Outsourcing Desktop Support

By eweek  |  Posted 2001-01-29

Everdream and its main competitor, Centerbeam, have nailed the small-business trend we recently highlighted. Keeping bread-and-butter infrastructure running smoothly is the biggest concern among small firms. By leveraging the power of broadband connections, Everdream and Centerbeam are able to offer remote support at surprisingly low prices. Expensive on-site service visits are minimized.

Both firms have major backing. Everdream is aligned with HP, Centerbeam with Dell. Everdream closed its third round of funding in September, receiving $50 million. In November, Centerbeam landed $115 million in second-round equity financing.

While both firms offer partner programs, Everdream is more fully committed to the channel. Centerbeam is more focused on corporate branch offices and cutting deals with office-complex owners. Catering to branch offices may require Centerbeam to support enterprise applications such as SAP, PeopleSoft, etc., and that could dilute its commitment to small, MS Office-using businesses.

Both firms claim "thousands" of subscribers, though neither will release revenue figures. Everdreams largest customer is HQ Global Workspaces, manager of "executive suites on steroids" in moe than 500 locations. Centerbeam recently inked a deal with Equity Office Properties Trust to market Centerbeam services through 381 office buildings. (Strangely, HQ Global Workspaces recently received a $75 million investment from Equity Office Properties Trust.)

Theres plenty of room for competitors in the small-business IT outsourcing market. You may want to go head-to-head with Everdream and Centerbeam, or partner with the firm that best suits your client base.

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