Dell Canada president Kevin Peesker gets dunked by channel chiefs Tara Fine and Cheryl Cook

Published: October 3rd, 2014

The Dell Canada Partner Summit hosted more than 200 solution providers this week and the highlight for many was subsidiary president Kevin Peesker taking the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge on stage.

Peesker was challenged by yours truly at the 2014 CDN Channel Elite Awards along with Tech Data Canada president Rick Reid and Cisco Canada president Nitin Kawale. So far to date, Reid and Peesker have taken the icy thrills. No pressure Nitin.

Here is the video of Peesker. 

If you want to view my Ice Bucket Challenge click here.

Taking the Ice Bucket Challenge is just another step in Dell’s channel journey and the company is really showing to the channel that they at the very least fun to be with.

One of the more entertaining keynotes from the show came from Bill Rodrigues, the president of Dell North America and Peesker’s boss.

While talking about channel commitment he also shared stories of his 1976 Pontiac Trans Am muscle car and that he once was a stunt double for Arnold Schwarzenegger in the movie Terminator.

Another funny moment was a story he shared about culture change at Dell. There was a direct rep at Dell who was reluctant to work with a channel partner. The rep was afraid that the channel partner would introduce HP and EMC to the customer because he knew this channel partner had relationships with those other two vendors and did not want to take the risk.

Rodrigues said – with a straight face – to the rep “if you don’t work with this partner what do you think they would recommend?” Obviously it would not be Dell.

This brought a lot of laughs at the show.

Another great moment was when Rodrigues admitted that he did not have a master plan for the new sales targets for the second half of the year.

One thing he will not do is hire more direct sales reps. In fact; Dell has incented its internal reps to work more closely with channel partners. And, it may not be a “master plan” but whatever Rodrigues is doing its working as channel growth is outpacing direct sales growth at a manufacturer that built its reputation on direct sales.

Four quick hits before I go. Vancouver’s Avigilon has appointed Mahesh Saptharishi as its new chief technology officer.

HCL Technologies has hired Matt Preschern as its Chief Marketing Officer. Preschern will lead all marketing functions including global business and strategic marketing.

Talari Networks has named former Riverbed Technology senior vice president Randy Schirman to lead global sales and distribution. He was Riverbed’s channel chief and will report directly to CEO Emerick Woods.

Software defined networking vendor Maxta has a new vice president of business development and its Nexenta Systems’ Jim Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald led Nexenta’s partners and OEMs.