Dell Managed Print Services Deal: A Sign of Things to Come?

When it comes to managed services, is Dell retreating to the enterprise? That could be the case, based on a recent big deal involving BNSF Railway plus an article in USA Today. Still, I'm not convinced that Dell plans to favor large enterprises over SMB opportunities. Here's the update.

Dell earlier today said it won a five-year deal to offer help desk services, end-user field support services and managed print services to BNSF Railway. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. And it's not clear how many printers were involved in the deal.

Meanwhile, USA Today reports that Dell is shifting its focus back to larger businesses. (Thanks to Stuart Crawford for pointing out the USA Today article to me.) I'm not sure I fully agree with the USA Today article -- Dell certainly isn't abandoning the SMB offensive, especially as Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo and Cisco Systems each ramp up their SMB efforts. But perhaps Dell sees the biggest profit opportunities in the enterprise space.

Still, Dell has been unusually quiet in the channel lately. On the upside, Dell Global Channel Chief Greg Davis on September 1 wrote a blog highlighting Dell's most recent quarterly partner milestones. But Davis didn't hold his usual post-quarter phone briefings with editors... a bit disappointing, considering Davis tends to be easily approachable. And Dell's broader channel blog has been silent since June 2010.

So, is Dell really shifting its focus back to the enterprise? There may be more clues next week when Michael Dell steps onto the stage at Oracle OpenWorld (Sept. 19-23, San Francisco). We'll be blogging live from that event.

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