Dell wants to get out of the box and into services

New initiatives put emphasis on moving past company's product-seller reputation

Dell Inc.’s new federal leadership is pushing three new initiatives in the government sector in an effort to bolster the company’s services and solutions business.

Government customers are not interested in just buying products anymore and Dell is embracing that trend, said Max Peterson and Joe Ayers, who lead the civilian and defense sales efforts, respectively, for Dell.

Peterson and Ayers replaced their former boss, Troy West, who now runs Dell’s public-sector business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, or EMEA as the company calls it.

Peterson and Ayers now report directly to Frank Muehleman, vice president and general manager of North America public sector sales.

“We have three initiatives that we are bringing to the market,” Ayers said.

The first is best-value solutions such as high-performance computing, multilayer security, data center solutions and new products.

The focus is on understanding customer needs, he said.

A second initiative is called client reinvention, where, for example, Dell is focused on reducing costs for customers and for the company but doing things such as reducing the number of configurations that need to be supported. “If it doesn’t bring value to the customer, we aren’t going to do it because it only drives up our costs as well,” Ayers said.

The third initiative is called E-Dell, where the company is bringing more tools and capabilities to its e-commerce platform, Peterson said.

“We already are the No. 1 site for IT-related commerce, so we are looking at the next extension of e-commerce,” he said.

One area is bringing more collaboration to the site. Dell is already doing this for universities and other researchers working with the Large Hadron Collider ioperated by CERN near Geneva, Switzerland. The facility there does not have the computing power to process and analyze all the data collected during experiments, so Dell has created a collaboration platform that distributes the data to researchers around the world, Peterson said.

The platform is used for collaboration among the scientists, he said.

Dell wants to bring more of that capability to their e-commerce site. One idea is to open more of the site to its partners to market their services and capabilities. Dell likely will do this with its partners on the Alliant contract, Peterson said.

“We want to extend our capabilities to our partners,” he said.

Dell is ranked No. 11 on the Washington Technology 2010 Top 100 list of the largest government contractors.

About the Author

Nick Wakeman is the editor-in-chief of Washington Technology. Follow him on Twitter: @nick_wakeman.

Reader Comments

Fri, Sep 24, 2010 Greg Walters SoCali

Gov't at any level is budget driven, not value driven. There is, and never has been, thinking "out of the box" in gov't. Can't happen.

Thu, Sep 23, 2010 MR Silver Spring

I read this looking for an acknowledgement that there was more to succeeding in the Fed IT Services market that just being there with a good name. I didn't find it. Good luck Dell.

Thu, Sep 23, 2010 Steve Chantilly

Agreed, M. Dell succeeded because they have great product and excellent operations. Sales has not been their forte, too bad they run the place. And Federal Services is a whole new ballgame.

Thu, Sep 23, 2010 M Reston

I predict failure because the leadership seems to be made up of successful hardware salesmen, many of whom do not know the Fed nor services. I interviewed there. The attitude was, "Well we just conquered Perot systems. How about you come and support my crack Hardware sales team. They will tell you what to do. Bzzzt! No way! Dell needs to hire people who can tell them what to do. But I think hubris will prevent that.

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