Silverback, EqualLogic Partners in Limbo

By Jessica Davis  |  Print this article Print


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Partners of the Dell-acquired companies are awaiting news on the channel's future and quietly weighing their options.

Competitors to Silverback and EqualLogic—two companies recently acquired by Dell—have been quick to poach partners who may be disenchanted with the idea of working for one-time channel nemesis Dell.

The recent timing of Dell's announced plans to acquire EqualLogic couldn't have been better for Hifn, an EqualLogic competitor, which announced a new channel program the same week Dell announced the EqualLogic deal.

John Matze, vice president of business development at EqualLogic competitor Hifn, said he has 10 EqualLogic partners signed up for a Webinar about switching over, scheduled to be held during Thanksgiving week. He expected more interest still once EqualLogic VARs close any deals they currently have in the works—in about 30 to 45 days.

Robin Fischer, owner of DLP Technologies, a Cincinnati-based EqualLogic partner, expressed concern but is taking a wait-and-see attitude.

"I'm giving them about three months," he said. "I'm not too happy about the deal, but I'm hoping they keep their channel open like they say they will."

Back when Dell announced plans to acquire MSP platform provider Silverback, competitor Nimsoft announced a new initiative to "Save the Silverback." The service-level management platform provider said that it would offer Silverback MSPs the same level of managed services at the same price they got from Silverback, and the company would do the entire conversion for free.

Click here to read about Nimsoft's promotion to "Save the Silverback."

If Silverback partners are concerned, however, they don't seem to be abandoning the MSP platform provider in droves. Todd McKendrick, vice president of sales for one of Silverback's biggest customers, Do IT Smarter, which resells the Silverback platform to other MSPs, said that Dell has been very quiet about plans for the channel and platform. His company is also taking a wait-and-see stance, and he expects to find out more about the future of the channel program at the company's partner conference in January.

Meanwhile, he acknowledged that other things have been tougher since Dell announced the acquisition in July.

"The acquisition of Silverback by Dell made it more difficult to recruit new partners into our program," he said. In response to MSP concern, Do IT Smarter has broadened its offerings to include Level Platforms as well.

"It doesn't mean the technology was better," he said. "It means there are a lot of VARs that have a negative opinion of Dell."

Jessica Davis covers the channel for eWeek and Channel Insider. Her technology journalism career began well before anyone heard of the World Wide Web and has included stints at Infoworld, Electronic News/EDN, and the Philadelphia Business Journal. Her work has also appeared on CNN and Forbes.com. She has covered hardware, software and networking, as well as the business side of technology. She has won several journalism awards, including a national ASBPE award for best staff-written column, and was named Marketing Computers hardest working tech journalist on their inaugural list of top tech journalists. Jessica can be reached at jessica.davis@ziffdavisenterprise.com

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