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Mark Pierce, co-founder and partner relationship manager at InfraScience, an Atlanta-based solution provider and long-time Quest partner, said Quest's openness over the Dell acquisition overcame his initial fears.
"We've seen a broader opportunity to recommend Dell hardware and SAN solutions since the acquisition," Pierce said. "We recommended them before. But because of the Dell partnership, we're getting new insight into Dell products. And, we will see more of Dell's road maps. We can now be more proactive with customers and broaden our solution set."
Pierce said Dell has provided a lot of information about Microsoft Office 365 migration, and that it remains open regarding customers' choice of cloud platform for Office 365 despite having its own hosted cloud service. "They're saying we can use any cloud we want, not just the Dell hosted solution," he said.
Pierce said that just because Dell is bringing new software to its partners, it does not mean InfraScience will automatically sign on. For instance, he said, InfraScience will continue to focus on Microsoft Service Manager over Dell Kace, but may pick up Kace depending on customer requirements.
However, InfraScience will be giving Dell's SonicWall and AppAssure offerings new consideration in the wake of Microsoft's decision last month to stop supporting threat management gateway (TMG), he said.
Curt Wheadon, vice president of the Microsoft solutions line of business at Johannesburg, South Africa-based IT services provider Dimension Data, said he was initially neutral towards Dell's acquisition of Quest. However, Wheadon said, Dell clearly understands the importance of how the channel works for its future success.
Wheadon also said Dell is aggressively pushing the message that it will bring its different channel programs together. "We're starting to understand their plans to merge the Dell Partner Direct program with Quest," he said. "It's not surprising news that Dell will consolidate it all into one program. They have a one-year plan. It's fairly aggressive. They're doing the right things."
One area where Dell's Quest integration is already moving quickly is data protection.
Matt Vitale, Quest's vice president of worldwide sales for data protection, said Dell is bringing together the Quest data protection software, including its flagship NetVault application and its vRanger application for virtualized environments, together with similar software from the company's AppAssure and SonicWall acquisitions.
"Given the amount of technology we have, there are opportunities to consolidate vRanger, AppAssure and others to create category-killer products over time," Vitale said.