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Dell Support Offerings Get Customizable - InternetNews.
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Dell Support Offerings Get Customizable

The "Simplifying IT" beat goes on with Dell, as it announces another element in that initiative -- a less-complex array of support programs.

The new Dell ProSupport program reduces its 10 previous service offerings down to two customizable packages.

The packages -- ProSupport for IT and ProSupport for End-Users -- are for business/corporate customers. (Consumers will still have to stick with the India call centers for support.)

While consolidating the number of support programs it offers, Dell offers some flexibility, allowing customers to configure their support program for their exact needs.

"The standard model of break/fix for my computers no longer is working," Tim Mixon, senior marketing manager for Dell Global Services, told InternetNews.com. "We have people out there with varying levels of expertise and we need to take care of people based on how they use the technology."

Ideally, this means immediate response in just a few hours or longer-term forensic support for nagging issues, depending on the options a customer selects.

For example, imagine an IT professional, working in a mission-critical environment, knows a blown switch is causing a server to lag. In this case, a Dell customer who's purchased the "fast-track dispatch" option could get a switch sent out, pronto -- dispensing with the troubleshooting steps because problem is known.

Support also now extends to commonly used applications, a first for the company. As a result, Dell offers a support option for customers likely to need help figuring out how to (for instance) add a pivot table in Excel.

The new service options also include proactive support.

In that case, if a customer finds that it repeatedly faces the same problems -- like crashing systems -- Dell support can dig into their environment to determine the underlying problem, Mixon said.

The new contracts will not replace existing Dell service contracts, Mixon said.

"The one thing we won't do is touch existing contracts, as most people have signaled they don't want to do that," he said. "Going forward, they can combine ProSupport. If they want to add new features like fast-track dispatch, they can add it."

ProSupport is the latest idea to come from IdeaStorm, the Web site Dell set up to solicit customer feedback.

"We got a lot of good ideas from IdeaStorm," Mixon said.

In addition to revamping its support plans, Dell also said it is making its support more consistent globally. The company said it began finding that many customers had been receiving varying levels of assistance, depending on their location.

The company said it's now working to ensure it offers customers a more consistent level of support across the globe.