Gateway Targets Services at Midmarket

Gateway's goal is to give midrange customers the services that are normally targeted at high-end enterprises.

Gateway is looking to bring high-end infrastructure services to its midrange customers.

Gateways new Professional Services, announced April 24, are a combination of offerings found in the companys current Enterprise Services unit and new services aimed at giving midsize businesses the help that larger enterprises normally enjoy, said Josh Wood, director of service products at Gateway.

The new services will rely heavily on Gateways network of third-party partners, and will enable them to customize the services to the needs of the customer, Wood said.

"The midmarket segment is underserved," he said. "Were looking to partners to leverage their expertise."

Gateways move is similar to ones made by other systems makers outside of the major players who are rolling out specialized services as a way of expanding their reach, offering something new to their installed base and opening new revenue streams.

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For example, Stratus Technologies, of Maynard, Mass., March of 2006 launched a services business that leverages its history of making fault-tolerant servers.

Roger Kay, an analyst with Endpoint Technologies Associates, in Wayland, Mass., said Gateways decision to rely on third-party systems integrators and resellers makes sense, giving the systems maker a way of offering these services without having to invest heavily in creating a new business unit.

Wood agreed, saying, "If we didnt have the partner infrastructure, it would be a nonstarter for Gateway."

In addition, it targets a market—those with 250 to 2,000 employees—that Gateway already knows, Kay said.

"A company that size typically has an IT department, but its not as sophisticated as an IT department in a larger organization," he said. "Gateway wants to give IT services to a midmarket that needs [such services] and maybe cant afford them now."

Pricing for Gateways services start around $4,000, the company said. The goal is to augment a business IT staff to the degree that that business needs, Wood said.

"Were going to target a segment that we traditionally go after today, which is the midmarket," he said.

The new services include helping customers evaluate their current infrastructure, assessing needs and creating and deploying solutions, he said.

For example, with its virtualization service, Gateway representatives will identify underperforming systems—in the x86 world, servers typically are utilized as low as 10 percent of the time, with virtualization promising to increase to 40 percent or more—and develop a plan for using virtualization to increase utilization and consolidate resources.

Hopefully that is done on Gateway workstations and servers, according to the company.

In similar fashion, Gateway will analyze a customers current backup and disaster recovery system and implement hardware and software plans aimed at reducing that customers risk of lost data.

Gateway will undertake similar projects in such areas as storage area networks—in conjunction with Hitachi—application and data migration and Citrix implementations.

Wood said that even though Gateway will rely heavily on partners, the systems maker will be responsible for the projects, giving customers a single point of contact.

"The customer is coming to Gateway for a solution, and we go out and get one for them," he said. "Were responsible for it working correctly."

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