Through managed services, Dell said it would offer users a way to manage the lifecycle of their PC environments. The service includes asset management, roll-outs of PC desktops and software and desktop support.
Dell has partnered with Getronics and Unisys in the UK to deliver the service to users. Rod Arnold, head of services at Dell, said, "We are aiming at users with between 2,000 and 100,000 seats."
Will Cappelli, vice-president at analyst firm Meta Group, said he had seen an increase in the number of firms outsourcing their desktop infrastructure. "Corporate management sees desktop outsourcing as an easy cost saving. It is cheaper than in-house desktop IT services," he said.
Dell is not alone in offering such a service - Hewlett-Packard and Unisys have similar offerings - and, unlike other forms of outsourcing, Cappelli said users could easily switch suppliers. "In desktop outsourcing you do not have the same amount of knowledge transfer to contend with as other forms of outsourcing," he said.
Cappelli said that where companies outsource their entire IT operations to a single supplier, this supplier would typically act as a portfolio service provider and would sub-contract desktop, mainframe and Unix services to specialists.