Intel, NaviSite Ink Managed Services DealBy Sharon Linsenbach | Print
Intel-NaviSite agreement is designed to help VARs move into the managed services space.
Intel and NaviSite have signed a managed services deal that the companies say will give VARs a blueprint for moving into the lucrative services space.
Intel and NaviSite announced the white-label managed services offering at the annual Intel Solutions Summit, held April 6 through 9 in Las Vegas. The companies said the services will allow Intel channel partners to deliver self-branded hosted Microsoft Exchange and SharePoint, with e-mail spam and virus filtering, archiving, online backup and restoration, and remote monitoring and management.
Steve Dallman, Intel vice president of sales and marketing and general manager of Intel's worldwide reseller channel organization, said partners had been asking for a way to enter the services market, and added that managed services were a key focus area for Intel's channel to drive new, recurring revenue streams.
Dallman said Intel's vPro hardware technology, which allows partners to remotely monitor, manage and repair customers' infrastructure, was helping to drive services revenue through the channel. But he admitted that enabling the channel to drive services was "slow, and it's really hard. There's the question of how to get engaged," he said.
"We can say to partners not only that they need to get into services but that our products actually create opportunities for those services," Dallman said.
Dallman and NaviSite Senior Vice President of Strategic Business Development Jim Fanella both said the two companies worked together to determine which services were in greatest demand and which would be the easiest to sell.
Dallman and Fanella said Intel's services offering would be accompanied by extensive sales and technical training to help partners ramp up to the lucrative services business. The managed services market, Dallman said, could also drive customers to refresh their hardware platforms.
Intel is in discussions with broadline and value-added distributors including Ingram Micro, Tech Data, Avnet and Arrow Electronics to distribute the managed services and gain access to an even greater audience, Dallman said. Both executives agreed that the services were targeted to VARs selling into small and midsize businesses.
Fanella said the services agreement gives VARs a simplified way of moving from a break/fix model to becoming a full-service solution provider backed by the strength of the Intel brand.
He said the timing was crucial, since as the economic situation in the U.S. deteriorates, many SMBs and even larger midmarket companies are looking to cut costs and increase efficiency by working with an MSP (managed services provider).
"Midmarket clients are gearing up to outsource the headaches associated with security, hardware and software upgrades, new hardware costs, [and] data center costs. The services we provide allow them to get all of those mission-critical features at a low monthly price," Fanella said.
The services are priced "a la carte," Fanella said, giving VARs the opportunity to decide which elements are the most relevant to their customers depending on the marketplace. The services are priced on a monthly subscription basis, and he said VARs can take advantage of special pricing and can mark up the services as they see fit, offering lucrative margin opportunities.
Fanella said the goal was to make pricing as simple and clear as possible, and that NaviSite and Intel had worked very hard to make sure that VARs would easily understand the pricing structure.
"The market is moving towards SAAS [software as a service], hosted Exchange and SharePoint and other managed services priced on a monthly subscription base," Fanella said. "The last thing SMBs want to do is hire more staff and invest in new infrastructure."
Related coverage from the Intel partner summit:
Intel, NaviSite Ink Managed Services Deal
For Intel, Desktops Aren't Dead
Intel Channel Chief: Virtualization a Boon for Intel
Intel Partners Say Small Form Factor a Big Deal
Intel Jumps Into Managed Services Market