Dell's Services Ambitions Makes VARs Nervous

By Lawrence Walsh  |  Print this article Print

Dell's ambition to expand its professional and managed services business is making some solution providers and managed service providers nervous. In the old days when Dell ignored the channel, they would close a lot of business supporting Dell products. Today, some wonder if working too closely with Dell will cost them lucrative services revenue.

Is Dell shooting itself in the channel foot with its services ambitions? A growing number of solution providers seem to think so.

After years of rejecting the channel and services, Dell is embracing both models in hopes of jumpstarting sales and reviving its market leadership position. The acquisitions of Everdream, Silverback and Equal Logic, as well as deep alliances with VMware and other software publishers is opening services opportunities previously unavailable to Dell and, in theory, its channel partners.

But solution providers are growing increasingly wary of Dell's services ambitions because it is or could cut into their golden revenue stream - value-added deployment and configuration services. In fact, some solution providers are longing for the old days when Dell publicly ignored the channel.

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Lawrence Walsh Lawrence Walsh is editor of Baseline magazine, overseeing print and online editorial content and the strategic direction of the publication. He is also a regular columnist for Ziff Davis Enterprise's Channel Insider. Mr. Walsh is well versed in IT technology and issues, and he is an expert in IT security technologies and policies, managed services, business intelligence software and IT reseller channels. An award-winning journalist, Mr. Walsh has served as editor of CMP Technology's VARBusiness and GovernmentVAR magazines, and TechTarget's Information Security magazine. He has written hundreds of articles, analyses and commentaries on the development of reseller businesses, the IT marketplace and managed services, as well as information security policy, strategy and technology. Prior to his magazine career, Mr. Walsh was a newspaper editor and reporter, having held editorial positions at the Boston Globe, MetroWest Daily News, Brockton Enterprise and Community Newspaper Company.

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