Dell Brings VMware AirWatch Into PCaaS Offerings, Goes Deep On Services And Lifecycle Management

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Dell Technologies' close relationship with VMware is putting some newfound engineering power behind its five-month-old PC-as-a-Service (PCaaS) offering, as the company rolls out new deployment, services and financing options designed to separate Dell from the PCaaS pack.

Dell today introduced VMware AirWatch management, new delivery management capabilities, lifecycle services and flexible financing options to its fledgling PCaaS offering for commercial customers buying 500 PCs or more.

The addition of AirWatch, one of VMware's more promising emerging technologies, allows Dell to send PCs to PCaaS customers fully customized and with all policies pre-set, said John Moody, Dell Technologies vice president of global client support and deployment services.

[Related: Dell's John Moody: Adding VMware's AirWatch To PCaaS Helps Dell Stay More Flexible, Predictable Than HP, Lenovo]

"When that unit is then deployed out in the field, the management of those devices is already there and working at the point when the customer end-user actually flips it open and starts using it," Moody said. "We're making our PC-as-a-Service offer more flexible and more predictable than our competitors are."

AirWatch's presence in Dell's PCaaS offering comes just months after Dell Technologies made a significant move to overcome longstanding channel conflict between the two vendors. They've done this by formulating a new VMware enterprise licensing agreement [ELA] strategy that allows top-level Dell EMC partners to procure VMware on Dell EMC paper while earning incentives from both companies' programs.

Moody said Dell's close relationship with VMware, courtesy of the acquisition of VMware majority owner EMC about a year ago, gives the Round Rock, Texas, company a definite advantage.

"The integration we're doing between VMware and Dell EMC assets is very free-flowing," Moody said. "I feel like I have all these developers working with me that I've never had before. They are working on managed capabilities I need to go take my foundational ProSupport and TechAssist tools for support and deployment and expand those bubbles in a connected and seamless way and being gobbling up and automating those management tasks. This allows me to do that. What's really different is that joint engineering between AirWatch and Dell Command Suite. As separate companies we might have been able to do it, but not that fast. Having that one console to be able to manage stuff at the firmware level is really big."

In addition to AirWatch, the additions to Dell's PCaaS offering include Services Delivery Manager, which provides customers with a single point of contact from planning through the contract's end; flexible financing that gives customers the option to increase the number of systems or upgrade PCs during the term of the deal; and complete lifecycle services.

Moody said the enhancements to Dell's PCaaS offering puts partners in position to profit handsomely on what he said is a small, but growing, segment of the contracting and ultra-competitive PC market.

"Most analysts are telling us globally this is somewhere in the below 5 percent market digits today, but they're expecting it to be 20 percent of the market in three to five years," Moody said. "I expect it to grow. I think the conversation is spectacular. The software and the data are requiring us to think further down the road than most of our customers are used to."

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