You might have noticed a recurring pattern here at Dell. Today we announced our intent to acquire MessageOne. Much like ASAP, Silverback, and Everdream, MessageOne marks another milestone in a services strategy we defined just over a year ago.
Dell envisions making services just as personalized and configurable for our customers as we do our PCs.
But my contact with MessageOne goes back almost five years when, as COO of the Feld Group, I first had the opportunity to meet with Satin Mirchandani who is now CEO of MessageONE. They impressed me with their focus on ensuring that the killer-app, e-mail, was always available and fully compliant. I had the opportunity to meet with them again in my first few months heading up Global Services at Dell. At that time, MessageOne was keen to have Dell as a partner – but now wearing my other CIO Hat, I clearly saw an opportunity for them to make our e-mail services as reliable as our phones. The closer we looked, the clearer it became that MessageOne dovetailed perfectly with our SaaS-based services strategy and technology platform – and this was a solution I wanted for our customers. I brought the deal to our leadership team, Michael removed himself from the process and we then set about getting another piece of the "Software as a Service" puzzle in place.
Somewhat coincidentally, all of this comes to a head one day after a national "Blackberry blackout." We couldn't have asked for a better illustration for the importance of e-mail continuity. To realize the promise of e-mail continuity though we need a new way for delivering services.
I've been in the IT services business for a long time – this business is ripe for a revolution. Armies of consultants, complex and costly outsourcing contracts, "one size fits all" offerings need to be replaced by services delivered, well, as a service. Think about what Salesforce.com did for CRM. We aim to do the same for services. Say you need e-mail continuity – it should be a mouse click away, delivered without armies of consultants, customizable (just like your server or PC), and available pretty much on-demand. Say you want to wrap virus protection, compliance, or remote management around that. No problem – they are all a click away.
With MessageOne we will be adding another critical service to our offerings and simplifying the old proprietary service model. This is a good day for our customers.