The new suite, the first of a tiered service strategy, includes services in network design, installation, and training for businesses that typically employ 100 employees or less.
Beginning in 2003, Dell will take its existing IT service and support portfolio and offering it to small and midsize business (SMB) customers. The systems vendor will provide SMB customers support for software applications and peripherals manufactured by most vendors.
Breakdown of the three categories covered in the suite is as follows:
- Network Design -- assesses the customer's hardware and software needs, as well as technician time required to build a network. With a starting price of $199 this package includes an on-site assessment from a technical expert who will review what's in place and determine what is required to design a well-rounded network or to deploy a specific hardware configuration
- Installation -- available for Dell's entire product line, including OptiPlex and Dimension desktops, Latitude and Inspiron notebooks, Dell Precision workstations, PowerConnect switches, PowerEdge servers, PowerVault storage, and a variety of software and peripherals. For desktop, notebook and workstations, Dell said it will transfer data from the old systems to the new, as well as install the customer's software on each system
- Dell's Business Professional Training -- targeted at customers with zero IT staff, this package includes online courses for more than 340 applications. With this $99-per-year package, enterprises with a technical staff can tap Dell for industry certification programs or schedule time with technical experts to provide more training
Frank Muehleman, senior vice president/general manager of Dell's SMB division, said the decision came from customer demand.
In July, HP paired with Dimension Data to jointly market and promote Dimension Data application hosting and managed services.
Servicing SMBs appears to be on the rise. On Monday, Yahoo! rolled out Web hosting for SMBs, while Nortel Networks introduced Business Communications Manager Release 3.0, which adds interactive voice response, IPSec client support, among other perks, to help drive increased revenues while reducing costs for SMBs.