Dell is partnering with Salesforce.com to create a stack of software and services to help small-to-midsize companies develop IT assets that will help their businesses grow without being overwhelmed by IT cost and complexity. Dell presented details of its Dell Cloud Business Applications (DCBA) offering at Dreamforce 2011, the Salesforce user and partner conference going on this week in San Francisco.
"Our focus is to disrupt with simplicity as opposed to trying to make money off of complexity," said Paulette Altmaier, Dell VP of global SMB solutions, at a news conference Tuesday.
The four pillars of the DCBA offering begin with access to leading software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications, beginning with customer relationship management (CRM) software from Salesforce.com, but eventually adding enterprise resource planning (ERP), finance, human resources and other business apps. The second pillar is integration with different SaaS apps, as well as legacy software that a business may already have, using technology from Dell’s acquisition of Boomi in 2010. Third is business analytics capabilities, to enable SMBs to crunch data to inform business decisions. And the fourth pillar is consulting services from Dell and its services partners to support SMB customers.
Enterprise-level integrated business software from vendors such as Oracle and SAP isn’t suitable for SMBs because of cost and scale issues, so they end up looking for best-of-breed solutions, added Steve Felice, president of Dell’s consumer, small and medium-sized business unit. But they have a hard time choosing among multiple software choices, so DCBA advises customers on which options are best for them.
Dell’s integrated CRM solution from Salesforce is priced at $65 a month, while the Dell Boomi integration service starts at $500 a month. Dell support services under the DCBA program start at $5,000. The business analytics offering won’t be available until the first half of 2012, so no pricing information was shared.
The goal of DCBA is to simplify and streamline the development of IT resources for SMBs that usually don’t have the IT staff or knowledge of how to go about the process themselves.