Dell Computer Corp.’s strategy to take on the Canadian enterprise services market will be to innovate using technology that’s already available.

Organizations are looking to standardize their IT infrastructures, according to Russell Holt, vice-president of Dell’s enterprise systems group in

Round Rock, Tex. That means using technology that’s already on the market.

Holt says current economic conditions are putting a lot of pressure on IT departments and there’s a huge focus on taking costs out of the business. In some cases that means running operations with fewer people, he says, or making resources already in place more productive.

“”One thing we are seeing is that standard platforms are being considered now more than ever by IT professionals to deliver those cost reductions and better return on investment,”” says Holt.

Standard platforms, unlike proprietary systems, he says, tend to be more modular and scalable, so organizations can buy as their needs dictate and scale their environments.

“”What dictates industry standard to us are those things that are either standards that are determined by a standards body — things such as TCP or Ethernet — and also things that are defacto standards, things that have been widely adopted by the industry.””

Holt cites Intel architectures and the Windows operating system as examples of the types of standards Dell will embrace, as well as applications from Oracle, SAP and PeopleSoft that run well on industry standard platforms.

“”The bottom line is it’s those things . . . that are adopted by more and more players in the industry that lead to better efficiencies in service — because there’s more volume it tends to be more pervasive.”” The best technology doesn’t always win, he adds, “”it’s those that come in with the right business model and business solution and response to customer need that’s going to drive the acceptance rate.””

One Canadian firm that’s already a believer of Dell’s philosophy is Toronto-based recruiting firm CNC Global.

John Chettleburgh, senior vice-president of corporate development, says predictability is one of the reasons why it has standardized on Dell hardware and a Windows 2000 operating platform.

“”We found that when we were not on a standard platform you’d have a variety of problems associated with each vendor solution,”” he says. “”With everything on a uniform platform there’s a level of predictability, and that allows us to be more proactive in some of our risk mitigation strategies.””

It has streamlined CNC Global’s support structure, says Chettleburgh, and also means there are fewer variables when embarking on new projects. “”We’ve definitely seen large economies of scale.””

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