Short term, Microsoft and Dell are launching joint marketing efforts for corporate IT management solutions. Long term, it's clear to me that Microsoft -- at some point -- will make a subtle tweak to its System Center Management solution and begin to target managed service providers.
First, the current facts: Microsoft and Dell plan to host an online event later this month. (We're not involved but I'll try to track down a link for readers.) The focus: Using Microsoft System Center Management to deploy, diagnose and configure Dell OptiPlex PCs.
For the short term, System Center Management focuses on internal corporate IT managers. But longer term, it's easy to imagine Microsoft broadening the effort to target managed services.
The Coming StormEither way, I expect Microsoft to increasingly compete -- and cooperate -- with MSP-oriented tools from Kaseya, Level Platforms, N-able, Nimsoft (and a long list of additional vendors).
Yes, companies such as Level Platforms and N-able are quick to note their relationships with Microsoft. Just yesterday, N-able CEO Gavin Garbutt blogged about his company's momentum and Microsoft relationship.
But competition (along with that cooperation) with Microsoft seems inevitable to me. Already, Kaseya and Nimsoft aggressively promote their MSP tools directly to large businesses -- meaning that they could potentially compete with Microsoft System Center Management in selected areas.
Longer term -- as Microsoft continues to test a rumored MSP project -- I do expect the software giant to offer its own solutions to MSPs.
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