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
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 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
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."
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