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July 12, 2012
It’s always interesting, and usually telling, in the wake of a Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) OS announcement to see which OEMs come out publicly in support of the new platform — as in, which ones go on record talking about it months in advance.
It’s even more attention-grabbing when a vendor proclaims a new Microsoft OS is good for the channel. And, it’s darn near earth shattering when that vendor is one with a history of “channel, what channel?” but whose channel-friendliness profile has matured to be, well, downright chummy.
So when Brad Anderson, president of Dell (NSDQ: DELL) Enterprise Solutions, wrote in a blog post that Microsoft’s impending Windows Server 2012, now slated for a September release, is good for Dell’s PartnerDirect channel partners, it definitely caught some rarified air.
Anderson tied together what he called the “big opportunity” Windows Server 2012 presents for customers and partners to the vendor’s overall end-to-end strategy and its endpoint solutions, and he placed the channel right in the middle of the action.
“Windows Server 2012 also provides technology benefits and opportunities for Dell PartnerDirect channel partners to help their customers grow their business into the next decade,” wrote Anderson, whose responsibilities extend to worldwide engineering, design, development and marketing of Dell enterprise products, including servers, networking and storage systems — not exactly your basic channel guy.
He went on to say that the PartnerDirect program will support partners to “focus their sales [of Windows Server 2012] on businesses of every size running Windows Server 2003 as well as non-Microsoft operating systems.”
And, he cautioned that inasmuch as support for Windows Server 2003 ends in 2015, now is the “ideal time for channel partners to start implementing the OS transition for their customers.” Moreover, Dell has collaborated with Microsoft, Anderson said, on training and sales tools to help partners boost their services revenue.
It must be pointed out that all this Dell support for channel partners and Windows Server 2012 came amid the standard stuff about Dell champing at the bit to execute on the new version of the OS.
For example, Anderson noted that Dell PowerEdge servers will support Windows Server 2012 when the full version is released in September. And, Dell’s engineering teams have conducted extensive tests of the new OS on the vendor’s platform, which has resulted in an “exclusive” Dell Early Adopter Guide for Microsoft Windows Server. The document offers a “comprehensive understanding” of Dell’s hardware and OpenManage support and recommended installation methods.
He also pointed out that Dell will deliver a Desktop Virtualization Solutions Reference Architecture (RA) for Windows Server 2012 when the OS ships. “Dell also makes available data center hardware components based on this RA that supports desktop virtualization and terminal services delivered by Windows Server 2012,” he said.
For sure, we’d expect an executive in charge of global engineering to come out with that stuff, but, adding the channel to the equation? That’s just not something that happens every day. But it just did. At Dell, of all places.
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