Want to know how much it will cost Solution Providers to enroll in Dell’s Managed Services Program – in order to compete against Dell itself?

Want to know how much it will cost Solution Providers to enroll in Dell’s Managed Services Program – in order to compete against Dell itself?

In a new article on eWEEK’s Channel Insider, Jessica Davis writes about her recent interview with former Silverback CEO Dan Phillips, who is now Dell’s channel MSP chief, whatever that means. Mr. Phillips enlightens Jessica to the following:

·         Dell is looking for quality partners in the hundreds, not thousands

·         Silverback had 150 partners before acquisition by Dell, who will be automatically enrolled in the Dell partner program

·         New Dell Managed Services Partners must go through Dell online product training for certification to sell Dell products – Mr. Phillips remarks that “it’s a simple online exam”

·         Dell online product course completion focuses on areas such as Microsoft, Cisco, 3Com, networking and security

·         New MSP’s must pay $8,999 to finish Dell’s Business Builder program, which includes technical training a handful of licenses and sales and marketing assistance, as well as completing the online product training and passing the aforementioned online exam

·         Existing MSP’s must complete a Dell Managed Services audit program, ensuring that the partner has the capability to deliver Managed Services at a certain level to be deemed a Dell Certified Partner – this costs the MSP $4,999

·         Existing Silverback Partners who have completed Silverback training don’t have to do these things

·         Recertification may be required on an ad-hoc basis, and based on the judgments of Dell’s dedicated sales organization for this program

·         Dell will be announcing plans for their direct Managed Services offering to end-user clients shortly, along with other significant announcements through next year

See the entire article here.

I don’t know about you, but I would never trust a technician in our organization to scope, spec, implement, deliver and maintain any end-client solutions after simply taking some online trainings and passing an online exam – come on, is this what Dell believes creates Trusted Advisors? Consultants that are able to build lasting relationships with clients, identify business needs and pain points, and create technology roadmaps to help them improve efficiencies, reduce costs and mitigate their business pains and risk?

Dell’s approach certainly seems one-dimensional from an MSP training perspective. In our experience training MSPs all over the world, we know that there needs to be a multi-faceted training and support structure in order to give Partners the best chance at success. These areas are:

·         Education

·         Training

·         Ongoing Support

See my previous blog on this concept here.

What about the price of admission to get partnered up with Dell, for the privilege to compete directly with them in the future for end-client business (take a look at Dell’s full page advertisement marketing remote technical support to end-clients here). I’d love to know what kind of training $8,999 will buy, and more importantly, who these Solution Providers are that will pay it (for my own selfish reasons!). And what qualifies an MSP for the $4,000 discount.

I wonder just what does that “audit” entail? Even if a Partner does receive an MSP MBA for nine grand – they’ll still be competing with Dell!

The whole thing just doesn’t make sense to me, so I must obviously be missing something….something big. How do existing Silverback Partners get a pass? Did Silverback put their Partners through Dell online product and certification training, and Microsoft, Cisco, 3Com, networking and security training as well?

Questions, questions….

How about the “recertification” possibility? The Dell sales team will be evaluating Partners and deciding who needs to get recycled through the challenging online training and testing regimen (better make friends with those folks fast) and I wonder if that means paying more fees for the sheer excitement of going through boot camp again?

It’s going to be interesting watching how this all unfolds, especially with Mr. Phillips’ cryptic statement that we will be seeing some significant announcements from Dell through next year.

I don’t know about you, but I just can’t wait…

Erick Simpson

Posted in: Industry Trends

Leave a Comment (6) ↓


  1. Dave Sobel December 7, 2007

    Thanks for the details. Yeah, this is a friggin’ brilliant idea. Where’s my checkbook? I’m going to pay Dell for the pleasure of competing with them.
    F’ing great idea.
    Hey, where’s that bridge for sale? I really need one of those too.

  2. Erick Simpson December 7, 2007

    The scary part is, it’s so diabolical, it just might work… Do the math:
    999 Wannabe MSPs x $8,999 = $8,990,001 for Dell
    Competing against the Partners that paid you almost $9MM = Priceless

  3. Ricardo James December 7, 2007

    And the hits just keep on coming. Thank you for the info Erick.
    What I don’t seem to understand is, why are people supporting Dell if they know of their tactics. We all know what they did to White Boxes. Walk into any Corporate, SMB, SOHO, Residential, you name it building and you will find Dell majority of the time.
    And to say we did not see this coming from them in the Systems Mangement / MSP arena would be all out crazy. Many people out there have chosen Dell for various reasons. Right down to the ease of use from ordering on the Dell website. It seems like that has been the plan all along. Throw the bait. Because if ease of use ordering is going to lure people in, then I see why it was so easy for Eve to give Adam that Apple in the Garden of Eden.
    I guess their commercials on Television and Radio are true.
    By the way is there a cure for Snake Bites.

  4. Matt December 7, 2007

    Unfortunately, not everyone understands that Dell is going to be competing with them. They will go directly after your customers. It is a very smart way to build your business rapidly and kill off a chunk of the dumber competition. If nothing else, they will gain a great deal of intelligence with something like this (by intelligence, I mean data).

  5. Stuart Crawford December 8, 2007

    Hi Guys
    I appreciate and respect a number of the comments posted here, however, I am not sure what is happening in the US but in Canada, I have been working with DELL very closely for 7 years, they provide me with marketing brochures and they even provided me with a computer for my “oldest computer in Calgary” contest.
    DELL has NEVER called in on any of my accounts, they have NEVER stolen business from me, they have been a WONDERFUL business partner of IT Matters and I trust them.
    Business is all about the relationship, you guy know this. Life I said, Canada maybe different in the way we do things than in the US. However, I feel obliged as a strong DELL partner to stand up for them and show the other side of the relationship.

  6. TechPro December 29, 2007

    So, what’s the alternative to Dell? Let’s stop complaining and find a solution.