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Dell Financial Services maintains flexible payments in pandemic

Dell Technologies renewed its Payment Flexibility Program for customers and partners in light of the ongoing pandemic; other channel news from the week.

With the pandemic still raging across the globe, Dell Technologies said it will extend its Payment Flexibility Program for customers and partners.

The program, launched as part of Dell's COVID-19 relief package in April, aims to give customers and partners additional financing options to help stem the pandemic's economic disruptions. Options include payment deferrals, Dell partner relief programs and low-rate financing offerings. Along with the Payment Flexibility Program, Dell Financial Services (DFS) allocated $9 billion in financing to the initiative.

Dell said it will extend the program through Oct. 30, 2020, with payment deferrals until 2021. The program was originally set to expire July 31 in the U.S.

Additionally, the company updated its Technology Rotation payment offering with a lower rate and total cost of ownership for purchases of PowerStore storage arrays, PowerEdge servers, and Dell laptops and desktops. The Technology Rotation offer lets customers return their Dell equipment and upgrade to newer technologies at the end of the term.

"The customer can enter into a technology rotation for 36 months, coupled with a no-payment for six months … and they will pay actually less than 0% and then have flexibility at the end of the term," said Darren Fedorowicz, vice president of Dell Financial Services, about the Technology Rotation option. 

Customers, partners engage Dell payment options

Fedorowicz said the Dell Payment Flexibility Program has seen engagement from customers spanning from SMBs to large organizations faced with budgetary constraints. "The [pandemic has] affected everybody, and small business has probably been the most impacted because they are working on short-term cash flow. … The reality is six months of [deferred] payments may help keep them afloat if they were going to make an investment of $20,000 for IT. … We have really been aggressive in being able to help small business customers," he said.

The programs also seek to help Dell Technologies partners faced with cash-flow challenges. "[Because partners] are buying equipment, adding their value-added services, and then reselling that equipment, they are always in a cash-constrained potential issue of collecting from their customers, repaying vendors and managing their cash management cycle," Fedorowicz said.

Partners can use Dell Financial Services' programs to craft offers for customers and collect payment from DFS soon after a deal closes. "The real impact here is that if we execute [the deal] with the customer, then DFS pays the partner immediately. We take all the credit risk, and then we get cash to that partner immediately," Fedorowicz said.

Fedorowicz noted that DFS has also seen growing interest from partners and customers around consumption-based offerings for on-premises technology, via Dell's Flex On Demand program.

SonicWall portfolio expansion opens opportunities for partners

SonicWall has expanded its portfolio with a raft of new products and updates, many of which aim to benefit SonicWall partners.

The product announcements included the following:

  • SonicOS 7.0, the operating system that powers the company's firewalls;
  • New TZ570 and TZ670 next-generation firewalls;
  • NSsp 15700 Series firewalls, which target large enterprises, managed security service providers (MSSPs) and telcos;
  • NSM 2.0, a redesigned version of Network Security Manager;
  • And the CSa 1000, an on-premises appliance that includes SonicWall Capture Advanced Threat Protection sandbox service with Real-Time Deep Memory Inspection technology.

The updated SonicOS introduces multi-instance and multi-tenancy capabilities, aimed at enterprise customers and MSSPs.

"All of this … opens up a world of opportunity for our partners," said HoJin Kim, vice president of worldwide channels and North American sales at SonicWall. "When you think of the install base that is out there … and what customers are going through today in terms of making sure that their remote users are secure, adding these new products to the portfolio and refreshing some of the lower-end lines [provides] more things that partners can … talk to their customers about."

In addition to developing new products, SonicWall has recently focused on enhancing partner resources. Kim said SonicWall has rapidly grown its partner enablement and training content available through the SonicWall University portal. "Over the past four months, we have added over 200 new training courses," he said.

