Dell EMC’s OEM Partnership Survey and the Value of Strategic Collaboration

By Charles King, Pund-IT, Inc.  February 6, 2019

“Collaboration” is a popular concept in the tech industry. It classifies an entire subset of business processes and related software and is used to indicate close relationships between vendors and their customers and strategic partners. But I believe that how collaboration fully impacts and can significantly enhance strategic partnerships is less discussed and understood than it should be.

That’s often due to companies’ natural hesitancy to highlight efforts that provide them substantial benefits lest competitors get wind of it and try to copy and peel off some of that success themselves. At the same time, individual partnerships are typically unique in how they are structured, the goals they pursue and the partners’ various responsibilities. Even relationships between a vendor and partners that use the same technological tools for the same processes or use cases can be wildly different.

So, it’s worth looking closely when vendors peel back the curtain on strategic partnerships, as Dell EMC has done with the new OEM Partnership Survey it conducted with Intel through Futurum Research. The study compiled responses from over 1,000 senior decision makers in OEM-type businesses worldwide, and asked their thoughts on how OEM and third-party relationships can drive innovation, improve time to market and increase competitive capabilities and value.

Dell EMC OEM – More than just digital intelligence

As background, the work Dell EMC’s OEM organization engages in is worth a quick look. Like other IT vendors in the business, Dell EMC OEM works with customers that develop and build products that depend on digital intelligence provided by the company’s compute, storage and other components.

Early on, Dell EMC OEM focused on conventional computerized OEM products and systems, including arcade games and bank ATMs. Today the company helps over 3,500 OEM customers in more than 40 industries deliver commercial solutions for applications, including telecom switching, industrial automation, cybersecurity, factory floor management and operations, and video security and surveillance.

Far from simply supplying technology components, Dell EMC OEM also offers customers a range of product design and development services, as well as manufacturing, sales, distribution, service and maintenance options. For companies working to explore or expand into new markets, being able to leverage Dell EMC’s global supply chain and distribution centers, and service personnel can be hugely beneficial.

Along with familiar solutions and conventional market plays, Dell EMC OEM is also on the leading edge of emerging markets and technologies, including Dell’s Internet of Things (IoT) efforts. As Bryan Jones, SVP and GM of Dell EMC OEM and IoT noted in a recent conversation, many of the company’s longstanding OEM customers “have been doing IoT since before it was called IoT.”

That is, along with supporting specific compute functions, customers were using Dell EMC-enabled products to collect data, share it with other networked devices and use that information to gain insight into their businesses and solve larger problems. The journey for those companies to business-class IoT solutions is far shorter than it is for many organizations.

Let’s consider the findings of Dell EMC’s OEM Partnership Survey.

The OEM Partnership Survey

So, what exactly does the study conducted by Futurum Research consider? In short, it explores issues related to the business value and economic benefits that can be achieved with strategic OEM partnerships.

For example, only a tiny minority (just 16 of the surveys 1,000+ respondents) said they derive no business transformational value from OEM products and solutions. Given that vote of confidence, it’s hardly surprising that over three quarters of the survey participants expect to increase their use of OEM partnerships and 26.7% said they anticipate increasing their partnership efforts dramatically.

What about economic benefits? An overwhelming majority (93%) of respondents said that OEMs can accelerate innovation in the products and services they develop. Another large majority (81%) noted that OEM partners are helping them embrace emerging technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI), multi-cloud and IoT. In addition, survey participants noted that their OEM partnerships are helping reduce costs on average by over 40%. Those are numbers you can take to the bank.

A blog post about the study by Ethan Wood, VP of marketing for Dell EMC OEM and IoT explored several OEM partner success stories that are worth considering. Those included:

  • Bionivid – says that it reduced product development costs by at least half by collaborating with Dell EMC OEM.
  • Tracewell Systems – noted that its collaboration with Dell EMC OEM has enabled it to scale rapidly and get products to market faster
  • Olivetti – collaborated with Dell EMC OEM and a member of Intel’s IoT Alliance, Allentia, to create and bring to market a turnkey solution for industrial floor and plant operations

Responses from survey respondents like these led Futurum to predict that OEM partnerships have the potential to achieve a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20% to 25% during the coming decade.

Final analysis

What can we conclude from Futurum’s OEM Partnership Survey? First, that OEM-focused businesses and solutions are more diverse and dynamic today than they have ever been. Additionally, when one considers the continuing digitization of businesses and business processes in industries worldwide, it seems likely that the number of OEM-enabled solutions and corresponding commercial opportunities will continue to grow dynamically for years to come.

In the case of Dell EMC, the company’s OEM organization assists thousands of clients develop, deliver and maintain new products more speedily, more effectively and more profitably than they could on their own. In many cases, Dell OEM also helps customers accomplish what they could never have done on their own. That is part of the practical magic of strategic partnerships, and something that Dell EMC OEM practices successfully day after day.

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