Dell Managed Services: One Step Forward, One Step Back

Dell Inc.'s PartnerDirect channel partner program showed some momentum in the company's most recent quarter. But Channel Chief Greg Davis (pictured) concedes Dell Managed Services is only seeing "small momentum" with managed services partners. Here's the update from Davis, who spoke with MSPmentor about Dell's channel performance earlier today.

Dell's managed services story is starting to sound familiar: Dell shifted its managed services strategy from on-premises appliances to a fully Dell-hosted model. At the same time Dell has be selling managed services directly to end-customers, though partners can continue to leverage Dell's hosted managed services platforms as well.

The bottom line: Many of the on-premises channel partners ultimately pursued alternative vendor relationships even as Dell signed up new partners for the hosted managed services offering, Davis says.

"We're seeing small momentum," Davis admitted. "We’ve had some partners who pulled away because they are running their own hosted solution. We’re adding enough new partners to offset [those that have left]. We fundamentally believe we can offer a valuable solution with one hosted platform for our partners, rather than have partners hosting their own systems." Though strategically, Davis says he realizes there are those MSPs that want to run their own systems.

Davis made similar statements to MSPmentor in November 2009. Overall, Dell has been pretty quiet in the managed services partner ecosystem, though Dell did attend the recent Autotask Community Live conference in April 2010.

Meanwhile, Dell's overall channel business seems to be growing rapidly, thanks to certified partners driving Dell server and storage sales.

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