charlotte surprised me with some of the facts in her presentation. For example, I didn’t know that Wyse is the #1 leader in the market and holds 220 patents on thin client technology, and I didn’t know that its products last up to 10 years – a major benefit if cost savings is high on an IT manager’s agenda. Although Charlotte’s team is still busy integrating the Wyse marketing materials into the Dell Partner Portal, they have also created a new out-of-the-box starter kit, which comprises everything a customer needs to get started, and the ‘Dell Cloud Client Computing Advisor’ to help specify what a customer needs for a bespoke solution.
After two fabulous presentations, it was time for a coffee break. I grabbed some time with Charlotte to talk about a campaign that we want to run with her in Q2, and then managed a catch-up with the fabulous Declan Faller, our Marketing Manager at Dell.
The third session introduced us to the Dell Software Group, which comprises Quest, SecureWorks, Sonicwall and Kace and launches at the end of April 2013. The first half of the session was delivered by Colin Truran, Technical Partner Manager, and gave us an insight into the market trends that are driving his part of Dell’s business: cloud, big data and consumerisation of IT. As the Dell Software Group’s portfolio is so comprehensive, it’s not a case of ‘can it do something?’, rather ‘which service(s) serve the customer best?’ The second half was presented by Anne Simpson, Partner Marketing Manager, who shared with us how we can work with her to talk to our customers about the benefits the Group has to offer, and how they can take advantage of them.
Declan Faller led the next session on the Partner Direct Programme. Although we are working closely with several of Dell’s teams on joint marketing campaigns, I have to hold my hands up and say I’m guilty of not using tools like the Partner Portal as much as I should. Sometimes it feels like there’s too much information coming from Dell and it’s hard to keep up. Little did I know that Dell has something in the portal called ‘My News Preference Centre’ where I can go and select to receive only the news that I’m interested in (no more confusing technical things for me!!). I also learned of several other useful tools:
- One that could be useful to our Practice is called “TechCentre” – it’s a place on the Partner Portal where we can engage with the Dell Channel Team and technical peers in other organisations.
- There’s also a great LinkedIn group that I’ve joined and intend to get involved with called the ‘Dell PartnerDirect Marketing Community’.
- ‘Compact’ is an incredibly useful quarterly round up of Dell’s latest marketing, competency information and training, which links to where the information is located in the Partner Portal.
- There is also a ‘Playbook’ for our sales team that gives a monthly update of promotions and incentives that we can pass onto our customers. At the moment it covers servers, storage and networking, and desktops are being added soon.
- The ‘Lead Management Tool’ is a fantastic tool that I’m really excited about. It’s being piloted in Q2 and will enable us to track prospects through the sales cycle. It’s great because it integrates with our current CRM system Salesforce, and our sales team can convert leads to ‘deal registrations’ at the click of a button.
- The ‘Dell Solution Configurator’ is just ending its three month pilot and will be launched on 22 April 2012. It’s another tool for our sales team to help them create bespoke solutions for our customers to help ease their pain. It includes over 400 products, and includes useful information on best-practice so we know we’re always offering the best solution possible.
- And finally, ‘Enterprise Master’ on the Partner Portal is a comprehensive tool for our sales team containing datasheets, videos, articles, presentations, configuration guides whitepapers and anything else they may need to keep up-to-date with Dell’s portfolio.
The last session of the day was presented by Nick Gallop and covered Dell Financial Services. It enables us to offer financing to our customers, which can help to reduce the total cost of ownership of their solution. Another great option to be able to offer our customers.
The day ended with a panel discussion where we had the opportunity to grill the presenters with our questions, and then it was off to the brasserie for lunch. I managed to sit with Vee, Anne and Charlotte from Dell so I could congratulate them on their excellent presentation skills and fantastic presentations, and discuss how we can collaborate more on joint initiatives.
A huge thank you to everyone at Dell for putting on a great day, and special thanks to Michael and Declan for organising and running the event, and for your continued support. You are all AMAZING!!
Author: Alice Cambata, Marketing Manager
Alice takes care of our brand, and supports the sales team. Before joining Foundation IT, she worked as a consultant for a number of IT and technology companies, helping to increase their brand awareness and launch new products. Alice also manages the marketing for our sister company, Foundation SP, ensuring close collaboration between both companies and their partners.