Dell Prepping IdeaStorm for Partners?
One of The VAR Guy’s favorite web sites is IdeaStorm, a Dell-run forum where readers share business and technology ideas, vote for their favorite reader concepts, and interact with Dell. IdeaStorm has been a huge hit with Dell customers and critics alike. Now, Dell may build a similar site for partners, solutions providers and managed service providers, The VAR Guy has learned.
So, why is IdeaStorm so hot? For starters, it allows readers to express their biggest frustrations — and Dell listens to those frustrations to see which customer challenges it needs to address first.
IdeaStorm also is about innovation and spotting new business opportunities before they go mainstream. Readers flooded IdeaStorm with suggestions and proposals when Dell began exploring the desktop Linux market in early 2007. Ultimately, IdeaStorm played a critical role in Dell’s decision to pre-load Ubuntu Linux on selected laptops and desktops, starting in mid-2007.
IdeaStorm also was a great sounding board for customers who wanted Dell to re-introduce Windows XP preloads as an alternative to Windows Vista preloads.
Now, that type of reader interaction could soon occur between Dell and the company’s partners. During a phone chat on Friday with The VAR Guy and MSPmentor, Dell Channel Chief Greg Davis said the company is kicking around a few concepts for PartnerStorm — a potential sounding board for partners. The official name and timing of the site launch have yet to be announced, but it sounds like a partner-type discussion board is coming soon from Dell.
Smart move. IdeaStorm is one of the best social-driven sites The VAR Guy has seen. Repeating that effort for partners should prove worthwhile. In some ways, IdeaStorm is similar to Digg.com and other social-driven networks, where readers vote for their favorite ideas and weigh in with their opinions. IdeaStorm has also inspired Canonical — backer of Ubuntu Linux — to launch a similar site called BrainStorm.
For more on Dell’s channel strategy, check out more info about our conversation with Davis, posted on MSPmentor.net.