Is Michael Dell Pure Evil?
Please forgive The VAR Guy for the headline. He’s actually a Dell Inc. customer. But after reading all of the negative channel press about Dell in recent days, you’d think that Michael is working for the devil himself.
Sure, Dell is acquiring Silverback Technologies and moving into the managed services market. According to many channel publications, the Dell-Silverback deal is cause for panic. Hmmm. The VAR Guy begs to differ.
Let’s be honest, folks. Dell’s customer support has been a mess in recent years. The PC giant needs feet on the street to offer on-site support. (Memo to Michael: Call OnForce for help.) And Dell also needs tools to remotely manage customer settings. Buying Silverback (and its remote management tools) was a logical, strategic move.
The deal is not some sort of Dell conspiracy to destroy the channel, destroy VARs and destroy third-party managed service providers. Alas, many channel publications and Web sites have spent recent days stirring fear, uncertainty and doubt about the deal. But then again, that’s what legacy channel publications have always done. Over and over again. Check out some of this week’s coverage…
- CRN: MSPs Worry as Dell Enters Market With Silverback
- CRN: Dell, Silverback Deal Sparks Commoditization Worries
- Ziff Davis: Dell’s Silverback Purchase a Cause for Channel Concern
Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!
Relax, folks. The sky isn’t falling. Michael wants to work with you. Really.
If VARs are worried about Dell, then why don’t they express the same worry about Tech Data and Ingram Micro working so closely with MSP platform providers? Surely, big distributors could hijack the MSP market if they so chose.
Instead of worrying about commoditization (CRN’s word, not The VAR Guy’s), VARs should welcome consolidation. There are too many MSP platform providers in this highly fragmented market. The VAR Guy hears about three or four new managed services every week. It’s time for some order. Some MSP standards. Some application programming interfaces to tie everything together. If Dell goes on an MSP buying spree, so be it.
Bottom line: Do you really think Dell can wrestle small and midsize business customers away from VARs and thousands of regional MSPs? The VAR Guy thinks not. Dell may supply the hardware to SMB accounts. But the channel continues to provide the trusted guidance and support that so many SMBs require.
Avoid the temptation to press the panic button as Dell enters the MSP space. And do what you’ve always done: Focus on your customers’ evolving needs. Heck, you might even wind up offering them some managed services — using Dell’s Silverback platform or a range of third-party platforms.