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Dell not channel enemy, says Compellent CEO

Microscope contributor

Compellent's CEO has moved to assuage partner concerns that its $950m acquisition by Dell will create conflict for them, insisting that if anything the deal will speed their growth trajectory.

The transaction at $22.75 per share, some $0.25 cents higher than the initial bid tabled by Dell last week, was green lighted yesterday, with the 490-strong Compellent workforce offered contracts for the same roles to ensure continuity.

Phil Soren, big cheese at Compellent - who will become a VP at Dell when the sale concludes early next year - said the status quo would also be maintained for resellers.

"The channel is in our DNA and will remain primary to our business, in the short term nothing changes for our partners, Dell is investing and building a channel and Compellent is part of that.

"In the longer term this will open up many more opportunities for our business partners, the bottom line for partners is that the opportunity is bigger now and we will have more resources to drive growth in the channel," said Soren.

Compellent partners can only hope that their experience is more positive than that endured by EqualLogic partners who complained of channel conflict with Dell's direct sales force after its acquisition in 2007.

However, Dell has now introduced a series of internal mechanisms to minimise channel conflict including deal registration, overhauling internal sales targets and running an arbitration process to overcome issues when they arise.

Soren reckoned the initial feedback from resellers is that Dell has "got much more channel friendly".

Brad Anderson, senior VP of Dell's enterprise product group, confirmed that it had "entered into a reseller agreement" with Compellent but that it would also continue to sell EMC Claarion to existing customers, despite some setbacks.

"We and EMC have been partners for more than ten years so have somewhere around 24k joint customers...for those wanting EMC, we still sell EMC."

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