Dell extends services to small businesses

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Dell extends services to small businesses

Hardware giant Dell Computer fleshed out its service offerings yesterday (Monday) with a program that gives small businesses a hand with building out their computer networks.

Dell launched a set of services to help companies with network design and installation, and with training employees to use the new technology. They mark the first in a planned series of service offerings that the PC, server and storage maker will offer to small- and medium-sized customers.

Dell has been touting its services capabilities more of late, along with other vendors such as Hewlett-Packard and Sun Microsystems. For the most part they have been targeting the lucrative market where their shared rival, IBM, has been king. Compared with IBM or HP, however, Dell has a much smaller services organisation.

Dell's new network design services start at $199 (£126). This includes an assessment of a customer's existing network, and advice on how much it will have to spend on servers, storage, software and technical support to set up a particular new hardware configuration.

Dell will back this up with installation services for any of its products including PCs, workstations, switches, servers, storage gear and software. The ompany will transfer data from old hardware onto the new systems as well as a customer's existing software packages. It did not provide pricing for the installation services.

Dell will also offer professional training courses for $99 a year, including online instruction in more than 340 applications. It said the courses are "ideal for customers with no IT staff".

Dell planned to extend the program early next year to provide support services for software and peripherals from other vendors.

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