Dell overhauls support services

The company will introduce two services aimed at improving local support for enterprise customers by improving turnaround times

Dell is revamping its support offering, as the company continues to battle shrinking growth in PC and server sales.

The overhaul will see the introduction of two services, Dell ProSupport for IT and ProSupport for End-Users, aimed at improving local support for enterprise customers by improving turnaround times and offering the ability to fast-track requests.

ProSupport for IT will be able to fast track support requests. Instead of having to pick their way through Dell's support escalation process, IT staff at customer sites will be able to directly access the relevant support staff while non-IT end users will be able to access application and configuration assistance for their machines.

Dell would not clarify the number of staff it has employed for the revamped service. Brian Goff, Dell Australia's enterprise technical manager, only said there are "more staff than last year", citing the company's upcoming profit report on 28 February as a reason for holding back the details.

The company is currently recruiting technical staff to fill vacant roles.

For customers already on Dell's Gold Technical Support package, the extra benefits under ProSupport will be offered at no extra charge, according to Goff.

The new service offering comes at a time when Dell is fighting to retain its market share of PC and server sales worldwide. Some analysts have suggested the new support offering may help Dell combat falling sales in what is increasingly becoming a commoditised market.

"Services is a big part of IT. Hardware is increasingly underappreciated so it comes down to other factors like price or services," IBRS analyst Kevin McIsaac told ZDNet Australia.

The company is also attempting to redefine itself in other ways. Dell recently acquired hosted email archiving and security company MessageOne for $155m (£79.6m). But perhaps its most significant move was the $1.4bn acquisition of EqualLogic, a player in the nascent iSCSI storage market, repositioning the PC maker as an owner of storage IP for the first time, rather than simply a reseller.

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