Dell introduces premium IT service in AP

As one of the industry's fastest-growing services vendors, Dell hopes its premium support services will draw the bucks.
Written by Aaron Tan, Contributor

SINGAPORE--First launched globally in June this year, Dell Computer's premium support service will provide the highest level of care for its enterprise customers.

Speaking at an event to introduce the company's Platinum Plus Enterprise Service to Asian customers this week, Tim Griffin, director of sales and marketing at Dell Asia-Pacific and Japan, said the service was born out of enhancements made to Dell's support services in the past two years. Dell offers lower levels of support through its existing Basic, Silver and Gold customer support programs.

Apart from assigning dedicated technical account managers to each Platinum Plus customer, with round-the-clock support, Dell also introduced a new tool called Real-Time Tracking Window which is built on top of Google Earth. The application lets customers track Dell service dispatches, such as hardware replacements, to any of their branch offices.

In addition, the hardware vendor's enterprise customers can benchmark the performance of their IT assets against industry best practices, or similarly configured IT environments within the same market sector.

With the Platinum Plus service, Dell is hoping to cut down the number of support incidents by 20 percent, and increase its response time by 30 percent. Pricing details for the premium service were not available as it is built-to-order and targeted at companies with 200 servers and above, according to a company spokesperson here.

Keen on IT services
According to Griffin, Dell has to date invested US$200 million in its overall IT services business and currently supports 11 million systems globally on a daily basis. The vendor has 52,000 skilled IT professionals servicing its enterprise clientele worldwide, of which 6,000 are located in the Asia-Pacific and Japan (APJ) region, he added.

Dell's services are managed by the company's global Enterprise Command Centers (ECC) in the United States, China, Ireland, Japan and Malaysia. Based on the crisis management best practices of emergency centers such as 911, Dell's ECCs make use of real-time technologies to speed up problem resolution, and more efficiently route spare parts and direct expert technicians to customer locations.

According to Griffin, IT services has been one of Dell's fastest-growing business units. In its fiscal 2003, ended Feb. 3, 2003, Dell's revenue from services raked in about US$2 billion--a figure that had more than doubled to US$4.9 billion in fiscal 2006. Currently, 10 percent of Dell's total revenues come from services, he noted.

Griffin added that the Asia-Pacific and Japan region, is the fastest in Dell's global IT services business, though he declined to provide figures on the momentum of Dell's service business in the region.

According to research company Gartner, Dell's services revenues grew 69.8 percent between 2004 and 2005 in the Asia-Pacific region. Despite the significant growth, the company was only ranked 15th in terms of market share among the top 20 IT services vendors in the region, which include IBM, Samsung and Hewlett-Packard.

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