As Technology Gets More Complex, Its All About Integration
While technically any Dell customer or potential client can use the center, its actually set up to address four specific areas of information technology: banking and securitieswhich makes sense in New Yorkend-user computing, cloud solutions, and data and analytics solutions. In addition to financial services and insurance, Dell is also looking to attract more customers in very specific markets, such as health care and education.What we see in these centers is the very powerful ability to have our customers test, validate and prove out these different solutions before they spend the money on it or take a risk on it within their environment, said Morgan.In an effort to expand its customer base, the Dell center not only allows for IT managers and administrators to test equipment, but it also gives to the company a chance to consult with CIOs and other executives. This switch to services is no accident. As PC sales begin to slow and more competition enters the market, Dell, HP and others are looking for ways to differentiate their offerings. According to an April 9 Forrester Research report, the U.S. tech market is expected to grow 7.5 percent this year, with software and IT consulting services having the best prospects. To capitalize on this trend, Dell has opened its wallet and started adding to its portfolio, especially when it comes to software and securitytwo areas the company is not known for, but where there is potential for growth. In the last two years, Dell has acquired more than a dozen companies, including SonicWall for security, Wyse Technologies for virtualization and cloud computing, and Make Technologies for application migration. Now that Dell has all these companies at its disposal, it has to let the public and potential customers see for themselves what the company can offer. Its already well along that road, but it takes time to change public perceptions about a companys traditional skills and reputationparticularly when theyre ingrained as Dells is as a purveyor of cost-effective PCs and laptops, said Charles King, an analyst with Pund-IT. Thats where the value of the Solution Centers kicks in. Along with offering high-visibility venues in major urban markets where the company can show off its latest wares, the facilities also provide a means for potential customers to perform proof of concepts and kick the tires on Dell solutions, and for ISVs to have their applications certified.