Bengaluru: Dell Technologies is perhaps one of the few companies that have managed to enable 100% of its workforce to work from home (WFH) even before the covid-19 crisis. In an interview with Mint, Alok Ohrie, president and managing director, Dell Technologies India talks about key customer challenges and concerns, the increased demand for remote work solutions, and how they have enabled WFH for all employees. Edited excerpts:
What percentage of Dell employees in India are working from home now? How do you ensure security and customer privacy?
Dell has a longstanding culture of WFH and our new work approach is an extension of our existing one, where we all have adopted technology to stay connected with our teams and customers. In India, our entire workforce is doing remote work with the required infrastructure in place, and we are fully prepared to support this flexible work environment.
Our remote or flex work journey started about a decade ago, and flexible working is in our DNA. We had implemented this as a company initiative many years ago. Dell has the infrastructure, automation, monitoring tools and network topology, which has been empowering WFH for our team members. We are implementing multiple initiatives across the globe to serve our customers and partners during these critical times. Many of them operate with business-critical infrastructure needed for running hospital management systems, order management systems of retail businesses, and online businesses. We are committed to ensuring that there is no disruption to their ability to serve their customers, societies and their employees.
What are some of the key customer concerns and challenges during the covid-19 crisis?
Our customers are concerned about the changing environment, just like the rest of us. Businesses need to be closer to their customers and their business partners more than ever before, enabling their employees to be able to WFH, and ensuring data security and IT performance will not be compromised. Dell Technologies has rolled out flexible payment solutions, remote working solutions like Unified Workspace, Virtual Desktop Infrastructure and many more. We have our business continuity plans in place with our supply chain and services teams, working round the clock to help customers meet their business-critical technology needs.
Given the increased need for remote working, have you seen a surge in demand for some of your offerings?
We are seeing interest in remote work solutions including business PCs, Workspace One, Virtualization and SD-WAN (software-defined Wide Area Network) solutions, monitors, and other peripherals. We are using our flexible supply chain to fulfill orders as quickly as possible, exploring all sourcing, production and logistics strategies to best meet our customers’ needs. Our IT team experts are deploying modern infrastructure at tremendous global scale. We modernized our infrastructure for scale, speed, security and flexibility of access leveraging our own multi-cloud environment which includes VxRail. This helped us run our resilient infrastructure more efficiently, for employees using remote access.
How are you managing your channel partners during these challenging times?
We recently announced a Partner Relief Package with an intention to provide immediate financial relief to our metal partners, while helping them build capabilities and pipeline for the future. In addition, Dell Technologies Working Capital Solutions (WCS) program and Dell Financial Services (DFS) are working on ways to continue supporting our partners to help them support their customers. We are also introducing new team-based pricing options for solutions providers to make all training more affordable for our partners’ teams. The validity of our Marketing Development Funds (MDF) has been extended till end of July thus giving partners more time to plan and execute and we have given them the option of advance withdrawal of up to 50% of their earned MDF to ease cash flow. We have also rolled out the Payment Flexibility Program under Dell Financial Services in ANZ region, which includes 0% interest rates for all Dell Technologies server, storage and networking solutions, and up to 180-day payment deferral on data centre infrastructure and services. Dell is also making $9 billion in financing available this year to fund the critical technology needs.
Are you involved with any projects or initiatives with the Indian government to support the covid-19 crisis?
Dell is a technology partner to the Ministry of Family Health and Welfare (MOHFW) for the Ayushman Bharat Non Communicable Diseases (NCD) program and has developed a technology platform which is being used across 21 states. The Dell team is enhancing the NCD software system with a module for covid-19 risk assessment and monitoring of NCD patients. Through our partnership with Invest India, we are contributing ₹3 crore to provide personal protection equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers and provided 25,000 N95 masks to healthcare professionals.