Kudos for Silverback

By Jessica Davis  |  Print this article Print

Six months after Dell acquired the managed services platform provider, partners who attended the recent partner conference were still left wondering about the way new programs will work. 

"We still don't have answers for everything," Philips said. "But we went through Dell's strategic direction for partners."

Philips said the number one request he got during the event was for the Silverback organization within Dell to hold more Silverback conferences. Another common request was for a continuation of the Silverback MSP Council, which was active under the old company as an advisory board. Philips said the group would continue under Dell, and was re-launched during the conference, but it was unclear what the organization's role would be in relation to Dell.

"I applaud Dan Philips coming out and doing what they did," McKendrick said. "They didn't have all the answers. They weren't shy about it. The Dell guy came out and took a lot of tough questions."

Many of those questions were about competition to the MSPs from Dell's direct sales force, but McKendrick doesn't view that as a particular threat to Silverback MSPs.

To read more about what Dan Philips has said about Dell Direct services, click here

"Dell hasn't launched their managed services program yet," he said. "The guy down the street is more of a threat to a Silverback MSP than Dell will ever be. That's because customers don't buy Dell or Sonic Wall anymore. They buy the computer repair company's brand."

And service is a big component of managed services, too, but that's not something that Dell has in place yet.

"As of today Dell doesn't have an end-user-facing help desk," he said. "They don't have a help desk designed to support an SMB client infrastructure. There is still a lot of value to be had from the kind of comprehensive support program that MSPs offer."


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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