Dell And Managed Services Providers: The Evolving Story
Dell has made some missteps over the years in the managed services market, which MSPmentor accurately noted back on April 6. But while few MSPs use Dell’s managed services software, we are seeing a growing number of MSPs reselling and supporting Dell’s hardware. Skeptical? Check out well-known MSPs like Consuro Managed Technology and Five Nines Technology Group. Here’s the background.
Consuro, a top MSP in Texas, recently achieved “Premier” status in the Dell PartnerDirect Program. Fewer than one percent of Dell (NASDAQ: DELL) partners achieve that designation.
Consuro positions itself as an MSP focused on desktop, server and network management. Plus, the company has a 20,000 square foot data center for hosting, a network operations center (NOC) and a help desk.
So far, that sounds like a classic MSP business model. But Consuro also gets involved in IT projects and IT consulting.
Consuro’s clientele includes Hahnfield Hoffer Stanford, an architecture and interior design firm with 42 employees. At Hanfield, Consuro deployed a virtualized server infrastructure, Dell PowerEdge servers, Dell EqualLogic iSCSI storage arrays and Microsoft Hyper-V. Plus, a Dell KACE Management Appliance allows a single IT employee to manage all client systems from a single Web-based interface, according to a prepared statement from Dell.
Meanwhile, Five Nines CEO Nick Bock recently told me that his company — an MSP in Nebraska — has seen considerable improvement in Dell’s partner engagement. A few years ago, Five Nines occasionally experienced channel conflict with Dell, and amicable resolutions were difficult to achieve. More recently, Dell has been far more responsive when Five Nines ran into a potential channel conflict, Bock told me a week or so ago.
I realize a portion of the channel will never partner with Dell, because Dell’s DNA still includes a heavy direct sales heritage. I also realize Dell’s cloud-based monitoring software never really gained a big following with MSPs in the SMB market. Plus, plenty of MSPs have expressed concern about Dell’s recent buyout of SonicWall.
But those MSPs still need to refresh and manage customer infrastructure — mobile devices, desktops, servers, networks and storage. Generally speaking, I think a growing number of MSPs are partnering up with Dell on the product front — even if they don’t necessarily partner with Dell on the managed services front.