Gateway, a division of Acer, and Canadian services provider Level Platforms on Thursday announced a multi-year partnership to offer managed services to the small- and mid-sized business market across Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).
This is Acer’s first real effort at taking on the business computing market. Through its own brand as well as Gateway and Packard-Bell, the Taiwanese PC company has become a formidable presence, rising to the number three position just behind Dell in PC sales worldwide with a 13 percent share, according to the latest Gartner figures. HP leads with a 19.8 percent market share.
That’s all been while taking on the consumer space. Ten years ago, Gateway was a popular option for business but its sales shriveled and it became a niche player before being acquired by Acer in 2007, which has always been primarily a consumer play.
Now, Acer is rebranding and repositioning Gateway in Europe as its business product and offering basic support services through its enormous retail channel. Peter Sandiford, CEO of Level Platforms, estimates there are about 50,000 retail channels throughout EMEA for Gateway, all of which will now offer those services.
“Gateway is focused on a very large market where managed services have not been offered outside of the UK and Ireland,” he told InternetNews.com. He added he did not know if or when the U.S. market would be targeted, since it’s a more competitive market than Europe. “The timing is perfect because the markets in Europe are ready for this, and there has not been an offering before that has been available in all countries in Europe.”
Gateway’s only real competitor in the EMEA SMB services space would be Dell (NASDAQ: DELL). HP (NYSE: HPQ) at this point does not offer it for the SMB, only the enterprise, according to Sandiford.
Gateway Managed Services is a comprehensive solution for IT consultants, dealers, systems integrators and solution providers. It will offer planning, support and businesses development services to SMBs throughout those regions, SMBs are defined as businesses with five to 250 computers.
Gateway Managed Services will offer remote monitoring and automation to reduce costs of delivery, taking a comprehensive inventory of the customer’s assets to help build a map of what needs to be managed, report on the operational status of all of that hardware, monitor hardware health, issue fixes and monitor compliance issues.
Level Platforms is a software provider that puts agent software on the computer, which uses Intel vPro and other monitoring functionality Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) offers, to send reports back to the hosting center. It then handles repairs, either remotely or on site.
The service begins throughout EMEA effective today.