Dell takes care of its own

Dell Computer Corporation’s customers will be happy to hear that it will be introducing its Premier Enterprise Services in Canada this month. However, according to one analyst, if you are not a true Dell user, this offering may not be for you.

Rob Colraine, director of infrastructure deployment and support services for IDC Canada in Toronto, said Dell is going after a small portion of a big market.

“What they are tending to look for are the really ‘Dell’ customers who don’t have any other types of equipment,” Colraine said. “It is kind of a drawback.”

Although Dell does not deny this point, Derek Merilees, Dell Canada’s manager for service sales and marketing, said the Premier Enterprise Services are targeted at meeting customer requirements in all spectrums.

The Premier Enterprise Services are broken down into three categories of service: Premier Enterprise Consulting offers consulting in the areas of Internet infrastructure, design and on-site implementation of storage systems and enterprise hardware training; Premier Enterprise Deployment assists customers in getting their equipment to their environment, and tailors systems to customer requirements by integrating custom-configured hardware and software into Dell’s manufacturing process; and Premier Enterprise Support offers an enterprise call centre where customers can receive issue resolutions and support offerings.

“We have been offering these services for years and are just packaging them,” Merilees said. “Having said that, there are some new features in the support portion of the Premier Enterprise Services, namely the enterprise expertise centre. Let’s be frank – we are late to market with this, but what we did was we looked at the market and saw what customers were looking for and put together a package that meets all of those requirements.”

IDC’s Colraine agreed. He said that although there are some drawbacks to the offering, the Premier Enterprise Services address the needs of Dell customers.

“It is a much smaller offering (than competitor offerings) and it is a much smaller marketplace,” Colraine said. “I do think the reasoning behind it is sound, but it only addresses that (small) part of the market. If I was a Dell user and I only had Dell servers, sure, I would take it up.”

Within the Premier Enterprise Support service are four tiers of support. Broken up into colours, Platinum and Gold support complex data centres and rack-dense enterprise environments. Silver support for departmental or workgroup servers offers 24×7 hardware and software technical phone support and four-hour response on-site hardware service. Bronze support is geared to non-time-sensitive systems and includes parts replacement, next-business-day response and 24×7 hardware technical phone support, according to the company.

Merilees said pricing is dependent upon the services required.

“We have started to grow our business in the enterprise and when you think about it, services and enterprise products go hand in hand,” Merilees said. “The market has perceived Dell as being a desktop and notebook company in the past. Now we are in the enterprise and our services are following along.”

Dell’s Premier Enterprise Services will be available in Canada as of May 14. For details, visit