Dell extends Canadian services

While normally recognized for its growing line of hardware options, Dell Canada Inc. on Tuesday announced an expansion of its service offerings in Canada, a market less familiar to the PC maker, but one its executives assure is a critical point of focus.

The Dell Professional Services (DPS) and Dell Managed Services (DMS) include migration and consolidation, implementation and deployment, training and certification, maintenance, support and command centre, in addition to refresh and recovery services for the medium- and enterprise-sized business markets.

According to Gary Cotshott, vice-president and general manager, Dell Services, the company’s service business in Canada is growing at twice the rate of its hardware business.

Dell Canada’s director if services sales, Don Kerr, said that out of the $16.1 billion in the Canadian services market as reported by IDC Canada Ltd., Dell owns approximately $9.5 billion and another $3.6 billion addressable in the space.

“This is a substantial area to focus on for Dell,” Kerr said Tuesday at a media briefing. “There is a large opportunity for us to go after.”

Cotshott, visiting Toronto from Dell’s Round Rock, Tex.-based headquarters, said the company is confident that customers will revel in the services experience. The services are being offered across the country, enabling even remote Canadian cities access. In addition, Dell is taking the same “build to order” mandate with the service offerings as it has traditionally taken with its hardware products.

“Our services are configured to order at a fixed price and a fixed scope,” Cotshott said. “Customers today are talking less about outsourcing and more about out-tasking. This is where we can offer the most value.”

The “secret sauce,” he continued, is based on the same principles as the Dell Direct Model: efficient path to the customer; a single point of accountability; standardization build to order; and low-cost leadership.

“When a customer contacts us with a problem, we own that problem and we will…ensure it gets solved,” Dell Canada’s Kerr said. “We solve complex bids at a fixed price. Most of our competitors won’t do that.”

Late last year, the Ontario Association of Community Care Access Centres (OACCAC), a group of independently governed home care and placement co-ordination service centres, put out a request for proposal to refresh its existing Base Technology Infrastructure (BTI). Additionally, it wanted to establish a vendor of record for the next seven years. As part of the BTI refresh, over 200 servers, more than 300 switches and in excess of 500 printers had to be changed out.

Enter Dell Canada. OACCAC’s existing Hewlett-Packard Co. equipment was changed to accommodate the 5,700 staff members in the 42 main offices and 220 branch office locations across the province. Dell provided and deployed the new hardware, including switches, servers, desktops and notebooks, in addition to offering training on the management of the hardware. The company also implemented an online procurement tool for the OACCAC to enable electronic procurement and online report generation.

“Services were our key focus,” explained Perry Doody, director of finance and information with the OACCAC, who was also at the event. “I have no problems being here today because I view Dell as a partner. Through the services and technology from Dell, we are able to offer better services. The investment will be well worth it.”

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