Dell Aims to Speed Channel Evolution with Everdream Buy

Dell gets channel know-how with its Everdream purchase, while Everdream gets midmarket prowess and reach. (The Channel Insider)

Dells planned acquisition of Everdream will bring the PC vendor the channel know-how it needs to implement its promised partner program, the two companies told The Channel Insider Nov. 16.

Dell officials said the Everdream acquisition complements the remote management technology it acquired when Dell bought SilverBack Technologies. Everdreams technology will allow Dell to extend remote management from servers, storage and printers to desktops, notebooks and mobile devices, Everdream officials said. Meanwhile, Everdream will get the resources and the scale it needs to expand its customer base.

The SAAS (software as a service) providers technology and channel success made it a tantalizing target for Dell, said Jim Obsitnik, Everdreams vice president of marketing. In April, Everdream switched to a 100 percent channel go-to-market strategy, he said. Everdream removed its entire direct sales team and also hired channel veteran Mike Menegay as vice president of sales, Obsitnik said.

Menegays channel experience includes a stint as vice president of channels and alliances at Network Associates and senior vice president of worldwide channels at Macromedia. Making the successful switch to the channel model meant Everdream had to find a different way of thinking and talking to the market, Obsitnik said. "[Dell] needs that intellectual property to move along the channel evolution curve more quickly," he said.

Still, integrating people, partners and processes from Everdreams existing channel program will take some work, admitted Greg Davis, Dells chief of North American channels. Channel consultants say the challenge is even greater when taking into account Dells announcement that it wants to acquire EqualLogic, which also has a separate channel program. Analysts say that partner confusion and frustration could result unless Dell consolidates all programs into one channel partner offering. But Dell is being cautious about such a bold move.

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