Interview

Simplifying IT : Joe Kremer, MD & Vice president Australia & New Zealand, Dell

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Dell has over 20 years of experience working alongside government agencies, supplying the tools they need to meet their objectives. In India also, Dell views the government and the public sector as one of the most significant opportunities for growth.  As a leader in providing state and local governments with innovative IT solutions, Dell has customisable, cost-efficient products, services, and solutions to help communities provide their citizens with an enhanced quality of life.

How is Dell involved in eGovernance in India?

Dell has over 20 years of experience working alongside government agencies, supplying the tools they need to meet their objectives. In India also, Dell views the government and the public sector as one of the most significant opportunities for growth.

As a leader in providing state and local governments with innovative IT solutions, Dell has customisable, cost-efficient products, services, and solutions to help communities provide their citizens with an enhanced quality of life. We deliver solutions that allow our customers to focus on delivering constituent value and effective government.

Most countries in world are putting more money in health care. In e-Governance too I am observing the same

Dell entered this space 18 months back in India and has already garnered 10 percent market share. Dell’s strong value proposition for institutional customers based on open and standards-based technology makes it a great choice as a technology partner.

What are the challenges being faced while implementation of e-Governance projects?

The National e-Governance plan has been put in place but there is a huge challenge for technology being adopted and also for the deployment of LAN in every office.

Complexity is a huge challenge since the public sector has accumulated vast hardware & software. It is therefore a challenge to maintain an aging infrastructure along with IT budgets. There is a need for more functionality, proliferation of new network devices and data storage for longer periods of time. Dell’s vision is to simplify IT wherein we provide long-term stability with systems that are easy to implement and operate.

Service delivery also needs to be timely, transparent, secure and easily available. In effect, crucial actors get into action while interfacing between citizens and government departments. These actors are: network service provider, system integrator, application software, OEMs, technology domain experts like application administrator, database administrator, network and security experts, back-up operators, data center team and more.

To have effective control mechanism over data and information in spite of various factors playing their respective role, government departments need to have in-depth exercise and methodologies with their own personnel in place. Retention of controls are also essential to reduce the risk due to the assumption of such trust on integrity of the ER, departments should follow a policy of retention of controls.

What are your offerings in education and health segment?

In any classroom, you may have interactive white boards with large screen monitors, with video projectors, cameras, microphones, access to Internet so that the teacher can teach instead of just chalking. They can teach better [through] pulling data from Internet. We had team in US , Canada, Mexico, UK and China. What we found is that nobody was talking about this thing. Now we put this global public sector team together, which has always followed best practices around the world, withholding solutions standard for best practices in education and allow them to talk to countries and inform that the company has a solution in education; here are suggestions for countries, and also questions for every country what they are doing so that we may learn simultaneously.

In health care what we are trying to do is to digitise medical records and for example in US, Obama’s administration’s key initiative is how to have simplified medical records through digitising with appropriate privacy and appropriate access. Because so much of it is done on paper it takes a lot of time, and it costs dearly. We were in China some times back, they are interested in doing it, [likewise] people are interested in Japan , we are speaking to people in Australia. So around the world this is some thing interesting for people. Besides, we are also looking in higher education, putting solutions with the help of our new partners, where Dell products are fully certified and also we are also focusing at advanced research in computing around the world and some of our best work has been in UK.

What is your strategy for Higher education ?

We are in partnership in higher education with companies like Sun Guard which have ERP solutions that are tailored for universities. They have curriculum softwares which is more around scheduling classes. Some who might be working on a Unix system in the past and now may want to migrate to Dell since it is much more cost effective solution because it is done on open standard. Often time taken on Linux and the ongoing supportive performance is typically dramatically much less because its simple, and one needs less people to manage, less people to install and less people to keep it running. So there is clear migration from the legacy Unix solution to x86 type solution with Dell.

What are the solutions you are providing in security?

There are things in security that might help police. It can be a solution that might involve a camera with ability to capture an image immediately, with pictures that are dynamically digitised and which can be send to police headquarters without sparing a moment of time. So you can do things faster, you can maintain it in an account format and also it is very secure. In similar way we have been doing this for Militaries around the world. So you can see in this new business of ours we have a lot of opportunities. In my previous role I was looking at Australia and New Zealand. In my new role, I still look at Australia and New Zealand, while I also have a job to look after public sector across Asia Pacific (APAC).

Is there any difference you see in investing in India and other countries of the APAC region, in attitudes of the government or the awareness among people?

Firstly, [since] I haven’t been much over  here, it would be presumptuous if I comment on this. But I would like to say that I have been traveling a lot and have noticed more similarities than differences. For the most part if we talk to government about health care, they are just trying to figure out how can we be better prepared for patients, how can we help people to be healthier, how we will do it with less money, how can we bring better cure to people. We were visiting hospitals in China, there is an enormous appetite in governments for similar spending to spurt the economy. Most countries in world are putting more money in health care. In e-Governance too I am observing the same.

Pratap Vikram Singh
pratap@egovonline.net

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