Kim added that SonicWall is also looking to restructure how the company invests in partner relationships. He said the SonicWall aims to better align its investments to partners that "are seeing SonicWall as more than just the niche firewall player, but as a real platform vendor that they can have a strategic relationship with."

SolarWinds study examines MSP activity during pandemic

A new study, "COVID-19: Impact and Response," by IT management software vendor SolarWinds, sheds light on how MSPs are coping with the pandemic and their outlooks on the market.

The study, which polled 500 MSPs globally, revealed the following:

  • Fifty-nine percent of MSPs applied for government financial relief programs, with 74% receiving assistance.
  • Eighty percent of the MSPs surveyed said they operate at their pre-pandemic staffing
  • The majority of MSPs said they have adapted their security services for work-from-home clients, with 59% of MSPs offering more security bundles than any other business model, according to SolarWinds.

Other key findings showed MSPs making some level of changes to their businesses in order to accommodate customer needs during the pandemic. For example, 24% of MSPs said they have offered delayed payments, while 23% have offered temporary discounts. Nineteen percent of MSPs said they reduced their services to fit decreases in customer budgets. Sixty-five percent of MSPs said they didn't expect to make any pricing changes to their manage services package in the long term, according to SolarWinds.

Top challenges cited by MSPs include securing new customers, social distancing requirements in the office and at customer sites, lower IT budgets and spending due to the recession, and adapting to the work-from-home needs of staff and clients, SolarWinds noted.

Looking ahead, 51% of MSPs plan to build out security services to advance their businesses, while 47% plan to increase cloud services sales, SolarWinds said. Meanwhile, 42% of MSP respondents foresee growing their businesses through additional project work. Thirty-nine percent predict an uptick in managed services contacts.

While the pandemic caused a slowdown in MSP M&A activity, 40% of the large-sized MSPs that SolarWinds surveyed said they expected to expand their businesses through mergers or acquisitions.

In related news, SolarWinds president John Pagliuca said in statement that the company is exploring the possibility of spinning off SolarWinds MSP, its MSP-focused software business, into a standalone, publicly-traded company.

Other news

  • Digital Defense, a vulnerability and threat management technology vendor, unveiled an MSP partner program. The program features flexible billing cycles aligned to monthly recurring revenue models, self-provisioning via its Frontline Cloud platform, and procurement directly or through public cloud marketplaces such as AWS, Azure, Oracle and Google, the company said.
  • Security company CyCognito rolled out a global channel program. Benefits of the program include deal registration protection and support. The program will be overseen by Carrie Roberts, CyCognito's newly appointed senior director of global channel sales. Roberts joined the vendor from Mimecast, where she was director of channel sales in the U.S. and Latin America.
  • Sirius Computer Solutions, an IT solution integrator based in San Antonio, Texas, joined the Google Cloud Partner Advantage Program as a Google Cloud Sell and Service partner.
  • Cloud service provider AllCloud said it launched a new service to help consumer goods companies learn about and use Salesforce Consumer Goods Cloud.
  • Enterprise software vendor HYCU said Nubosoft, a Premier Google Cloud Partner based in Mexico City, joined its Cloud Services Program.
  • Telecom Brokerage Inc. (TBI), a distributor and master agent based in Chicago, added Ovation Wireless Management to its portfolio. TBI also said it named security subject matter expert Jim Bower as its security architect.
  • MBX Systems, a manufacturer of hardware for technology companies, expanded its channel strategy to target manufacturers of base servers used in customers' integrated hardware and software solutions.
  • Ben Nowacky, senior vice president of product at Axcient, which provides business availability software for MSPs, joined the executive council of the CompTIA ISAO (Information Sharing and Analysis Organization).
  • The ASCII Group, a North American IT community of MSPs, MSSPs, VARs and solution providers, said it will host a two-day virtual business building event this fall. The event, MSP Connect Live, replaces the in-person ASCII IT Success Summits previously scheduled for 2020, the organization said.

Market Share is a news roundup published every Friday.

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