Monday, February 19, 2007

Dell's business model not so direct anymore

A press release by Dell summarized and annotated:

"Dell announced a four-year agreement to provide Unilever, one of the world's largest consumer products companies, with products and services worth about $40 million. The agreement provides for deployment and managed services for about 10,000 systems in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Deployment is under way in the U.S. and is expected to be completed within the next few weeks.
-Unilever didn't just dial Dell's 1-800 number and sign up for this deal; there had to have been plenty of face to face meetings to complete the deal. This does not fit into a "direct" sales model.

Dell is supplying Unilever with OptiPlex(TM) desktop and Latitude(TM) notebook computers along with deployment services to help ensure a smooth upgrade of its networked systems to predominantly industry-standard Dell hardware running Microsoft Windows XP software.

In addition to factory installing nearly 500 software applications for Unilever in the U.S., Dell is responsible for
installation and data transfer services as well as managed services such as service desk, moves, adds, changes, desk-side support, software distribution and asset tracking. -These are relatively labor intensive services that don't fit into a low-inventory, high sales turnover business model.

Dell is also providing Unilever with asset recovery services to help recover outdated systems and prepare them for responsible recycling or donation."

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