February 19, 2008 5:29 AM PST

Dell overhauls support services

Dell overhauls support services
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Dell is revamping its support-services offering as the company continues to battle shrinking growth in PC and server sales.

The overhaul will see the introduction of two services, Dell ProSupport for IT and ProSupport for End-Users, aimed at improving local support for enterprise customers by improving turnaround times and offering the ability to fast-track requests.

With ProSupport for IT, for example, IT personnel at customer sites will be able to directly access the relevant support staff rather than pick their way through Dell's support escalation process. Non-IT end users, meanwhile, will be able to access application and configuration assistance for their machines.

Dell would not clarify the number of people it has employed for the revamped service. Brian Goff, Dell Australia's enterprise technical manager, said only that there are "more staff than last year," citing the company's upcoming profit report on February 28 as a reason for holding back the details. The company is currently recruiting technical staff to fill vacant roles.

For customers already on Dell's Gold Technical Support package, the extra benefits under ProSupport will be offered at no extra charge, according to Goff.

The new service offering comes at a time when Dell is fighting to retain its market share of PC and server sales worldwide. Some analysts have suggested the new support offering may help Dell combat falling sales in what is becoming an increasingly commoditized market.

"Services is a big part of IT. Hardware is increasingly underappreciated, so it comes down to other factors like price or services," Intelligent Businsess Research Services analyst Kevin McIsaac told ZDNet Australia.

The company is also attempting to redefine itself in other ways. Dell recently acquired hosted e-mail archiving and security company MessageOne for $155 million. But perhaps its most significant move was the $1.4 billion acquisition of EqualLogic, a player in the nascent iSCSI storage market, repositioning the PC maker as an owner of storage IP for the first time, rather than simply a reseller.

Liam Tung of ZDNet Australia reported from Sydney.

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7 comments

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Dell needs to improve tech support...
Dell used to have great tech support. Sadly, for the last 5yrs, Dell "outsourced" tech support is dismal.

Jumping from one level to next, often losing a telephone connection after waiting on hold over 30minutes are all too common.

I look forward to a Dell where tech support is giving a high priority!

Having bought 5 Dell desktops/laptops, their sad tech support has left me thinking my next computer will not be a Dell...

Get with Dell, the clock is ticking
Posted by gary85739 (613 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Much improvement needed
The last 4 times I have called Dell tech support, they have pretty much tried everything in the book to try get rid of me. Anything except solve the problem. The last 2 times, they have been condescending as well. Pretty much wanting to not do business with them if they keep that up. My troubleshooting, by the way, has been effective.
Posted by Bill_A (13 comments )
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OOPS! Too Late!
Can't buy a 17" widescreen laptop from Dell unless it has VISTA on it, can't buy an XPS from Dell unless it has VISTA on it, my customers DO NOT WANT VISTA, I say too little too late Dell, you have already shot yourself in the foot...
Posted by stanrich (1 comment )
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my dell support experience, blogged during the 5 hours I was on hold http://dell-customer-support-sucks.blogspot.com/

Question for Dell- why would anyone who was burned as a consumer ever use you for an enterprise/large business purchase?
My advice- go with a more reputable company if you want support. Dell doesn't have it, unless you like waiting hours on hold to resolve an issue.
Posted by robertj777 (1 comment )
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Telephone support to try and buy an extra drive for my server. ... in a word, disgusting. I'm typing this at its happening. Order number please? Put you through , wrong department, put you through, service tag? wrong department, put you through, Reception - order number please, put you through - , put you through - service tag? - hangup. Reception - what order number please, put you through, disk drive details? put you through, order number? - put you through, Reception - order number please, sorry ... got it now put you through ... wait ... hello? Sales are busy ... we have your number and will call you before COB. click
Sales are busy? Who deals with Dell. I'm thinking they can have their server back. It was myself who recommended my Govt department move away from this mob over a year ago for their lack of support. Things have not gotten any better ... maybe worse.
Posted by unixadmin (1 comment )
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I have a bone of contention with Dell. Every time I cry out for support, I get an asian who cant speak the international language. I speak english, rather well if I may say so, and I have to repeat myself time after timeenglish to be understood. Now, would it be nice to be able to speak to an Australian who speaks the correct english.

derrotoo
Posted by derrotoo (2 comments )
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It is always best not to call Dell support. For the last 10 times, they are saying either systems are down or please stay online for 2 min and I ended up in staying on hold for 2 Hrs. No one addressed the call at least for courtesy sake to tell that they are working on my issue.
COMPLETELY UNFRIENDLY CUSTOMER CARE.

It is TIME WASTE to contact Dell Customer care.
Posted by lokeshp910 (1 comment )
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