How to relieve SMEs’ pain points

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“Study the obvious for non-obvious solutions. If you’re solving a customer’s problem, go and ask him how he’d like to see it solved. This kind of problem-solving “empathy” leads to innovative thinking”, Michael Dell says in his book, Direct from Dell.

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What was true in 1984 for a $1,000 enterprise ran by a 19 year-old in a college dorm room still holds true 30 years after. Dell’s focus has still been in taking the customer’s pulse, making Dell an icon of both high tech and high touch.

In October 2013, the world’s largest start up challenged the status quo again by going from being listed to being private, becoming the single largest company in terms of revenue to go from public to private.

According to Sumir Bhatia, Regional Director for South Asia Enterprise Solutions, Dell’s global strategy has not changed after the privatization but only strengthened.

“We have undergone a transformation in the last year. We moved to providing complete end-to-end solution. We invested about $12 billion buying 20 companies and the objective of that was to provide end-to-end solutions to our customers. So, that strategy is not changed, we will continue to deliver value to our customers. What privatization does change is how we’re in a situation where we’re much faster and agile to deliver the solutions and objective to our customers. We’re going back to our roots of being the true entrepreneurial company which Dell is known for”, said Bhatia.

He added that if Dell disrupted the way people bought PCs 30 years ago, that disruption is translated into the data center, cloud computing, and other trends that will shape IT decisions in 2014.

Since its privatization, the accomplishments Bhatia can proudly share are the continuous product launching. Dell launched its new Dell storage SC4000, a smaller entry level version brought down into a smaller compact to serve customers in mid-tier. It also launched a new server called PowerEdge R920.

One of the things that benefits the SMEs upon Dell’s privatization is the ability to execute much faster. Bhatia explains that as a public company it needed to go to a lot more cycles to execute and now that it is privatized, Dell can eliminate those cycles making the speed to market exponential and the bottom line is greater value to customers.

Last year Dell introduced entry level servers and one of them is the T20 for as low as $800. It allows SMEs to have a server to virtualize their environment. Dell also launched a convergence structure called VRTX that has servers, storage, and networking solutions in one box. What makes VRTX efficient is it can allow up to four servers while also allowing SMEs to start with one. As an SME expands, it can also expand the VRTX. Bhatia considers that SMEs depend on one vendor that can provide everything with complete end-to-end solutions like Dell because SMEs usually have limited IT expertise and resources.

In addition, these devices are industry standard devices which provide ease of use. Dell extends support in terms of installation and in the Philippines where there is an array of highly trained business partners, SMEs can always request for help with their devices.

Dell’s approach is not looking whether the problem is software or hardware related, but fixing the customer’s pain point. And Dell is in the position, with its 20 acquisitions, spending $12 billion to have a say on how it can help resolve that pain point.

Dell global partners namely Microsoft and Intel continue their support as they find it a venue to address pain points and to understand both the consumer side and the enterprise side.

Dell introduced what a new strategy called TCIP imperatives or ‘Transform Connect Inform Protect’ which are relevant in the Philippines. The country is ready, because of the industries that take advantage of the cloud, especially the BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) industries which can save a lot of expenditures through apps management and virtualization.

Bhatia closes, “With client relationship-focused initiatives in the right places, in the next decades we continue to connect with Dell, they would still be around innovating smartly to be able to answer, “Thank you for calling Dell. What can we build for you?”

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