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Dell’s senior UK management is expecting the momentum in the market that has been driven by the pandemic to remain strong as society is unlocked from Covid restrictions.
The vendor provided an update on the state of the UK tech industry, with Dayne Turbitt, general manager at Dell UK, and Rob Tomlin, vice-president of channels UK&I, sharing what was happening with customers and partners.
The pandemic has driven a surge in spending for IT that supports remote working but Dell is expecting sales to remain high even as life starts to return to a more normal footing.
“I’ve been waiting for the market to slow down,” said Turbitt. “But if I look at this year, it hasn’t. We continue to see record growth in the PC space.
“I put that down to a number of things. Firstly, there was this massive surge of ‘you get me a laptop or get me anything that’s mobile, so I can work from home’. We’ve now moved from the ‘just do it quick’ to the ‘do it right’ conversation.”
Turbitt added that there had been a decline in the desktop space, with mobile being the format customers were looking for.
That involves arming staff with the proper tools for remote working, including laptops, monitors, webcams and peripherals, he said.
“As people start to come back to the office, we’ll be coming back to these office environments that were set up in cubicles for you to do your email on a day-to-day basis – that will have to change because people would like more hybrid working.”
Turbitt said there was also a need for many users to refresh their kit. “You’ll be coming back into a collection of kit that’s now two years old, and most corporations run their assets between a three- and a five-year lifespan. So some of those assets will now be seven years old. So there will probably be a wave of refresh that we’re expecting that will take place based on how we work, but also the age of the equipment.”
He said there were also expectations that Windows 11 would spark some refresh activity, but the vendor was not expecting that to kick in until 2022.
Tomlin said the channel had also seen increased customer interest and the “mood music” from partners was positive about the current market.
He said that as well as dealing with supply constraints, with ongoing component shortages impacting the industry, the main challenge for partners was around staffing, with a need to attract and train workers.
“One of the real challenges right now is to keep up the momentum and pace and keep talent coming into the IT marketplace, both in the customers and in the resellers,” said Tomlin. “Partners are focused on talent development and recruitment and focused on keeping staff motivated and healthy and well.
“There is definitely optimism and you only have to read the results of all the major partners. I think we’re going to see a healthy demand environment for clients, and Dell will do its absolute utmost to stay ahead of that demand. The datacentre requirements are in hybrids, actually driving more on-prem datacentre requirement than anyone expected, so partners are seeing great opportunity on cyber security.”