Dell Vice President Tim Griffin, who oversees services in the company’s Small and Medium Business division, talks with MainStreet.com about the latest technology trends for small firms and what the company is doing to help in this tough economic environment.
MainStreet: Dell (Stock Quote: DELL) is probably best known by small firms as a hardware provider. Are you satisfied with that perception, or is Dell SMB trying to position itself more broadly?
Tim Griffin: Services represent about 10% of Dell’s total revenue. We clearly want to get the message out there that we are under a transformation process that’s taking it from a hardware company to a services company. It’s part of my mandate to get the message out that we are very keen to offer holistic solutions.
MS: What is the company’s strategy to help make that transformation complete?
TG: We understand how our customers buy. Most of our customers are buying on the basis of some kind of requirement. They don’t wake up in the morning thinking they want a shiny box. They want to solve a problem. We are engaging in a conversation with customers and offering holistic solutions. It’s more than selling a piece of hardware.We offer ProSupport and ProManage packages. They offer different levels of hardware, software and interface support. We’ve got 24/7, 365 day availability in a range of tools and infrastructure.
What’s important is that it doesn’t have to be just Dell equipment we look after. We can also look after things remotely and our ProSupport offers next business day, on-site service. It’s not about having to carry it to a depot and wait five days to get it back. You can even upgrade to have it fixed within four hours that same day.
MS: What are the biggest tech trends that SMBs are faced with today?
TG: One of trends we’re seeing in the industry is that [information technology] is becoming the lifeblood of the business. When IT is down, the business is down.
We’re seeing a movement from IT being a tool to a strategic asset ... we’re seeing it happen across the SMB space. We’re also seeing firms needing to do more with less - less space, less money, less time, less power, less staff. How do we enable them to manage those pressures?