Quest Software (NASDAQ:QSFT) may have been acquired by Dell (NASDAQ:DELL) in a $2.4 billion deal just a week ago, but you wouldn’t know it by talking to the company’s team of channel executives, all of whom are bullish about several changes announced to Quest Software’s partner program in conjunction with the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in Toronto this week. Quest is showing service provider partners some love by recognizing them with their own partner tier. Quest also added a tier for Global Partners.
Here’s the scoop for service provider partners – Quest is offering monthly pricing and quarterly billing in arrears, removing the need for any upfront investment by partners. That’s good news for service provider partners and makes Quest more competitive when competing for these partners. But can Quest partners trust that this program will remain intact as the absorption by Dell looms?
What About Dell's PartnerDirect?Will Quest’s partner program ultimately be integrated into Dell’s PartnerDirect program. That’s still unclear, but Quest’s global channel chief Michael Sotnick points out that Quest Software will largely become the bulk of Dell’s software division. Could that mean that the Quest force within Dell will wield a lot of power when it comes to setting software strategy? Hmm.
Sotnick told MSPmentor that Quest Software’s new tiers of partners will now have access to the benefits available through the year-old Quest Partner Circle program including training, certification, marketing, business planning and dedicated technical support. Service provider partners include Rackspace, Azaleos, Apptix and NetStandard. Azaleos, for instance, uses Quest’s migration solutions to move new customers on board as well as to manage Microsoft solutions such as Exchange, SharePoint, Lync and Active Directory.
What will Happen to PacketTrap RMM and PSA?(Sotnick points out that PacketTrap RMM and PSA – formerly BlueFolder – are still small pieces of the overall Quest Software pie and are not included in the overall revenue numbers for Quest Partner Circle program. He said discussions have not yet begun with Dell over plans for these and other platforms.)
What About the HP Partnership?Quest’s Global Partner tier includes four partners: HP, Dell, Capgemini and Accenture/Avanade. Could Dell’s acquisition of Quest ultimately put Quest’s relationship with HP under pressure? Quest executives said it’s still early days, but there are currently no plans to change anything. Sotnick told MSPmentor that these global partners have done hundreds of millions of dollars worth of business in aggregate with Quest software over the past few years. Other existing tiers in Quest's Partner Circle program include Elite and Premiere.
So many questions. And since Dell and Quest have not yet begun integration talks, answers are not forthcoming. But rest assured MSPmentor will be watching the situation and provide updates as they become available.