Dell Technologies is a company I follow very closely as it is a major force in enterprise IT spanning many different areas from client to cloud. Of course, one part of that is the PC group’s offerings— in the most recent fiscal 2020 earnings disclosure the company said the Client Solutions Group posted record units and revenue was up 6%. Part of that increased success comes from the company’s expanding service offerings. Last week at VMworld, the company announced the availability of an intriguing new managed service offering for IT departments, called ProManage for end-users, that I wanted to take a closer look at and provide my quick take on.
Targeted at mid-market and commercial-sized businesses with 300 to 3,000 seats, ProManage for end-users is a managed service offering designed to offload the burden of end-user support and device management away from IT departments and onto Dell. The service falls under the umbrella of Dell’s Unified Workspace offering—the company’s end to end solution to deploy, secure, manage, and support devices from the cloud, launched this past April at Dell Technologies World (see my coverage here).
ProManage is comprised of three different features: Service Desk, Device Management, and Account Management. Service Desk is basically exactly what it sounds like—an online portal for 24/7 IT assistance, both self-help and by ProManage service experts via chat and over the phone. The company says it is using a cloud-based industry-leading ITSM platform, which I believe is first-rate.
Device Management employs AI to monitor and manage end-users’ devices (multi-OS and multi-vendor) and software, in an automated and proactive manner. This leverages both Dell SupportAssist (covered here) and VMware Workspace ONE.
Lastly, the offering’s Account Management feature provides enterprises with a designated team to oversee account performance and, in Dell’s words, “deliver maximum customer value” throughout the duration of the contract. This includes helpful reports to better educate and enhance the service.
Many enterprises are turning to managed service models, such as this, to simplify the task of IT support and device management. Departments struggle to keep up with technology changes, increasingly complex applications and software, and evolving security risks. As such, we’ve seen the “as-a-Service” craze reach fever pitch over the last few years—Dell itself has a PC as a Service offering for Dell devices. Really, these services are a smart move—they essentially give IT departments an easy button for support and management, allowing them to direct more resources to other value-additive business priorities. Businesses can put their employees on more strategic projects while less strategic activities can be outsourced. Enterprises are getting more comfortable with these services as we have seen with the growth IaaS, PaaS and SaaS.
I believe Dell has the experience and capabilities to deliver a top-notch end-user managed service offering—especially for those companies who deploy Dell hardware and software in the workforce. The company says it is supporting 120M+ devices and that its ProSupport and ProSupport Plus services have over 90% customer satisfaction ratings. The company’s AI-based technology, including SupportAssist and VMware Workspace ONE, gives it an additional leg up in delivering proactive and intuitive support to end users. Another perk of this offering is that it is priced per user, per month—businesses only have to pay for what they need. This, in turn, makes for a more predictable IT budget.
All in all, ProManage for end users looks to be a solid addition to Dell Technologies’ Unified Workspace. To clarify, ProManage for end users and PCaaS can be purchased separately, but enterprises can bundle all the components of Unified Workspace (including ProManage) and purchase it as a service through PCaaS for Enterprise. It has the potential to reduce the burden of end user support and device management for IT departments in a multivendor environment. Perhaps even more importantly, it stands to simplify and streamline the support experience for the end users themselves. The less time IT departments and end users spend struggling with tech support, the more time they have to devote to actual business priorities.
In the future, I will be looking at the quality of the data and insights Dell can bring to the enterprise as I believe this is what will be the big differentiator across vendors. Those vendors will need to use big data and AI techniques to address under/over provisioning, predict more issues before they happen, and be ranked by an end-user SLA, not just IT.
Note: Moor Insights & Strategy writers and editors may have contributed to this article.