A new brand of notebooks and desktop computers called Vostro, designed with the needs of small businesses in mind, has been launched by Dell.
In light of a recent survey carried out by Dell in conjunction with the International Council for Small Business over 12 countries, the PC manufacturing giant identified a need for hardware and services aimed squarely at the small business owner.
According to the survey, small business owners claim customer service is the top reason for using technology yet 75pc cited budget constraints as a limiting factor in expanding their IT assets.
Because many small enterprises don’t have dedicated IT staff, Vostro is backed up by a new line of services and support tools to address this need.
Dell will provide tools like data backup, installation help and PC performance monitoring free of charge for the first year, a good move considering the survey found that small businesses in 10 out of 12 countries listed “adequate technical support and service” as their top requirement from IT vendors.
The Dell network assistant that comes as part of the installation tools claims to connect a business’s network, wired or wirelessly, in six simple clicks versus the average 14 of a similar competitive service.
It also claims successful network connection 93pc of the time in comparison to the 66pc success rate without using the service.
Simple but essential ongoing maintenance such as disk defragmentation and security settings, which can be easily neglected on a daily basis, can be managed in one click with the included support centre feature.
As small companies require a date recovery strategy but may not have the budget to implement a high cost solution with an outside provider, Dell is offering DataSafe Online, a remote backup service that can store up to 10gigs of data over an internet connection.
The Vostro range is suited to businesses running on a simple network, and with fewer than 25 employees.
“For too long, entrepreneurs have been forced to fit either consumer or large corporate solutions into their unique environments,” said Dell chairman and CEO Michael Dell.
“Vostro changes the game for small-business owners by empowering them to choose the exact IT solutions they need to be successful.”
The new Vostro range is customized to meet the requirements of a small business, and ships without demoware, limited trial software that often comes with new PCs but is never used or renewed, thus clogging up system resources and sometimes conflicting with other software.
The Vostro 1000 notebook and Vostro 200 desktop come with a choice of Windows XP or Vista, catering for the existing need of many businesses to remain on the XP operating system for software compatibility reasons.
Launched concurrently with the Vostro series in Europe is a microsite by Dell and Intel, aimed squarely at navigating small companies through the often difficult choice of technology needs they face.
Aongus Hegarty, vice president and general manager of Home and Small Business, Dell EMEA said: “Our goal is to simplify IT for small businesses.
“Dell’s new resource site in partnership with Intel allows customers to build technology solutions based on their specific needs.”
By Marie Boran