Interview

Simplifying Information Technology : Rajan Anandan, Vice President and General Manager, Dell India

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Dell has served businesses, governments, large organisations and individuals in Asia-Pacific since the early 1990s. Please tell about the broad goal and objectives of Dell’s public sector policy?

Dell identifies Government, Public Sector and Education as areas of strategic focus to achieve even stronger growth in India. The Government is among the largest buyers of computer systems in India. In May 2007, we made a strategic foray into government business and have put in place a strong team to address opportunities in this segment. With our India factory operational, we are well poised to compete and win business in this space.

Dell began its journey in the government vertical at the beginning of 2007 and has made substantial headway, with a fair share of that business that is growing rapidly. Dell’s offerings are based on its value proposition around standardisation and democratisation of technology. With its commitment to IT simplification and open technologies that support a lower total cost of ownership, along with its total solutions approach from hardware and software to services, Dell offers tremendous value to this sector.

Dell’s philosophy is also based on Dell’s well known supply chain management approach for bringing the latest standard based technology to the market at a faster rate. Working with alliance partners that include companies like Microsoft, Red Hat, Novell, EMC and VMWare, Dell’s Simplify IT strategy has found a commendable adoption by different sub-segments in the government and public sector space as the technology partner of choice.

Please tell our readers about the products and services that Dell offers.

Dell offers a comprehensive range of products and services. Dell’s range of desktops and notebooks are geared to meet varied kinds of business needs. Dell’s product portfolio includes X86 servers, projectors, various offerings along with our partnerships and more. While there is a focused approach with large PSUs for X86 and storage, our comprehensive range of desktops and notebooks works very well for our thrust into the education vertical.

I would like to emphasise that internet and IT usage has to spread beyond the urban, sub-urban regions into areas deeper in the country and foster development. With increasing adoption of IT and Internet through several e-Governance initiatives of the central and state governments, the interface between government and people is becoming increasingly computerised, also the  use of IT and internet in the field of  education will play a large role in the development of the nation

Dell provides Indian customers with its world class quality of service. In a market as large and diverse as India, Dell has enhanced its service infrastructure to include over 630 cities in the country. We will continue to augment our service and support infrastructure for large scale country wide installations.

Dell offers some unique support and service options such as its Onsite warranty– with Dell’s remote diagnostics and resolution abilities as well as ground support, this allows the Dell customers a quick resolution for problems rather than having to carry the desktop/ notebook to a specifi c service center location. Dell Connect allows a technician to troubleshoot and help solve a customer’s computer problem over a high-speed broadband connection.

Dell’s unique CompleteCover offer ensures that in case of any accidental damage to a Dell notebook, Dell replaces either the damaged components or the complete notebook up to 3 years  from the date of purchase. This includes damages often not included in warranty such  as spills or falls. This helps consumers maximise their IT resources and lower total cost of  ownership. Dell Platinum Plus is the Company’s enterprise service with the highest level of  support for server and storage system customers. Platinum Plus provides breakthrough productivity tools and is a key differentiator in Dell’s strategy to enable a higher level of  control for its business, education and government customers.

What is the edge your company’s IT solutions have, as compared to such solutions provided by other market players in this fi eld?

We listen to customers; understand their requirements; and deliver simple, effective IT  solutions. Direct, personal relationships with customers and partners allows Dell to better  understand customer needs and provide solutions customised to requirements. Dell offers the  ability to deploy optimised solutions, terrifi c value over the long-term, and technology that is  ready for the future. It’s how we help clients deploy mission-critical applications from the  data center to the end users, and pay only as they grow their infrastructure.

As mentioned above, Dell’s services such as onsite support, Dell connect and its total solutions approach along with partnerships with other global leaders in the IT space, offer Dell a tremendous edge over other players in the market.

Which are the projects Dell is working
currently with the public sector in India?   What are the challenges and opportunities in working with the public sector in developing countries, especially India?

Dell has made an important progress in this vertical. One hand, there has been an active participation in tenders and some medium sized projects have been done by Dell by partnering with Leading System integrators in this space. We are also working actively on getting our various product categories empanelled in Central Rate Contracts like DGS&D and NICSI together with some state bodies like Elcot, Harton, DIT, Maharashtra, UPLC and Webel.

We view the government and the public sector as one of the most signifi cant opportunities for growth. Dell’s strong value proposition for institutional customers based on open and standards based technology makes it a great choice as a technology partner.

Where do you see India in relation to other Asia-Pacifi c countries in terms of   e-Readiness and PC penetration? What are your suggestions to increase the PC  penetration in the rural India?

PC penetration in India continues to be very low, when compared to other Asian countries such as China, Vietnam and Indonesia. Among the most signifi cant reasons for this low PC penetration in the country comes from the higher costs – On average, a desktop computer costs more than 40 percent of annual wages. Lowering the cost of technology would help accelerate India’s growth as a global source of leading technology. Lower tariffs – which are as high as  about 20 per cent today – will play an important role.

“Dell has strong strategies in place that involve segment expansion. On the   hardware side, driven largely by the client side of the business (desktops), the government segment is growing faster than the rest of the market. Various subsegments include central government, state governments, the public sector organisations and lastly, the government funded education and research”

India currently has 50 million people online, less than 5 percent of the population. One of the most important means to increase Internet penetration is to increase the PC penetration and both of these will play an important role in increasing business productivity in the country besides becoming employment enablers.

I would like to emphasise that internet and IT usage has to spread beyond the urban,  sub-urban regions into areas deeper in the country and foster development. With increasing adoption of IT and Internet through several e-Governance initiatives of the central and state governments, the interface between government and people is becoming increasingly computerised, also the use of IT and internet in the fi eld of education will play a large role in the development of the nation. The increasing penetration of internet and IT is going to play a  crucial role key for long term growth of the Indian economy. It is important that India’s  citizens have access to technology and the government will have to play an important role in  making technology accessible to them.

What are some of your plans to expand your market further?

Dell has strong strategies in place that involve segment expansion. On the hardware side,  driven largely by the client side of the business (desktops), the government segment is  growing faster than the rest of the market. Various subsegments include central government,  state governments, the public sector organisations and lastly, the government  funded education and research. The drivers for growth are different in various sub-segments  – the spread of e-Government applications and public utilities applications, automation in defense and other ministries for administrative inventory, HR applications, ERP  implementation, e-Learning and research based computing. As growth in the IT  infrastructure increases, Dell’s unique model of standardisation and IT simplifi cation across  the entire IT spectrum will play a very important role in the faster adoption of the IT in this  segment.

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