Dell Sends Letter to Managed Service Providers

Sorry for being so "Dell-centric" on our Web sites today, but a conversation I had with Dell's Channel VP Greg Davis has triggered multiple posts. The latest: Davis and Michael Menegay, Global Director of Dell Managed Services, today sent a jointly signed letter to managed service providers. The letter provides MSPs with an update on:

  1. Dell's Managed Services Partner Certification, with more details about plans for the Everdream platform
  2. Dell's own Managed Services for small business plans, with more details on Dell's intention to test managed services with selected small businesses
  3. Future communications. Dell is planning a Web seminar the week of April 21 to continue the conversation with partners.
Here is some analysis, along with a link to let you read the entire letter for yourself.

The letter mentions that the Dell MSP certification program has been "enhanced to include Dell’s desktop and remote device management services (enabled by the recently acquired Everdream technology)."

Everdream's platform spans electronic software distribution, patch management, remote asset discovery, asset management, data encryption, online backup, software licensing and remote administration for desktop and notebook systems, the letter notes.

To support those capabilities, Dell has added an MSP certification track for the company's desktop and remote device management services. The effort complements Dell's enterprise monitoring services (based on the Silverback Technology acquisition), Dell asserts.

Existing Everdream partners who register before May 15, 2008 will be “grandfathered” into the Dell MSP desktop remote management certification program, notes the letter.

Managed Services Update

Davis and Menegay also say Dell soon will start a limited pilot in Dallas, TX selling small businesses basic remote monitoring and remediation services using Dell’s enterprise monitoring services. Dell will look to expand this pilot over the course of 2008 in the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific regions as feedback dictates, Davis adds.
"There will also be opportunities for partners to participate in the pilot, and we will provide details in the coming months," Davis and Menegay wrote.

Reason to Worry?

At first glance, that was the thorniest section of the letter. Yes, Dell is testing managed services directly with customers. But don't forget: so is just about every traditional high-tech company.

Symantec, for one, promotes its Symantec Protection Network as a SaaS platform for partners. But customers can sign up for it directly. And hundreds of Microsoft Dynamics partners expect to cooperate -- and compete -- with that software giant in the hosted CRM market.

But Dell will likely evoke extra skepticism from some partners, since the company's history is so deeply rooted in direct sales.

In the close of the letter, Davis and Menegay say Dell will host a managed services partner webinar the week of April 21 to discuss recent progress and future directions.

Here's a complete look at the letter from Dell to Managed Service Providers.

Dell, Silverback and Everdream partners: What's your reaction to the letter?

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