Dell’s Harsh Acharya on Unlocking B2B Ecommerce and Managing Through Covid
date August 24, 2021 time 40:47 Minutes
Jason Nyhus
Jason Nyhus

Senior Vice President of Sales and Partnerships

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Commerce Connect Podcast
Dell’s Harsh Acharya on Unlocking B2B Ecommerce and Managing Through Covid
August 24, 2021
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Dell’s Harsh Acharya on Unlocking B2B Ecommerce and Managing Through Covid

As one of the world’s earliest ecommerce brands, Dell has always been a D2C innovator. From its earliest days of selling custom-built PCs through mail-order catalogues to being the third-largest PC vendor in the world by market share*, Dell has learned lessons applicable to just about any ecommerce brand.

In this podcast, Harsh Acharya, vice president of ecommerce and product at Dell, sits down with Jason Nyhus, SVP of global sales at Digital River, to discuss the future of B2B ecommerce by unpacking the ecommerce strategies that have made Dell one of the top global brands.

The B2B buyer experience online As Dell has evolved its platform over the years, it became clear that, rather than periodically rebuilding from the ground up, the company needed to take a limber and agile approach. That’s meant continuously modernizing the platform in smaller chunks tied to specific objectives.

“So instead of rewriting the entire every few years, we said, ‘Hey, we’re only going to take the homepage and turn it into its own microapp,’” says Acharya in his discussion of at 10:48. “And we’re going to make sure that we’re not only modernizing the application, we are going to hit those business goals.”

The future of B2B ecommerce When Acharya took over the engineering function at Dell, he quickly realized that product management was very focused on customer satisfaction while engineering was focused on security, reliability and stability. While both sets of goals were good ones, they didn’t always match up.

“Where we were really able to change the game to move faster and make an impact is when we figured out how to make our product and engineering organizations share the same goals,” says Acharya in his discussion of the future of B2B ecommerce at 7:50.

Pioneering B2B ecommerce trends In recent years, Dell has matured its goal-setting methodology. After moving from a project-driven culture to an OKR-driven culture, Dell has recently added Objectives, Strategies and Measurement (OGSM) to the model. This allows goals to move through the organization, all the way from Michael Dell down the line.

“Those strategies that I define become goals at the next level and we cascade them,” says Acharya in his discussion of strategy at 24:48. “It gives the highest level of clarity to our product teams, but also everyone on the ground can map it back to the highest-level objectives.”