Dell is set go after the sub 50 employee small-medium business market with a new range of notebooks and PCs. It is also set to launch a series of service initiatives that allow the SMB market to get access to support tools, storage and 24/7 service.
The move comes after the company carried out extensive research of the SMB markets in both Australia and New Zealand, with 150 SMB business executives and 1800 worldwide. From this Dell was able to ascertain that technology was considered “Very Important” in the lives of SMB executives.
In fact, 85% considered themselves “Experts” when it came to technology.
Nearly all of those surveyed said that they “hated” free trial software which has resulted in Dell removing all trial software from their products, unless the buyer chooses to have it included.
Apart from new notebooks and PCs, Dell has also introduced a $200 (per unit, per year) Gold Support package that allows SMB users of Dell products to get support within 4 hours, 24/7.
Paul McKeon Corporate Communications Manager Dell Australia and New Zealand told SmartOffice, “The SMB executive does not work conventional hours. They want support when they have a problem. That can be 10 o’clock at night or early in the morning. As a result of this, we have developed several new products for them such as remote storage at $19.00 for 3GB a year. We also have a PC Tune up kit online as our research showed that they like to keep their PC gear in good working order, but don’t want to waste too much time over it.”
Among several new products introduced by Dell are the “Vostro” brand of notebook and desktop PCs which are specifically designed to simplify tech support, an area that has attracted complaints and lawsuits for Dell in recent months.
To make Vostro PCs easier to use, Dell will ship them without any “trialware,” Dell’s term for the unwanted software applications that many PC manufacturers load on new computers in the factory in exchange for payments from the software vendors.
In another step intended to make Vostro PCs easier to use, Dell streamlined the setup process. A customer without any IT experience can get a Vostro PC up and running in six minutes and can connect it to the company network in only six steps, Paul McKeon said.
And to make tech support easier for companies with fewer than 25 employees, Dell will offer support services, such as dedicating 6,500 of its customer service workers to Vostro products, offering 24-hour access to online tech support, and providing 10GB of online data storage for a year.
The new computers include the Vostro 200 desktop with Intel Core 2 Duo processors and a choice between Microsoft’s Windows XP or Vista operating systems. Vostro notebooks include the Vostro 1000 with dual-core AMD chips and Vostro 1400, 1500, and 1700, offering screen sizes of 14.1 inches, 15.4 inches, or 17 inches respectively. The company also plans to add a high-performance desktop model to the family in late August.
Although Dell has lost much of its market share to Hewlett-Packard in recent quarters, the company is playing to its strength by focusing on small business users, said one analyst who attended the New York press conference.
“They still have a lot of brand equity in the small business market, and they’re extending that with this offer,” said Merle Sandler, senior research analyst at IDC. “With the services, they become a trusted advisor, and hopefully down the road they can turn that into a revenue stream.”
Michael Dell acknowledged that point in remarks to reporters, saying, “Small business is a rapidly growing market. It’s also a place where there is enormous demand and need for technology.” At the same time, he said, “Our customers all tell us, ‘Make it simple’.”
Designed specifically businesses with simple networks, Vostro offerings available inAustralia and New Zealand today include:
· Notebooks: Vostro 1000, 1400 and 1500 starting at $749
· Desktops: Vostro 200 mini-tower or slim-sized case starting at $849
· Printer: Dell 1320c Colour Laser printer at $399
Detailed product information is available at www.dell.com/webelieve.