Dell Expands PC-As-A-Service Program At VMworld 2018

By Patrick Moorhead - August 28, 2018
Dell PCaaS positioning with new PCaaS for Business.    DELL This week I’m attending VMware's  VMworld 2018 in Las Vegas. I’ll be covering the event extensively over the course of the week, but today I wanted to focus on one particular realm of announcements—the further expansion of Dell’s PC-as-a-Service (PCaaS) offerings. PCaaS and DaaS (device-as-a-service) is one of the hottest trends around in client computing for businesses and is similar to the value propositions of the public and private cloud. PCaaS done right should improve resource flexibility and improve employee and possibly the customer experience. Some background I’ve been following Dell’s PCaaS efforts for some time now. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, Dell’s PCaaS program that attempts to simplify and speed up IT management by providing a comprehensive solution for businesses, including hardware, software, lifecycle services, and financing. “As-a-service” offerings are certainly in vogue at the moment, but this is one that truly makes sense in my opinion and plays right into Dell’s forte—the PC market. I wrote on Dell’s last expansion of the program here, if interested. At that time (last November), Dell added several new features: “Service Delivery Managers” (to act as customers’ single point of contact throughout their PCaaS engagement), flexible financing options, and asset recovery (for the standard PCaaS offering). These were all good, useful additions that I thought brought significant value to the proposition.  Between then and now, Dell has added the sexy XPS laptops, which I am sure executives and millennials were clamoring for. New PCaaS offerings This brings us to this week’s announcements. Dell took the opportunity of VMware's  VMworld to announce a new PCaaS offering: PCaaS for Business. PCaaS for Business is designed for small to medium businesses looking for anywhere from 20-300 units. Dell says it is "fully configurable," with both 3 and 4-year options for financing. PCaaS for Enterprise, on the other hand, is specifically designed for those larger organizations who need more than 300 units. Of the two, this is the offering that benefits from the Service Delivery Manager and flexible financing options I mentioned earlier. While this offering has been around for a while, Dell announced this week that it was lowering the minimum order to 300 and expanding this service (and the Business edition) to Australia and New Zealand. Another thing that Dell is very proud of is its Workspace ONE and Dell Client Command Suite, co-engineered with VMware, which it says allows customers to manage all their devices, at a firmware and operating system level, from one unified console. Dell deservedly boasts that this gives customers an unprecedented depth of visibility into their devices’ health and status, allowing IT to optimize power management, receive reports on battery and system health, and remotely manage BIOS settings. I love that an enterprise can have Dell mail a system to an employee’s remote office or hotel, just boot it up and get all the firmware, software, data, security and access they need to be productive. This without IT touching the device as it gets shipped in. This is the way enterprise PCs should be deployed to improve IT resource investment and keep users happier. Dell PCaaS Offer Comparison.   DELL Wrapping up We are still in the very early phases of PCaaS. This week’s announcements mark the next phase of Dell’s program, which continues to mature and grow. Introducing PCaaS for Business as a sort of “light” version (not to diminish what’s being offered) for small-to-medium sized businesses makes a lot sense and is only going to help spread the good news of PCaaS. Dell has good reach in the mid-market and adding this offer to smaller businesses just makes sense. Furthermore, lowering the minimum order of PCaaS for Enterprise to 300 units and making the offerings available in Australia and New Zealand will obviously also bring new customers into the fold. As I’ve written before, I think PCaaS could eventually bring about some very interesting industry changes—for example, hardware companies building less reliable machines since they only need to last a few years before they get swapped out. On the other hand, some may be built more reliable, so that they can be redeployed to another region (where perhaps it is less crucial to have the most modern PC) after being cycled out. The first step, as Dell clearly knows, is getting a critical mass of people to buy into PCaaS. Dell’s making the right moves—I’ll continue to watch and research with interest.
Patrick Moorhead
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Patrick founded the firm based on his real-world world technology experiences with the understanding of what he wasn’t getting from analysts and consultants. Ten years later, Patrick is ranked #1 among technology industry analysts in terms of “power” (ARInsights)  in “press citations” (Apollo Research). Moorhead is a contributor at Forbes and frequently appears on CNBC. He is a broad-based analyst covering a wide variety of topics including the cloud, enterprise SaaS, collaboration, client computing, and semiconductors. He has 30 years of experience including 15 years of executive experience at high tech companies (NCR, AT&T, Compaq, now HP, and AMD) leading strategy, product management, product marketing, and corporate marketing, including three industry board appointments.