Dell targets infrastructure services market

Dell is aiming to do to infrastructure services what it did with hardware with a series of "tied" service offerings that allow customers to buy services at the hardware point of sale.

Dell's ANZ head of services, Andy Purvis, says Dell has less than 1% of the ANZ services market (which he says is worth around $9 billion) so anything it does is "upside".

He says customer support has evolved over time as a one-size-fits-all package independent of customer size or need. That structure was frustrating for customers who had both Level I support for their infrastructure and warranty support for hardware as there were at least two potential points of contact.

Purvis says Prosupport, as the packages have been dubbed, will help users segment their support for IT, for users and for mission critical infrastructure.

He adds that while the offerings are currently focused on Dell environments, they could develop to embrace multi-vendor environments as well.

"It's certainly something we are thinking about as an evolution of our capability," he says.

Purvis says the services push is based around Dell's "Simplify IT" mantra. It's about delivering services in a cost-effective manner with the best value, quickest route to market and highest customer experience, he says.

"It's not body-shopping. It's core to Dell and applies the Dell mentality," he says.

Purvis says Dell 1.0 was about being number one in hardware. "Dell 2.0" is about being number one in services.

The offerings will be delivered through Dell's existing partner network. In New Zealand the principal partner is Unisys.

Purvis says Dell is competing with other hardware vendors and has forced them to change their models. But it also competes with value added resellers (VARS). The new services offerings only increase that.

"Dell competes with VARS far more than it used to do with HP," he says.

The offering is broken down into components including support for IT (tech to tech support); support for end users (24x7 support for organizations with limited IT staff), mission critical support (to minimize downtime in servers and storage). Enterprise-wide contracts are also available for international companies as are on-site services, including having Dell engineers permanently based in user organizations.

Purvis says there are vested interests in the vendor community in keeping IT environments and services as complicated and proprietary as possible and there is a reluctance for innovation to be promoted in those environments.

Dell is looking for innovative ways to reduce the support overhead and has "nothing to protect" in doing so.

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