Dell playing ‘catch-up’ on managed services

20 Nov 2007

PC manufacturer Dell’s acquisition of software as a service (SaaS) player Everdream is part of Dell’s evolution from box shifter to solutions provider and it must play catch-up to make a meaningful dent in the managed services market, according to analysts.

It emerged over the weekend that Dell acquired privately held Everdream for an undisclosed sum.

Dell said that with the acquisition it can extend remote management of critical IT assets from servers, storage and printers to desktops, notebooks and other end-user devices globally.

“The planned Everdream acquisition is a significant step in Dell’s next-generation service offerings and provides Dell with an expanded presence in the rapidly growing SaaS-enabled managed services market,” said Steve Schuckenbrock, Dell senior vice-president.

“Everdream has an extremely talented team that has developed industry-leading technology enabling customers and partners to easily and affordably manage PCs from anywhere in the world,” Schuckenbrock added.

Ovum analyst Ian Brown said the acquisition of Everdream was part of Dell’s efforts to fill gaps in its products and services strategies.

“This is a good fit for Dell as it moves to improve its desktop managed services offering,” said Brown. The SaaS model complements its direct sales model and should enable Dell and its partners to offer competitively priced managed services for desktops and laptops without the upfront fees of traditional managed services.

“It also complements Dell’s previous acquisition of Silverback Technologies. Although there’s some overlap, Silverback is more focused on the data centre.”

Brown continued: “It’s all part of Dell’s evolution from box shifter to solutions provider. It has lagged behind other hardware vendors, particularly in terms of managed services. Now it’s playing catch-up and so far the choice of acquisitions looks good. The next test is how well it handles the integration.”

By John Kennedy