Uncertainty abounds at Dell's Texas HQ as Michael Dell struggles to take the company private. Sources keep whispering that there's a "plan" in the offing – but what is that plan? My personal prediction – reading the tea leaves at the bottom of the Dell teacup – is that the deeply fractured organisation wants to dance with the …
with AppAssure and Quest
Both of which suck..
All of the Quest software is in desperate need of a facelift, whilst AppAssure tries to put it self as a suitable backup product for a virtualised enviroment..
Re: with AppAssure and Quest
Agreed. I was at Dell Enterprise Forum and was expecting a few announcements around the products, looks like nothing significant until mid-to-late 2014 before the lines start to blur between the products.
We have AppAssure and like the ease of use and speed but it's no all-in-one, so we're taking a long, hard look at Enterprise solutions for 2014. Quest NetVault looks like something out of the 90's but has lots of options and features. vRangers does something different altogether. They need to get aggressive and ambitious with that lineup and consolidate it into a real all-in-one product.
With that kind of timeframe for real innovation, we'll most likely be on Simpana or NetBackup or something. As for the rest of the Quest software stack, we found that catching Solarwinds at the end of a bad quarter is pretty cost-effective and the tools are great (at least for the networking and server/virtualization management).
There's one Quest software worth the money
The Virtual Directory Server thingy they bought from Symlabs. That's an awesome tool that needs a facelift, but it is pretty much unique in what it does. Unfortunately it seems to be put in the back burner since the Quest acquisition, and the Dell acquisition of Quest itself seems to be doubly screwing said product.
Channel Partner - Really?
My experiences with Dell are that they will work with channel partners to sell their stuff, and then take the same quote and undercut it direct to the customer. Thanks for doing the work - partner. They do it in the disti, they do it to VARS, and they even do it when you just use their own website. The worst part is, they usually change the original quote to undercut because there is already no margin, so you have to spend time checking each item one for one on the quote to make sure you get what you originally spec. WHY WOULD ANYONE EVER sell their product?
Re: Channel Partner - Really?
I think that's a problem with the local/regional team more than anything. We have a VAR we've chosen to work with for all our Dell products and services, and even when I spend a few days working over ideas and dealing directly with my local Dell SE, the quote still comes through my VAR. Even professional services engagements and so on are quoted through my VAR. Dell even even invites them to the occasional lunch event me so we can talk strategy.
Probably varies widely from area to area.
Re: Channel Partner - Really?
This happened to our IT purchasing manager, he was replacing all desktops with laptops, the idea being that we would all become agile, hot desking, coffee drinking modern professionals, chatting to each other over Skype and Google Video Chat.
The per unit cost of the laptops was a little high, and so he asked Dell to come back with a better quote. They came back with £80 off each machine, and he bit their hand off. It was only when the lorry with 400 laptops turned up and we unboxed the first one that we noticed - whoopsie - this spec laptop has no webcam in the lid, just a rubber grommet where it should be. It was in the requirements we gave to them, it was in the original quote, it was removed from the cheaper quote.
We ended up buying loads of usb webcams, but they fall off the docks, people forget to plug them in, and anyone not at a desk is stuffed, so video calling someone usually starts with an email reply, Hang on a sec while I get a webcam
Re: Channel Partner - Really?
AC... Dell have a policy that you will never pay more when a sale is transacted via a channel partner vs direct. In the case you specifically mention it sounds like the spec has been reduced and hence so has the price, the fact that it when direct rather than via a partner is irrelevant.
Re: Probably varies widely from area to area.
And that will be their biggest challenge to becoming an Enterprise corporation, even if they go private.
"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders,"
Other than selling Dell servers to Oracle on a large scale for certain 'enterprise' Linux solutions, Dell is firmly committed to supporting only Microsoft software technologies in the enterprise space, basically dismissing RedHat Linux and *BSD UNIX-like OS that recently have been adopted en mass by Netflix and Verisign, amoung others.
These policy and practices decisions are unlikely to provide them with any credible leverage into many US and especially European and South American enterprises and government agencies that are setting preferences and in some instances mandating "Open Standards/Open Source " based solutions into the future.
What happened to Services?
I find it interesting that Dell's largest acquisition didn't even warrant honorable mention in the article. Dell bought Perot Systems for $3.9B US to acquire their healthcare and government services contracts, but there was no mention of the Services division in the article. That can't be a good sign...
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