Happy Holidays at Dell?
The VAR Guy spent the weekend visiting retails stores, searching for digital bargains. He couldn’t help but notice all of the Dell PCs, monitors, printers and ink cartridges — yes, Dell ink — on retail store shelves. Back in the online world, Michael Dell’s managed services push makes his company the channel surprise of 2007. But will the retail and MSP moves reward Dell shareholders, partners and customers? The VAR Guy weighs in with his thoughts.
First, the good news: Dell is everywhere in retail. And retailers are putting money behind the Dell brand. Staples spent the weekend promoting Dell across print, radio and online advertising. And in the channel, Michael is pushing Dell into emerging markets (managed services, software as a service, next-generation storage) rather than mature plays (networking, etc.).
The VAR Guy was particularly impressed with Dell’s recent move to acquire Everdream. Our resident blogger has watched Everdream’s SaaS business evolve for almost a decade. And while Everdream has hit a few bumps over the years, the company has a strong channel brand and mature technology compared to many of the SaaS pretenders in the market.
But now, the questions: Some folks worry that Dell will alienate VARs by messing up established channel programs at Everdream, EqualLogic, etc. The VAR Guy remains a Dell defender (and small shareholder), frequently insisting that Dell truly is committed to partners this time around. But if he’s wrong, things will get really ugly really fast for Dell’s recent acquisitions.
Back in retail, most of the Dell retail systems are relatively low- to mid-tier — not high-end workstations or gaming systems. So does more volume in retail equal more profits? It’s still too early to say but we’ll get the first hint of Michael’s financial mood when Dell announces quarterly results on Nov. 29.