Managed Services: Are PC Companies Clueless?

Based on a series of phone calls and emails in recent weeks, I've reached the following conclusion: Most PC companies don't understand the managed services market, nor do they understand emerging demand for hardware as a service (HaaS). Here's why.

Alas, my calls to multiple PC companies in recent weeks have been greeted by polite confusion. With the exception of Dell Inc. and Intel Corp., most PC-centric companies can't describe how their products fit into a managed services framework.

The net result: I believe Dell has a major advantage over its PC rivals going forward.

On the hardware front, Intel has been working overtime to describe how its vPro technology snaps into a managed services framework and lowers remote administration costs.

Meanwhile, Dell has been digesting its MSP-centric acquisitions -- including Silverback Technologies, Everdream and MessageOne. It's only a matter of time before Dell's MSP experts coordinate their messages with Dell's server, desktop and laptop teams.

Somehow, Hewlett-Packard and many other PC companies have completely overlooked the MSP opportunity. Sure, HP has always worked hard to describe how its PCs and services are among the most easily managed devices on a network. However, that messaging has not been reworked for the managed services market.

And HP has also squandered its early expertise with OpenView, failing to rework the management platform for the MSP industry.

It's still early in the MSP game. But so far, Dell and Intel are the only PC-oriented companies with compelling messaging for managed service providers.

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