A former SilverBack Technologies top executive said the company’s planned acquisition by Dell bodes well for the channel. It wouldn’t make sense for Dell to acquire SilverBack only to turn around and chuck the network of channel partners it has worked so hard to build, he said.
Jim Hare, who was worldwide vice president of sales at the managed services platform vendor until a few months ago, said he foresees mutual benefits from Dell’s planned acquisition of Billerica, Mass.-based SilverBack.
Dell, of Round Rock, Texas, acquires a channel that it can use to service its enterprise customers while SilverBack gains the financial backing of a large company with the resources SilverBack needs.
“Like with any other technology, you’re always trying to improve it, but you’re gated by your resources,” said Hare, who is now senior vice president at another software company, Optinuity, of Bethesda, Md.
Hare speculated that Dell is acquiring SilverBack not only for its technology but also for the expertise and the channel base. Dell can tap the managed services providers that do business with SilverBack to handle remote monitoring and management for its customers, which is an area of expertise the vendor now lacks, he said.
“It’s a lot easier to take an end-user customer and bring them to an existing MSP,” Hare said.
From that perspective, he added, there should be little fear that Dell will acquire SilverBack only to take the technology and use it directly with customers while cutting out the channel. That simply wouldn’t make sense, he said.
Other industry observers have echoed Hare’s assessment, concluding that the acquisition is an important strategic move for Dell, which has been working to repair its image. The company’s Wall Street performance has improved and it has been working to improve customer service, which had become the object of much criticism.
In recent months, the company, which once antagonized the channel by urging customers to “cut out the middleman,” has indicated it wants to work with partners.
“Dell’s acquisition of SilverBack Technologies will enable the company to offer an additional layer of management services to its product portfolio to differentiate itself in the market,” said Jeff Kaplan, managing partner at THINKstrategies, a research firm in Wellesley, Mass., focused on managed services.
“The goal of these management services will be to ensure greater system reliability, security and performance that can lead to higher customer satisfaction and stronger customer loyalty,” said Kaplan, who speculated Dell will use SilverBack’s technology to offer services directly and indirectly though channel partners.