Rumor has it Dell (NASDAQ: DELL) could be acquired by a private equity firm -- with Microsoft kicking in some money along the way. What does that mean for MSPs running Dell's PacketTrap PSA or RMM software? Neither Dell nor PacketTrap will speculate publicly. But I will. Here's MSPmentor's spin on the situation -- along with details about the new PacketTrap RMM 6.7 release, which adds support for Dell Device Monitoring, Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012.

Simply put: It sounds highly likely that a private equity firm will acquire Dell and take the company private, which will help Dell to focus on a long-term growth strategy rather than quarter-to-quarter earnings per share. The long-term focus involves enterprise hardware and software. That's where Quest Software and its PacketTrap business enter the picture as well.

PacketTrap remains in growth mode and is marching forward.  I think regardless of Dell's ownership status, the PacketTrap business will remain focused on MSPs. You'll also see more and more synergies between PacketTrap and Quest, and more PacketTrap management capabilities for Dell's various platforms (examples: F10 Networks, KACE, etc.). I believe you'll also see Dell more closely coordinate PacketTrap and FogLight, an application performance monitoring solution.

Now, The Interview

Mike Byrne, director of field and managed services at Dell, offered MSPmentor some PacketTrap updates earlier this week. But we avoided any "Dell ownership" chatter since he can't comment on that topic.

The new PacketTrap RMM 6.7 release focuses heavily on device support -- for instance, Force10 support and and ShoreTel alerts for their VoIP solution. The near- and long-term strategy is clear: Each time Dell or a Dell partner sells hardware, there's an opportunity to tie in PacketTrap monitoring from an MSP. Byrne sees this "attachment" strategy paving the way for a lot of scale and growth.

PacketTrap also is connecting the dots between its PSA (professional services automation) and RMM (remote monitoring and management) offerings. Already, 30 percent of PacketTrap's new MSP sales now involve partners taking the complete RMM and PSA suite in tandem.

But here's the twist: The RMM software currently runs on-premises. The PSA offering, which PacketTrap acquired, is cloud-based. The roadmap includes:
  • Sometime in the April-June timeframe (Q2): A new, more intuitive user interface for PSA.
  • Sometime in the July-Sept. timeframe (Q3): A SaaS version of RMM arrives.
Read between the lines and PacketTrap's MSPs, over time, will see more and more PSA and RMM synergies up in the cloud. It's similar to the strategy over at ConnectWise-LabTech Software. And so far, MSPs seem to embracing that long-term vision.