Dell's latest quarterly results, announced today, included a reduced revenue outlook that disappointed Wall Street. But if you take a closer look at Dell's Q2 results, you'll discover Dell is showing some managed services momentum. Here's the evidence.
Within the Q2 fiscal 2012 announcement, issued today, Dell asserts:
"Dell Services revenue grew 6 percent to $2 billion. Dell’s total value of new services contracts signed in the last quarter is $1 billion and $1.3 billion year-to-date; and services backlog is now $15.4 billion up 11 percent from a year ago. Demand for Dell SecureWorks managed services offerings continued to expand, with more than 200 customers added during the quarter."It's no secret that Dell's managed services efforts have a mixed history with MSPs. The company's Silverback and Everdream acquisitions, way back in 2007 or so, positioned Dell to work closely with MSPs on remote monitoring and management services. But many MSPs essentially abandoned Silverback, even as some new MSPs came onboard.
More recently, Silverback has been rebranded as Dell's Remote Infrastructure Monitoring (RIM) platform for MSPs. But I don't hear from too many MSPs that leverage Dell's RIM offering. (Not to be confused with RIM Blackberry.) Still, I do hear from managed security service providers (MSSPs) that are taking a look at SecureWorks. And Dell actively promotes SecureWorks to partners.
Overall, I think Dell's PartnerDirect channel program has come a long way -- with a growing number of VARs embracing Dell's EqualLogic and Compellent storage solutions. But Dell still has a lot of work to do when it comes to cloud and managed services partnerships -- especially since end-customer data typically winds up stored in Dell's data centers.
During the Dell World conference (Oct. 12-14, Austin, Texas), which is open to partners, I hope Dell more clearly articulates how it intends to work with partners on recurring revenue opportunities.
In the meantime, Dell seems to be keeping a relatively low profile in the MSP market -- despite the SecureWorks momentum.