Dell is to offer managed desktop services, claiming that by applying its supply chain expertise to services it can cut costs for customers.
The services are aimed at companies with between 2,000 and 100,000 desktops. Dell wants managed services to account for 30 per cent of its services business in three years - up from the current figure of seven per cent.
Rod Arnot, who heads the UK services offering for Dell, said: "We are seeing commodisation of infrastructure services over time ... to the point that it's attractive to Dell to enter the market."
The main elements of Dell's services offering include life cycle assessment, which analyses the cost of a company's desktop environment; asset discovery, including discovery of hardware and software; and managed deployment services, covering design, planning and execution of desktop deployments.
A fourth element, managed client services, is a suite of services that follows the life cycle of a system from procurement, asset management, hardware break-and-fix to disposal.
Services will be delivered by Dell through its partners, including Unisys and Getronics. More partners will be added, but Arnot would not say how many or when.
"No one service vendor does everything; we can select the best-of-breed partners to bring to the portfolio," he said.
"The other key thing is, because we don't have a standing army [of engineers] to feed, we can drive better utilisation."
Jon Collins, senior analyst at analyst Quocirca, said the move could make Dell products more attractive to larger organisations and to the public sector, which demand services when they buy new hardware.
"I think Dell is trying to grow its share of the PC market because it has reached a point where it has a share which won't increase unless it starts selling in the way that other people are selling.
"It is up against its own glass ceiling," he said.
In the next few weeks Dell is expected to make a separate announcement about professional services, covering technology areas such as storage and servers.
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