7. Dell/SilverBack -- Services foray
Specialties: Remote monitoring/management. Reason for merger: Expansion into managed services. Cost: Not disclosed. Reason the channel should care: Dell's arrival in managed services comes as many resellers hope to move in that direction.
Dell's push into managed services via its acquisition of SilverBack Technologies got the channel's attention. The historically direct seller could prove a rival to VARs moving into managed services or reselling them. On the other hand, Dell could use SilverBack -- and its pending purchase of Everdream -- to work more closely with the channel. Both SilverBack and Everdream had been building channel programs.
Channel threat or channel ally? The answer may lie somewhere in the middle. Jeff Kaplan, managing director of market consultant ThinkStrategies Inc., said he believes Dell aims to offer services directly and through partners. He said the channel is most likely to play a role in midmarket and some small-business sales.
8. Dell/EqualLogic* -- SAN channel marketing
Specialties: Storage area networks (SANs). Reason for merger: Tap iSCSI SAN market. Cost: $1.4 billion. Reason the channel should care: The deal puts Dell in the middle of the SMB storage space, a sweet spot for resellers.
Vendors of iSCSI storage products have opened the SAN market to smaller businesses. The EqualLogic deal lets Dell get in on that action. EqualLogic's expansion into high-performance iSCSI means that Dell will have an avenue into larger enterprises as well.