“Seismic” Events in IT Services

Town Meeting and Channel Paranoia by Justin Crotty
January 29, 2008, 10:05 pm
Filed under: Dell, IT Services, Managed Services, People

The news that Dell and EqualLogic executives have been assuring their collective customers and partners that they have good channel intentions should come as no surprise.  http://www.crn.com/it-channel/205921230;jsessionid=MXYQ2AY5LIICWQSNDLPSKH0CJUNN2JVN 

This is standard operating procedue for Dell since declaring their solidarity with the channel while continuing their traditional direct selling strategy.

The task facing folks like Greg Davis, Dell’s Vice President and General Manager of the Dell Americas channel organization is a daunting and thankless one: establishing growth success via the channel while having to re-assure partners on a continuous basis.  I don’t know Greg, but I don’t envy him.  However, this story caught my eye for one reason – Greg has some help.

Enter Bob Skelley, Director of the Americas Channel Group at Dell – former EqualLogic executive and import to Dell via that acquisition.  Bob comes from a solid channel-oriented history at Microsoft and is well known to distribution from his role as Director of US Distribution at Microsoft.  My dealings with Bob while while he was with Microsoft and I was the head of the North American Channels organization at Ingram taught me that Bob is a straight shooter, an honest fellow, and a firm but fair partner. 

I’m not endorsing the Dell services strategy in any way – to be honest I’m not sure I understand it.  However, the good news for solution providers is that Bob is a guy inside Dell that, despite the ongoing services strategy vagaries and channel paranoia surrounding Dell’s ongoing services channel journey, will get up every morning and set out to do the right thing by the partners he is being tasked with supporting.  Greg Davis needs guys like Bob Skelley.  I hope Bob made a few bucks, or stands to make a few bucks, on the EqualLogic deal, because he’s gonna need something he can wrap his arms around and feel good about on the days when he and his channel peers at Dell are taking a beating from the solution providers still unsure about what the Dell channel services strategy looks like.

Lastly, Bob Skelley is a fellow UMASS alum like me.  At the end of the day us UMASS guys have to stick together – Go State U!  It’s good to see my UMASS brethren out there making things happen and fighting the good fight, regardless of the colors of the flag they are fighing under.  If I was drinkin’ beahs I’d buoy Boab one right now. 

My question to Bob is this: Why can’t we get guys like John Calipari to coach our hoops team?  These guys in Memphis might have found themselves a ball coach.  I know, I know…..I’m still not over it either.

Justin Crotty


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