Dell Goes Direct with Managed Services for Small Business

By Jessica Davis  |  Posted 2009-04-15 Print this article Print

Dell is expanding its direct managed services for small and midsize businesses nationwide after concluding pilot programs in the New York City and Dallas markets. While the program runs counter to its channel business, solution providers say they don't consider Dell much of a threat.

Dell today announced a managed services solution designed for small business and medium business and available today across the United States. The nationwide roll-out is the next step in Dell's direct managed services strategy which began as a trial in the Dallas and the New York area.

Like when it introduced those trials, Dell says the new nationwide rollout will target small business and midsized business directly, but it will not pursue existing customers of its Dell managed services-certified PartnerDirect channel partners - about 200 globally -- and Dell will back off of customer prospects if one of these managed services-certified partners has already registered the deal.

That said, the rest of small business customers out there are fair game. But managed service providers with established businesses aren't worried about a potential competitive threat by Dell.

"In typical Dell fashion, this may have the potential to commoditize these services and hurt pricing, but if you look under the covers, I don't think they are offering anything compelling," says MJ Shoer, president and virtual CTO of Jenaly in Portsmouth, N.H. "The pricing for any services beyond pure monitoring alerts is not truly in line with the market. I think it may be overpriced, depending on the market."  

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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 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

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