It is understandable that Dell’s PC-as-a-Service offering’s initial target segment is 500+ PC organizations which have sophisticated PC life cycle needs. However, judging by the number of inquiries Techaisle is getting in addition to its most recent survey, there is an untapped potential within the SMB and specifically midmarket segment. If 500+ PC is the cut-off then only 9% of US midmarket firms would qualify. If the threshold is lowered to 250+ PCs then 32% of US midmarket firms would open up as potential target segment. Stretching the statistics to 100+ PCs threshold, the total available market suddenly jumps to 56%. Midmarket is a huge opportunity, and the good thing with midmarket is that it is a whole lot less painful to move 250 to 500 PCs from Windows 7 to Windows 10 than it is to move 150,000. And they are less likely to be having a heterogenous PC environment.

Techaisle research shows that there are three key factors that make PCaaS a compelling value proposition for the midmarket firms.

  1. Alignment with financial objectives with access to latest & advanced PC devices
  2. Access to needed support services freeing up internal IT
  3. Providing better control and manageability

A fourth point key point (a kicker and a key Dell differentiator) is added because of Dell and VMware becoming one company. Techaisle study shows that most midmarket firms are not yet aware about integration with VMware Workspace ONE, an integrated platform powered by VMware AirWatch and its inherent advantages. Because Dell and VMware are one company, Dell has been able to integrate AirWatch, a unified endpoint management technology, and the Dell Client Command Suite and extend PC management capability all the way down into the firmware and BIOS level of Dell PCs. This easily enables a single pane of glass through which IT can push policies, apps, lock-down, wipe and back up data.

Let us drill down into each value proposition and how Dell Technologies is differentiating itself.

Alignment with financial objectives

Research shows that firms are looking to migrate to OPEX-based IT acquisition models, making PCaaS a natural next step beyond traditional CAPEX-based (or expense-based) device purchases. Additionally, flexible PCaaS contracts allow businesses to scale resources with requirement, which enable them to exert greater control over the use of resources to support organizational IT/productivity requirements. Dell’s flexible financing capabilities allows businesses to flex up or down inside of the agreement. Flexing down sometimes can be a problem, both for the business and for the PC vendor because there are investments in those PCs over time. And therefore, allowing businesses to flex down in a 5, 10, or 15% mode is very helpful within the 36 or 48-month term options. Additionally, Dell allows midterm upgrades, especially suited for executives or high-performance end users who want to be able to upgrade during the contract period when either new technologies are available or some slicker, snazzier shiny object is introduced. Dell’s PCaaS allows these users a path to do that much more simply as opposed to having to close off and restart a whole other financing path. Dell’s PCaaS contracts ensure that users are equipped with current and capable devices, improving productivity while reducing exposure to security threats.

Access to needed support services freeing up internal IT

End user computing is a huge source of resource consumption for most IT departments, leaving little to no time to focus more on other strategic projects. By ‘pricing in’ the cost of management and maintenance services, PCaaS provides firms with greater assurance that the tasks needed to protect data and support users will be performed regularly and at a high-quality level. Provision of regular management/maintenance is a particular issue in the resource-constrained SMB & midmarket segment, which often lacks the skills and bench depth needed to stay abreast of ongoing requirements such as patching and backup. When empowering workforce is one of the pillars of digital transformation, almost all firms are trying to simplify a very complex environment, particularly around end users, so that their IT can focus efforts towards the data center, data, and security. Dell’s PCaaS helps these firms procure, deploy, support PCs thereby making their management simpler, deploying them easier, and making sure that from a security perspective PCs are being set up for success. One important PCaaS capability is real time asset management. With improved visibility into highly-used or under-used features or assets, IT can tune the environment to user requirements, improving the value obtained from investments. Dell has incorporated its Dell Command Suite and AirWatch tools together to provide a better management experience.

Providing better control and manageability - AirWatch integration for better management and security

Businesses are increasingly asking for control, configurability, visibility & manageability. Control and configurability go hand-in-hand – businesses want to be able to control the configuration of devices both above and below the OS. AirWatch integration helps tremendously in streamlining lifecycle management, app management, deployment and patch management. And because Dell has access to both AirWatch and Dell PC technologies, the technology and integration allows for additional management capabilities below the OS, for example, power setting, HW reliability telemetry, warranty, ID and security setting for BIOS and connectivity. These become important in the PCaaS context and a differentiator for Dell’s PCaaS offering. Using connect and config, IT departments can link up SCCM to Dell and factory load AirWatch onto PCs. When the PC units actually land on the ground, the users already have policy and management loaded on their systems. Not only can IT configure device as per user role, environment and security needs prior to deployment, but post deployment can also obtain intelligence on telemetry performance data of the device to provide proactive support either themselves or externally through Dell. These eases both deployment and support timeframe, costs and increases user satisfaction.

AirWatch is compelling because it works in a heterogenous environment across Windows, iOS and Android. AirWatch’s value proposition is a simple console to manage all modern endpoints. On non-Dell devices IT can manage at the OS level and above.

Granted that PCaaS is not yet a mainstream alternative to conventional PCs – but awareness and demand are growing within the SMB market. However, midmarket segment is ready. Techaisle survey shows that two-thirds of the midmarket organizations that are aware of PCaaS report plans to adopt the technology. Adoption intent increases with buyer sophistication:

Collectively, these results indicate that PCaaS is already top of mind for leading-edge SMBs – which is good news. They should investigate Dell PCaaS.