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Channel unperturbed by Dell acquisition, says Wyse

Desktop virtualisation market set for further growth as complexity is reduced

Channel partners are not put off by switching over to Dell’s PartnerDirect programme Wyse says, claiming its partners are reaping the rewards of a booming desktop virtualisation market.

According to Dell Wyse marketing director David Angwin, partners are in the process of shifting to from its own programme, and this has involved ensuring they are aware of Dell’s position in the channel.

“Sometimes [the challenge for partners] has just been giving people the knowledge of what Dell is like today,” Angwin said, adding Dell announced in the partner conference that fifty percent of the business is going through the channel in EMEA. “That is a huge move from where a lot people perceive it to be.”

“The real challenge has been making sure that people are aware of the way the business is,” he said.

Wyse channel partners range from small specialist resellers to various VARs.   In the UK the company previously had between 200 to 300 partners, with 40 of these in the top two tiers of the partner programme.

Wyse has a long history operating in the channel.  The company has been operating for over thirty years as a channel-only proposition, with its business focused on desktop virtualisation, selling thin client hardware and software, as well as cloud client services in recent years.

However the company was purchased by Dell earlier this year, creating changes for channel partners as partners shift over to Dell’s programme.   This is currently taking place, with all of its partner required to make the transition by the middle of next year.

With Dell’s history as a direct only company, the purchase off Wyse is likely to have caused some concern among channel players which had previously dealt directly with Wyse through its partner programme.  According to NComputing, one of Dell Wyse’s competitors in the thin client market, the acquisition will have caused “anxiety” in the channel, with partners reticent to make the jump to Dell.

With Wyse in the process of moving its partners over to Dell’s own programme, there are concerns over support for channel firms, as well as potential conflict with the parent company’s focus on PC sales.

According to Angwin, the transition has gone smoothly so far, and has not caused conflict for its resellers.

“When Dell put its channel programme together it did so in a way that was designed to remove conflict,” he said.  ”The channel is not new to Dell, the channel is very well established with Dell.  The programme is designed to remove conflict.”

He said that most have been positive about the change, offering the ability to access a larger portfolio for channel partners to go to market, from the datacentre onwards.

Overall the market for thin clients appears to be strong. Wyse has seen 45 percent year on year growth, which Angwin says is a reflection of the market as a whole.  The enterprise thin client market grew by 13.8 percent in 2011, according to IDC, and forecast growth is higher than that over the 2012–2016 period. The SMB market is also growing, though there is competition from the likes of HP and NComputing, which have both released new thin client products recently.

Angwin says that is plenty of room for growth in the market, with companies ready to refresh PCs by rolling out Windows 7.  He says that the proposition for desktop virtualisation is becoming stronger, as the complexity of the technology decreases.

“In many respects desktop virtualisation has been too hard for too long, and with Dell we are able to make it much simpler, and enable channel partners to deploy solutions with confidence.

“The desktop virtualisation market is growing fast – the industry has been talking about it for the past four or five years, but has really only been the past two years that we have seen the volumes really grow, and the number of large projects grow significantly.

“That is still on an upward and accelerating trend, so we are really are into a period of significant growth.”

This also means opening the doors for partners selling to smaller customers, with pre-configured thin clients.

“Requirement for lots of complexity has been dramatically reduced,” Angwin said.  ”That means that there is a real opportunity for the resellers to support small to medium businesses.”

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