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Channel Chief: Vangelis Lagousakos, GM-Channel Sales, MERAT, Dell Technologies

Channel Chief: Vangelis Lagousakos, GM-Channel Sales, MERAT, Dell Technologies

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Describe your current job role and the parts that are somewhat challenging?

In my current role, I am responsible for strengthening relationships with channel partners, with a view to developing and enabling a robust partner community. I try to incorporate my experience, expertise and track record of building relationships and delivering results into my daily activities, as this is critical to Dell Technologies’ growth in the region and in enabling partners to deliver the full spectrum of the company’s portfolio of solutions. Along with my team, we continue to build on the successes of the Dell Technologies partner programme by providing partners with a clear roadmap and investing in skills development that will enable them to successfully navigate the ever-changing digital landscape. At Dell Technologies, technology innovation is considered successful when it is adopted and adapted by the partner community to meet customers’ needs and challenges.

Sometimes, continuous in-country travel and personal face-to-face relationships with partners can be time-consuming due to the large region I overlook, but it is something which I consider important. Also, the challenge of finding and hiring top talent continues, as there is an industry-wide shortage across the region.

Can you explain how your company works with channel partners?

First things first: in a time of continued uncertainty, our channel programme structure and engagement with partners remains consistent. We are staying the course to support partners as we always have, while investing in key focus areas to drive our joint success. We achieve this by understanding the ‘ins and outs’ of channel partners and customers business, by improving programmes based on their feedback, by investing in the technology solutions of the future and by enabling channel partners to be qualified and prepared for the future. This year, we focused on three key areas based on partner feedback: increased opportunity for new customer and line of business acquisition,accelerated growth and profit potential with access to our holistic portfolio, including VMware and lastly, a more streamlined end-to-end experience.

As part of our efforts to strengthen our channel network, channel partners are encouraged to review the appropriate Partner Programme Guide based on their business needs and capabilities. These include: solution provider, cloud service provider and original equipment manufacturers (OEM) partner. They are then required to fill out the Partner Programme application form and are asked to specify the type of business relationship they would you like to have with Dell Technologies, which will determine which track they will then fall into as part of the partner programme. The training for each track is also specific to each of the three tracks mentioned.

How do you ensure channel partners flourish in a highly competitive market?

Our purpose at Dell Technologies is to create technology that drives human progress. This purpose was at the forefront of our minds as we designed the new partner programme. Our focus was to accelerate innovation, leverage our corporate culture and strength, and provide a world-class experience so our partners can drive even more impact for customers and communities in a highly competitive market.

We also know that customers need technology right now, but many organisations need more flexible repayment terms and our partners may need help managing cash flow or end-user credit risk. The support measures within our partner programme reduce a considerable amount of financial pressure on partners and enable them to continue managing customers’ needs during periods of uncertainty.

Over the past year, we’ve also seen the pace of Digital Transformation accelerate beyond anything we could have imagined. Together with our partners, we’ve empowered customers to meet the fast pace of change from the Edge to the data centre, through distributed work and modern consumption, with cybersecurity, 5G infrastructure, digital experiences and data management. We will continue to equip our channel ecosystem to enhance their skills sets and to drive simplification of our portfolio where appropriate with a commitment to bringing the next generation of technologies to market.

What are the latest trends you see emerging across the channel?

In times of uncertainty, it has become vital to give customers and partners the freedom and flexibility to continue their investment in IT infrastructure to evolve their offerings to customers. This is where the ‘As-a-Service’ model is taking precedent. Flexible payment solutions are helping partners respond to this growing on-demand economy. Offering solutions As-a-Service is our commitment to help customers and partners run their businesses, take care of their people and access essential technology as they recover and grow.

Additionally, with the increase in remote work and learning that was exponential in 2020, we will continue to see highly distributed data workloads that need to be managed and analysed in real-time at the Edge.

What is your management philosophy?

I will continue to develop a cohesive ecosystem to better serve partners in their effort to accelerate their customers’ Digital Transformation, helping them take advantage of all the capabilities that the Dell Technologies’ family of businesses offers, while also reskilling their staff for the future. The partners and customers come first and are at the centre of everything we do. Trust is an important foundation and we want to ensure we are earning trust by building better predictability in our programmes and strategies. Also, the importance of listening carefully to our partners’ feedback and understanding their business and priorities is essential. It takes looking at the bigger picture and growth opportunities we jointly have with our partners, to continue driving change.

When you look back at your career, what has been the most memorable achievement?

A very important personal milestone in my life was relocating to the UAE in 2012. I am incredibly grateful for the quality of life and opportunities the UAE has provided, from the amazing people I have had the chance to meet, to the trusted partnerships created in the region. I’m also happy to be able to achieve the family and personal goals I had set for myself.

What made you think of a career in technology?

From a very early stage, when I was studying business at university, I realised the impact technology has on human progress and wellbeing. The dynamics and constantly evolving world of technology was exciting for me, as was exploring the unknown and progress that would come years down the line. The business opportunities technology presents to learn and make a significant contribution to society and the economy was an important factor for me to pursue a career in this field.

What do you think will be the hot technology talking point of 2021?

We can expect cloud to get a lot of attention in 2021, and we’re in a great position to help partners and customers with their transformations in their journey to cloud. We know partners, including solution providers and cloud service providers, are at the forefront of solving customers’ most pressing cloud challenges. A recent study conducted by Cascade Insights, commissioned by Dell Technologies, found that 75% of medium to large firms’ IT resources were already collocated or hosted with a cloud service provider and 90% of respondents plan to increase their cloud resources over the next year. Flexible payment solutions such as Dell Technologies On Demand help partners respond to this growing on-demand economy.

What are your personal interests and where do you like to spend most of your time after work?

I value spending time with my family and make sure to put in the quality time with my wife, son and daughter. I also enjoy being with friends, having good food and listening to music. Travelling to see new countries and cities is a great interest of mine, as is being on the racetrack from time to time. I enjoy the adrenaline of challenging myself to become a faster and more skilled driver on the track.

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