Where Dell Is Headed
Instead of shooting over a bunch of marketing slides and copy, Dell decided to take a more story-like approach to show us how rugged their products are. There is no better way to showcase an anti-glare screen than actually experiencing the device in the field on a sunny day. There is no better way to showcase waterproofing than actually putting the device through a bath, and there is no better way to showcase physical durability than throwing the device.
I can attest from jet skiing on a sunny day on a lake with the rugged tablet hooked up to the jet ski, that the anti-glare screen does a great job of maintaining readability even with strong glare. With all the water that splashed onto the rugged tablets throughout the day, the two tablets never gave out over the five-hour period they were used. Seeing the lab where they experiment with their new products was a nice way to see what type of torture the tablets and notebooks can withstand.
Dell's Global and Federal Command Centers did an excellent job of showcasing Dell's support capabilities. Having that type of support system and network of support locations worldwide instills a level of trust and reliability, and seeing it firsthand would impress me if I needed a company who could be there when I needed them. Dell's spokespersons told us multiple stories, one of which was quite impressive. Since Dell has seen what large disasters can do to their clients, they anticipate the required response beforehand. They knew a huge snowstorm was going to hit Manhattan, so in anticipation, they sent out techs to stay in hotels near their critical clients.
When the storm hit, they got special permission to bring in replacement parts that were needed and sent them to a central Fedex hub. From their hotels, the techs walked to the central hub and then back to their respective clients, ensuring that critical clients systems were up and running. As a society, we aren't used to the internet going down. When we are off work because it's snowing, we still expect Netflix to stream content our way, and that is only possible because Dell is there to support their clients no matter the conditions.
Dell didn't leave out their statistics. In a study by Technology Business Research Inc. (TBR) earlier this year, 83% of Dell Rugged respondents indicated less than one day of downtime (12% above competitors), the remaining 17% indicated one to two days of downtime. The study also found that 68% of respondents were likely or very likely to recommend Dell devices (45% more than competitors), and 81% indicated they were likely or very likely to purchase Dell rugged devices again (49% more than competitors). While these numbers are very high, Dell's chief competitor (Panasonic) seems to be slipping in terms of support within the USA. Dell's current rugged customers are many yet small, but Dell has positioned itself to take over the market.
When Dell first launched their rugged platform, their products were little more than slightly hardened versions of their consumer counterparts, but the latest Dell rugged products are entirely different animals - they're truly rugged.
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