Finding, hiring, and retaining quality IT people is a struggle for many small and medium businesses (SMBs) with 1 to 499 employees. The situation is most severe at the low end. In businesses with fewer than 20 employees, 47% say that they have no formal IT support, and 22% report that non-IT staff look after IT.
The situation improves somewhat as businesses grow, but overall, only 37% of SMBs in the 1-499 employee segment have the luxury of full-time, dedicated IT staff. And even when SMBs are fortunate enough to bring IT personnel on board, these resources are likely to be stretched thin.
As a result, more SMBs are turning to managed service providers (MSPs) and other third parties for help. But sourcing quality, affordable support services can be difficult and time-consuming. MSPs often require customers to sign year-long contracts—posing a potential risk that many SMBs are reluctant to take.
Without adequate IT support, it is difficult for businesses to keep their PCs up-to-date and secure. And when employees encounter a problem, it may take several days to get it fixed—resulting in a loss of productivity that can be very costly to the business.
SMBs also face some serious longer-term issues as they struggle to plan, budget, implement, manage and secure the technology they need to support their businesses in the absence of IT expertise.
Dell APEX Managed Device Service Gives SMBs Easy Access to Enterprise-Class Service
In March, Dell launched Dell APEX Managed Device Service to help SMBs solve this problem so that SMBs can focus on running their businesses. Dell’s solution provides SMBs with an accessible, affordable, and flexible subscription service to manage, secure and support PCs.
The Dell APEX Managed Device Service subscription is available with a new Dell commercial PC purchase and includes:
- All elements of hardware management, from device setup and software implementation to device health including device security, and any hardware fixes.
- Access to Dell technology experts during business hours who provide tech coaching and advice on PC lifecycle management, hardware deployment strategy, software implementation and platform transitions, device security, data management, and more.
- 24/7 support services including next business day on-site support, accidental damage service, and more.
- Device management services that include security management; regular software, BIOS and driver updates; predictive issue detection; and more.
- Access to IT insight reports that provide customers with information about device health, user experience and recommendations.
The service is available on a month-to-month subscription basis, at $70 per month per device. SMBs can scale up or down as their needs change, and not have to worry about getting locked into long-term contracts. And there’s no minimum in terms of the number of PCs—the service is available whether you’re buying one new PC, or doing a refresh for a team of 50.
Dell APEX Managed Device Service is available to U.S. customers when they purchase or lease Dell commercials, either through Dell.com or by contacting their Dell sales representative.
A “No-Brainer” for Trident Proposal Management
One of Dell’s pilot customers, Trident Proposal Management, a California-based consulting firm that helps clients identify opportunities and prepare proposals for federal government contracts, faced this problem. The Trident team wanted to upgrade from a patchwork quilt approach to supporting its eight full-time employees and 30 freelancers. Before learning about Dell’s APEX Managed Device Service pilot program, they had spent more than 120 hours searching websites of PC retailers and managed service providers to see what options were available, but none were the right fit.
“We had been looking to step up our IT game, update our devices, and consider cyber security best practices for a while, but we couldn’t find a managed service provider with the capabilities of supporting a small business like ours,” explains Ben Galendez, Trident’s IT manager and a capture and proposal manager.
When Trident learned about Dell’s pilot program, it decided to try it. One year later, Galendez reported that “The Dell pilot was great – we managed to migrate our team to new devices, and having a direct line to IT experts has saved us a lot of time and prevented headaches… Whenever I have a question, whether it’s about security, software, or a device, I can contact Dell, and they’ll provide answers.”
He also noted that “It’s reassuring to have a large, reputable brand like Dell meet all our technology needs – a one-stop-shop experience…It’s really a no-brainer for us to outsource our helpdesk with the Dell APEX Managed Device Service subscription.”
It probably goes without saying, but the odds of most SMBs being able to hire and retain IT staff with the same level of expertise as Dell’s technology experts are slim to none. And, while there are certainly some highly-skilled MSPs out there, as the Trident Proposal Management story illustrates, it is not always easy to find one that can offer the flexibility, affordability, and service levels that the business needs.
Dell APEX Managed Device Service subscription takes the guesswork and gotchas out of PC support and puts a direct route to IT know-how in. When you consider that the loss of productivity that just a couple of days of downtime incurs could cost a business thousands of dollars, the price—which adds up to under $1,000 per year per device—is right. And the peace of mind businesses can get from knowing people will get the support and remediation they need quickly and expertly is priceless.
© SMB Group, 2023
Note: Dell Technologies is an SMB Group customer.