Dell "Flooded" With Reseller Inquiries, Mulling More Acquisitions

Even as they worry about Dell taking business direct, resellers are flooding the PC giant with phone and email inquiries, according to company insiders. In fact, Dell insiders tell me there's no shortage of resellers asking about the company's recently acquired managed services platforms (Silverback and Everdream).

Apparently, Dell has even bigger MSP ambitions ahead. And a source close to Dell says the company is exploring additional MSP and on-site customer support acquisitions. My alter ego, The VAR Guy, recently blogged about two potential Dell acquisition targets.

During a chance meeting last week, a source at Dell told me his voice mail and email are filled with partner inquiries. Sure, some Silverback partners -- including Do IT Smarter -- have hedged their bets and embraced additional platforms since Dell acquired Silverback. But for all the skepticism about Dell in the channel, MSPs seem to know market consolidation is inevitable. So instead of ignoring Dell, they're reaching out to the company for more information.

Meanwhile, Dell's channel strategy for Silverback and Everdream seems to be coming together quickly. The two platforms will gradually gain closer ties to one another, as Silverback's server-centric focus melds with Everdream's endpoint management capabilities, according to one source close to Dell.

"Dell is a $60 billion company so partners have to remember this is going to take some time," says the source close to Dell. "But Dell isn't done in the MSP market. Not by a long shot. I'd expect Dell to make more acquisitions in this space."

Over the past year, Dell has considered multiple ways to improve its support of small and mid-size business customers. The company has considered relationships with such companies as OnForce and Best Buy, and recently inked a deal to have Best Buy resell its hardware. Looking ahead, Dell needs to vastly improve its on-site support of small and mid-size customers. That's where potential relationships with OnForce and Geeks on Call could enter the picture.

That's a lot of "ifs" and "potential" relationships. But the bottom line is clear: Some resellers may fear Dell, but plenty of them are seeking to quietly explore Dell's channel and MSP offerings.

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