Dell Adds Service to Online Sales

As a sign of the changing times, Dell Computer has decided it's not enough to sell PC hardware online anymore.

As a sign of the changing times, Dell Computer has decided its not enough to sell PC hardware online anymore. It will provide services and systems preconfigured down to the applications theyre running.

Customers "are used to Dell coming at you talking products. Were trying to elevate our approach to corporations. Heres the next step of Dells enterprise solution," said Dave Kersten, director of Enterprise Systems Group alliances at Dell.

Dell is partnering with i2 Technologies, Microsoft, Oracle and SAP to provide factory integration of their applications on Dell hardware. A customer may order, for example, a Dell System running Windows and Microsofts SQL Server 2000 database system, Exchange 2000 mail server, Commerce Server for electronic commerce or BizTalk eXtensible Markup Language server, said Terri Mirka, senior manager of enterprise services marketing.

The offerings will be accompanied by online sizing and configuration tools and advice on rapid deployment, Kersten said. The aim is to reduce the time it takes a business to receive and install a specific system. Dell is calling its hardware/operating system/application bundle its Infrastructure Accelerator, he said.

Dell will offer optimized configuration of Oracles 8i Appliance database system and Oracle9i Application Appliance on Dells thin PowerEdge servers. It will also offer i2s supply chain automation TradeMatrix Pronto and Supply Chain Management applications, as well as SAPs portal application for Enterprise Resource Planning.

In addition, Dell is launching its Premier Enterprise Services, with gold and platinum levels of services and support as well as technical support. Gold gets an enterprise customer in touch with technical support dedicated to large corporate needs while platinum connects an engineer at the customers site to a Dell engineer.