Dell Launches ProSupport Plus Services, Calls On Solution Providers To Deliver

The ProSupport Plus Enterprise Suite monitors and manages performance of critical systems and includes access to dedicated technical account managers who can provide monthly reporting and performance recommendations to customers and also more access to more senior-level Dell engineers, according to Dell.

"ProSupport Plus is an enhancement of our current offering of ProSupport. All of our partners have the ability to sell ProSupport, especially attaching to enterprise products," Davis said. "I would expect them to see this as an opportunity to sell ProSupport on top of our enterprise offerings and add even more value."

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ProSupport services have been available for more than five years, and the services portfolio has expanded several times since then.

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Members of Dell's PartnerDirect channel program now account for about 37 percent of the company's enterprise revenue, comprised of servers, storage, networking and other products for the data center, said Davis. He couldn't detail how much of Dell's ProSupport services are sold through channel but said that revenue is growing along with the rest of Dell's offerings.

"Our programs, our incentives, our activities have been largely focused on the data center and enabling our partners sell and empower them to do a great job with customers," Davis said. "We've maintained several elements of our program, which has driven some consistency. It's time that we do some enhancements to our programs."

The availability of ProSupport Plus to solution providers is just one change in a bigger initiative that Dell is rolling out to VARs selling into the midmarket and enterprise space. For one, the company is offering additional discounts to VARs that displace competitors selling x86 servers.

Davis sent an email to solution providers Monday outlining list price differences between 11 percent and 22 percent compared to comparable Hewlett-Packard server, hard drive and memory products.

Initially, Dell considered zero-percent financing for some products but ultimately omitted that from the final program.

"We've been evaluating a number of activities over the last couple of days. We looked at a number of things that ranged from discounts-off list, some financing offers, and in concert with some things we're doing as a company," Davis said.

Dell also last week announced changes to its PartnerDirect program that set new volume requirements for Dell Software partners that are different from VARs selling more hardware.