Dell’s Rola Dagher: Partners ‘ Are At The Heart Of Everything I Do’
Dell Technologies new global channel leader Rola Dagher doesn’t shy away about her expectations to take Dell’s channel partners to the next level.
“I have a degree in getting things done, and getting things done really quickly,” said Dagher in an interview with CRN. “This is the most important role of the organization, which is the partner ecosystem and the channel partner organization. It starts with our partners and ends with our partners.”
Dagher, who officially begins her global channel chief role on Sept. 7, is bullish about pushing Dell Technologies’ massive partner ecosystem to new heights. She will lead Dell Technologies’ global channel strategy, vision, enablement, program design and partner experience.
“I have no doubt that Rola is going to take us to new heights,” said Bill Scannell, president of global sales and customer operations at Dell, who led the search for a new global channel leader after the departure of Joyce Mullen this week. “The thing that jumped out at me about Rola was her passion, her track record of execution, an incredible desire to win – and not only win, but win through the channel.”
Here are five things channel partners need to know about Rola Dagher.
Experience: Dell, Cisco And Bell Canada
For the past three years, Dagher has been president of Cisco in Canada where she oversaw sales operations, engineering, services, finance and marketing in the region for the networking market share leader.
“Cisco is a great organization. Every experience you have makes you better as a leader,” she said. “This is all about learning what I’ve done and trying to apply it. Cisco’s been in the channel industry for years and years, but where Dell was, compared to where Dell is right now, Dell’s on the speed train.”
Prior to Cisco, Dagher was at Dell prior to the company’s blockbuster $67 billion acquisition of EMC. She held sales and leadership roles in Dell’s enterprise segment and Infrastructure Solutions Group (ISG) from 2012 to 2017, including vice president and general manager of ISG.
“I got to know Rola shorty after Dell and EMC came together,” said Scannell. “Although we only worked together for a short period of time, I knew that our paths would cross again.”
Dagher started her IT career working at Bell Canada for 13 years, helping lead the company’s channel efforts. In total, she’s bringing more than 25 years of IT of experience back to Dell.
‘Partners, To Me, Are At The Heart Of Everything I Do’
Dagher has been working with the channel and learning from solution providers ever since she entered the IT world in the 1990s.
“Partners, to me, are at the heart of everything I do. I grew up with the partners and in the channel,” said Dagher. “All I did is learn through what partners do, what the big OEMs and big Dell of the world’s did.”
She believes IT companies will fail if they do not have a top-notch channel foundation and a solid solution provider go-to-market strategy.
“I jumped to Dell, then to Cisco, and now back to Dell because to me, partners are the foundation to every successful organization today and tomorrow. Period,” said Dagher. “Especially with what we’re going through today in the world, you’re required to be working with someone that’s going to be on that journey with you because of the transformation we’re going through. At the end of the day, our customers are looking for partners and an organization that going to help them deliver best of class solutions, transform their business and provide them with that speed, growth and simplicity to be on that path of a digital-first customer experience.”
As a leader, Dagher philosophy revolved around three things: learn it, earn it, and return it.
“I continue to learn from people. I’ve earned everything that was given to me because everything is earned with hard work, commitment and determination. It is my job now as the leader to return it back to the people,” she said. “Leadership to me is not about how many people follow you, it’s all about how many people you develop.”
She also believes in what she calls “unlearning” in order to be able to pivot quickly in the always changing IT landscape.
“I continue to learn and unlearn, because as leaders, if it worked for us for the past 25 years, it does not mean it’s going to work for us moving forward,” she said.
Lastly, Dagher told CRN she holds a unique type of degree. “I have a degree in getting things done, and getting things done really quickly,” she said.
‘I’m Not Just Hoping, I Know I Will’
When questioned by CRN about what she hopes to bring to table, Dagher didn’t hesitate.
“I’m not just hoping, I know I will bring a different culture to the partner ecosystem that is based on purpose-first. Today, it’s all about stakeholders and our partner ecosystem is the biggest stakeholder for us. I want to bring purpose. I want to bring impact. I want to bring empowerment because once you empower your partners and once you inspire them, you get out of their way to let them go out and make a huge impact through Dell Technologies,” she said.
She believes Dell partners are in a unique position to offer customers best-in-class technology as well as a one-stop-shop for all their IT needs. Simply put, Dagher wants to enable partners to more easily sell Dell Technologies because of its market position and broad portfolio.
“There’s not a lot of companies out there that you can walk in and -- I use this analogy – you just hand them the key to the car and let them drive that Ferrari off the lot,” she said. “I want to bring that experience because we’re living today in a world of personalization and experience.”
Dagher describers herself as a proud Lebanese and a grateful Canadian. She’s been living in Canada for the past 31 years with her two children.
She recently helped form the Lebanese Canadian Coalition that has pledged to raise $2.5 million for relief efforts in Beirut following the massive explosion that rocked Beirut earlier this month.
Dagher said she’s always willing to step up to any challenge that comes her way and is ready to grow as a leader at Dell.
“I always thought that it doesn’t matter what you put your mind to, you can always, always achieve it,” she said. “My success has been fueled by all the learning, curiosity and the growth of my attitude because I’ve always thought that growth and comfort don’t coexist. So therefore, I’m taking the opportunity to grow me as a leader and ensure that I have a much bigger impact.”
Dagher said she has one simple message to Dell channel partners, “Buckle up. It’s going to be an awesome ride.”