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Dell MSP Deal Another Industry Bellwether?

Managed services as a business model and burgeoning IT niche for mom-pop-and-cousin IT service firms has really come into its own in the last decade or so and opportunities abound.

An interesting trend as of late has been how the big boys -- tech stalwarts like Microsoft, Hewlett Packard, IBM and now Dell -- have been increasingly shoring up managed service product and service offerings.

Dell Services, the consulting and support arm of Dell, just inked a six-year managed services engagement contract with European travel agency giant TUI Travel Plc. It's significant because managed services intrinsically levels the playing field with small shops capable of offering big, multinational and enterprise-level services such as back office processing, network operations centers, help desk support, security, storage and even completely outsourced IT functionality. These all are increasingly the purview of the little guys.

But with Dell's announcement, the company offers Dell Services to manage desktop and laptop IT, managed print, and Active Directory and Exchange for TUI. There's also cloud-based client hardware and software asset management thrown into the engagement letter.

An interesting thing to watch will be the parallel trajectory of SMB client growth among smaller MSPs and the increase of high-profile managed service contracts between and among multinationals. If both happen simultaneously it would seem a boon for those in the managed services business, both large and small.

Posted by Jabulani Leffall on March 08, 2011 at 11:57 AM


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