Dell Preparing New Managed Services Provider Partner Push

Say hello to Dell's managed services partner program -- for the second time. The hardware giant is preparing to make some new MSP-centric moves, this time with plenty of cloud-centric offerings as well. Nothing is official yet but here's what MSPmentor expects from Dell within the next few weeks or so.

Keep a close eye on SecureWorks, which Dell acquired in January 2011. SecureWorks specializes in Security as a Service. As of January 2011, SecureWorks had 1,500 banks, credit unions and managed security services customers within its business ecosystem. I think it's safe to say Dell plans to connect the dots much more clearly between SecureWorks and MSPs within the next few weeks or perhaps months. Either way, something is coming.

Meanwhile, Dell acquired the Silverback managed services platform way back in 2007. At long last, the old Silverback website finally redirects to a partner-centric landing page for MSPs. The site promotes Dell's Remote Infrastructure Monitoring (RIM) platform for MSPs, along with multiple MSP certification levels. Dell has also been pushing into new areas like managed print services. MSPmentor is watching to see if Dell strengthens its RIM and MPS promotional efforts to MSPs...

No doubt, Dell alienated some MSPs in the 2009 timeframe or so. Silverback originally required an on-premise appliance, but Dell gradually migrated the managed service to a cloud architecture. The problem: Along the way, Dell spent less and less time speaking directly with MSPs and more and more time promoting managed services to SMB customers.

Just an educated hunch but it sounds like Dell will start promoting more and more managed services and cloud services to MSPs in the second half of 2011. Admittedly, some channel partners remain skeptical of Dell because of the PC giant's direct sales heritage. But there are signs that Dell continues to gain momentum in the channel. A recent Dell storage partner conference in Orlando received positive feedback from partners, and Dell's overall PartnerDirect channel program continues to generate rising sales. MSPmentor senses that Dell will soon promote cloud and managed services much more aggressively under the PartnerDirect umbrella.

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