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Techaisle Blog

Insightful research, flexible data, and deep analysis by a global SMB IT Market Research and Industry Analyst organization dedicated to tracking the Future of SMBs and Channels.

Power to Do More meets Simplicity at Work

Dell (Power to Do More) is buying Quest Software (Simplicity at Work) for US$2.4B, its second largest acquisition after Perot Systems. Combining power and simplicity is not easy to achieve but is a potent combination if done successfully. And throwing Wyse and SonicWALL in the mix can lead to a catalytic reaction in the right direction that may become hard to contain and beat. It is all in the execution, messaging and channel commitment.

A lot has already been written about how the Quest acquisition is a brilliant move by Dell to augment its software portfolio and complete its end-to-end solutions offerings from PC hardware, servers to security, storage, software, datacenters and integrated datacenters. It is not important to know, understand, praise or fault Dell for how vWorkspace will fit into its partnership with Citrix or VMware, or how Quest’s Identity management will be combined with SonicWALL or how Dell will address Windows migration with Quest tools and on, and on. What is important to understand is that Dell is demonstrating its steady and unflinching commitment to be an end-to-end solutions company for enterprises, SMBs, government and education segments.  Dell gets it.

Following the announcements we had the opportunity to speak with senior executives at two of Quest’s partners, dinCloud and En Pointe Technologies; Ali Din, Senior Vice President and CMO, dinCloud and Naveed Khan, Director, Vendor Management at En Pointe. dinCloud provides hosted desktop and server services and En Pointe is a Quest software VAR. On one hand, dinCloud is eager to start a relationship with Dell, whereas on the other, En Pointe, already a Premier partner of Dell has had some preliminary discussions with Dell. They are at two spectrums of the same light and both are excited about the opportunities that can be explored, exploited and consolidated with Dell as a vendor.

There was a common refrain of hope and aspiration from both dinCloud and En Pointe. Quest has lots of business units; most of the times these units and their products are not integrated with each other. The hope is that Dell will be able to assimilate and integrate the business units and products quickly. And both were unflinching in their commitment to Dell and for that matter even other vendor partnerships they have. Committed partners have the capacity to make the ‘power to do more’ and ‘simplicity at work’ even more noticeable. Combined Dell and Quest can solve big problems for IT with products and solutions that are simple to use.

Techaisle’s recent survey shows that 72 percent of SMBs agree that IT vendors should work towards simplifying technology. 54 percent also mention that their technology pain points have increased in the last 3 years and 44 percent agree that technology has become more complex to understand now as compared to 3 years ago. To these SMBs Dell may want so say, “we give you the power to do more combined with simplicity for your business”.

Anurag Agrawal
Techaisle
@anuragtechaisle
  0 Comments

Future of SMB: Death of Layers, Rise of On-Demand Flat IT

The World is Flat (© Thomas L. Friedman) and so has become IT, especially for SMBs. With a Flat world, rises an opportunity for SMBs to employ workers who are globally distributed, travel and telecommute. With a Flat world comes Flat IT. And the IT vendors are missing the dialogue with their SMB customers- some vendors more than others. They are also missing a new understanding of SMB IT adoption cycle.


But we are getting ahead of ourselves. Let us first understand the world of Flat IT.


Waves have Evaporated to Form Clouds


Analyst firms typically use words such as IT waves or eras in describing SMB IT adoption - client/server wave, networking wave, Internet wave, etc. There is nothing wrong with this wave theory except now that there are no more waves left, all water is evaporating to form clouds. But some analysts still continue with that philosophy and call the coming wave as mobility wave. These do not do any good to either a vendor or the end-customer. Mobility started with notebooks & Wi-Fi. An SMB does not buy IT considering the wave, it does not even think whether the wave is waxing or waning. A typical SMB buys IT because it needs IT and the SMB with the help of channel partners becomes smart enough to understand what IT to buy to make itself more efficient, productive and profitable.


Waves were relevant more than a decade ago when technology products were evolving in piecemeal basis. Today all technologies are available at the same time and its adoption among SMBs is dependent upon the business plan.


Building Block IT


Enter the building blocks. SMBs started off their journey into IT by unknowingly using simple building block concepts. Their first purchase was always a PC which served as the foundational block. When they added employees and file sharing became important, they built a network and added a server – the next block stacked up on the foundational block. When they reached a certain size they added more servers, the third and subsequent blocks became applications such as CRM, ERP and Line of business. All of these blocks could not be added without the existence of the previous block. Very soon when an SMB reached a mid-market level of operation, the blocks were neatly stacked one on top of another. And when the blocks became vertically unstable, they brought in external experts such as consulting organizations to help manage these blocks and possibly break them into small chunks that could be easily maintained. SMBs looked for Enablement.



IT vendors thrived. Dell concentrated on the foundational block, Cisco connected the blocks, HP played with all block layers while IBM refocused to the top layers. Vendors like Microsoft, SAP and Oracle provided the layers that enabled the blocks.


The process of an SMB growth and its relative steps to absorb IT were steady and predictable. Some SMBs stacked the blocks faster than others but steps to get to the top of the block were always same. It was also dependent upon the financial capacity of an SMB to the extent that those with large dollars available for investment built the blocks faster not necessarily having the same end-results as SMBs with limited investment capabilities and which moved slower. Call it cutting edge versus laggards, but such nomenclature also never proved that the cutting edge SMBs were more efficient or profitable than the laggards. IT vendors and channels made money as they exploited the IT imbalance among various SMBs creating a race to reach the top of building blocks as fast as possible.


Flat IT


Enter Flat IT. Cloud, mobility, virtualization, and managed services have effectively toppled the blocks down in one fell sweep and have laid everything flat on the table. SMBs are now automatically empowered but they do not know it yet, because nobody has told them so directly. The concept of cutting edge and laggard has been torn apart because
it carries little meaning as SMBs now have a rich menu of solutions available that can be plugged into in a very short time. Now it is not a race to the top, but how can an SMB reach its full potential in the shortest period of time.


In a Flat world, with Flat IT, similar technology is now available across all countries and gap between developing and developed worlds is narrowing. In some of the emerging markets, IT is not only Flat but leapfrogging technologies as building blocks are not fully present. Where converged infrastructure is becoming a possibility, Cloud services will
be delivered via wireless.


Next week we will discuss how SMB IT has become Time & Size Agnostic and how the SMBs of today are transforming themselves.


Anurag Agrawal
Techaisle

  0 Comments

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