Q&A: Dell's Newton serves up aces

Already established as a top five PC vendor, leading direct seller Dell is chasing Compaq in servers. A series of strong financial quarters have given it the confidence it needs to head for the number one spot, as UK corporate managing director Mike Newton told PCDN.

Already established as a top five PC vendor, leading direct seller Dell is chasing Compaq in servers. A series of strong financial quarters have given it the confidence it needs to head for the number one spot, as UK corporate managing director Mike Newton told PCDN.

PCDN: Why the move into servers?

We've seen what Compaq has achieved, and we could treble our share price if Dell could match Compaq for profitability in servers. Also, we don't have inflated margins in servers as they have.

Who are you hoping to gain share from?

Compaq. It's done an outstanding job in the last few years but as standards become more embedded in the server business, they will have to change their approach.

Does Dell have the channel to sell servers?

We already have many big accounts, a sales force is already there, and we've implemented large scale training.

What sort of technical support will you offer?

In Bracknell, a team of four specialists is on hand and on-site technical support is treated by a different firm. We have a special four-hour response service and three-year on-site response service, and we've taken measures so that account managers could be jacks of all trades. Besides the teams of sales, support, marketing and so on, we'd like every account manager to be conversant with the server range.

Will you look beyond Intel-based solutions in the foreseeable future?

At the moment, no, but in the future, who knows? It's a possibility.

How quickly do you see your customers taking up NT 4.0?

NT's obviously the best platform that's available, and I think we will see corporates supporting it. The big uptake is in NT 4.0, not Green River [Novell NetWare 4.11] or any other platform.

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