Dell announces entry to the APAC SaaS market

Jack Loo
18 Jun 2008

Dell is looking to roll out a hosted remote-management offering in the Asia Pacific region by early next year.

Aimed at small and medium businesses and large companies with specific requirements like email or asset management, Dell is providing services such as patch management, anti-virus, back-up and recovery, email archiving and consulting services too.

The Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) integration platform goes out and pulls the required service from a cloud computing model. 'As it goes out to the customers' assets, it checks the state of those assets, finds out whether they are in the state that they are supposed to be in. When needed, it does auto remediation based on the policies that the customer sets up on the asset,' described Steve Schuckenbrock, President of Global Services and CIO, Dell Inc. When the problem cannot be addressed, the issue is then forwarded to the Network Operating Center (NOC) where engineers can remotely fix things.

The SaaS platform is mainly powered by Dell's acquisitions from last year, Everdream and Silverback Technologies. Focused on IT systems management, Everdream makes sure that assets and their services are in the right state. The remediation process would be run by the delivery capabilities of Everdream. Proactive monitoring is done by Silverback where it can detect issues before the user does.

Packages are also on offer, one example is Vista Migration Solution that bundles services that can, for instance, discover software assets in an office environment that are compatible with Vista, or to remediate applications that are not ready for Vista.

Users can configure service-level definitions too. 'You can configure it to any level that you want, depending on your environment. We created the ability to do that all the way down to the assets--with end users seeing support time at the response time of four hours, or data centers seeing two-hour response times,' he said.

'We used to have one way of delivering services--close to the box services. You call and we have scripts where we just run through them. You say, 'I have a problem,' and I ask 'Is it plugged in‾' We run through all the list of questions. If you are an IT professional on the other side of the phone, you have no desire to have this kind of relationship,' said Schuckenbrock.

Instead, Dell wants to deliver a more proactive service. 'If I am an IT professional, when I call in, I don't need you to diagnose the problem, I just need you to patch. Or, I do need your help and here's the diagnosis I have done so far, so what I need you to help with is on extending this into root cause analysis,' explained Schuckenbrock.

What Dell is looking to accomplish now, is somewhat similar to how Dell began years ago, when it custom built PCs according to requirements set by customers.

'In this case it is the same. Standard components. Completely configurable. What's your problem‾ How do we bring the right level of components to the assets that you have in your business‾' said Schuckenbrock.

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