Dell Technologies Takes On IT Skills Gap, Levels Up Partners In Azure, M365, Dynamics

Dell Technologies is leaning into its 35-year relationship with Microsoft to bring four categories of professional consultancy services to the market that can help its partners tackle deals that might be beyond their skill level.

The offerings are built around Microsoft’s multi-cloud, apps and data, resiliency and security, and modern work, with experts in each category who can give partners a place to run when a prospect or customer wants to deploy solutions outside the partner’s comfort zone.

“I think that’s one of the things that we’re excited about—we’ve heard from channel partners … there are skills and capabilities that we can bring to bear to help them drive outcomes for their customers and broaden out their capabilities as well and help them bring a broader set of solutions to their customers,” said Dell’s Scott Bils, vice president of product management with Dell Professional Services. “So we’re excited.”

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Bils’ team created the new services, which are built on the decades-long ties between Dell and Microsoft, according to Mark Cabot, senior director of Dell services and strategic parterships.

“The deep relationship we have with Microsoft goes back 35 years,” Cabot said. “We’ve worked very closely with them to develop a lot of these services, and Microsoft has recognized us from our competency certifications and recently with a number of awards as well.”

All of the offers that Dell has debuted were developed with Microsoft also sitting at the table, testing and validating the ideas, he said. One of the most in-demand services has been the Azure Stack HCI, which lets customers take an application written for the public cloud and bring it back on-premises, he added.

“It might be that there’s a lot of processing compute power that needs to happen at the location very quickly,” Cabot said. “It’s expensive to take a bunch of data, push it to the public cloud processes there and bring it back down.”

As more companies optimize workloads for the most cost-effective and operationally sound compute, partners are asked to take on increasingly complicated tasks, he said. Dell’s services deal with Microsoft lets partners provide customers with the best data ecosystem for their needs.

“We’ve seen it in mining companies that need to analyze different data and do it quickly,” Cabot said. “They’re saying, ‘Hey, let’s put that on the edge. We can process it there. That is a more efficient way of doing it. But we can take all that code that we’ve written for the public cloud and run it on-premises.’ So that’s something that I would say, if you just sort of asked what’s new and exciting to me, that’s pretty exciting stuff.”

One area that Dell said it can help with is driving a return on Microsoft tools such as M365 and Dynamics to help organizations get the most from the products.

“One thing I will mention that’s really interesting and exciting about what we’re doing here is introducing these new subscription- based offers for Azure, for M365 and for Dynamics, where they’re based on kind of monthly or three-year terms and it provides access to our subject matter experts that can help organizations get the most out of all subscriptions and help to optimize ROI,” Bils said.

Cabot said this approach fills several knowledge gaps that stop Microsoft from reaching customers and partners from winning Microsoft deals.

“So if you look at that channel organization from a services perspective, they’re all different. Some are small partners that have been selling Dell hardware for a long time [and] don’t have those capabilities,” he said. “Or we have big global systems integrators that are partners that have tremendous professional services skills, but they may not have a relationship with Microsoft around something like Azure Stack HCI.”


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 Learn About O’Ryan Johnson


O’Ryan Johnson is a veteran news reporter. He covers the data center beat for CRN and hopes to hear from channel partners about how he can improve his coverage and write the stories they want to read. He can be reached at [email protected]..


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