Even those ditzy Dell interns know this is a good idea. (Wasn't Steven, the Dell dude, at least more entertaining than those generic interns? But we digress.)
According to a report by AMI Partners, Inc., an estimated 70% of small businesses have no IT department. That's a huge gap and a sizable market opportunity for Dell. Non-techie business owners in doctors' offices and hair salons, for example, have been left trying to learn about, set up, and operate computer networks on their own.
Dell comes to the rescue, offering three services for small-business clients. First, they can get an expert opinion on what they need for a complete computer network. This service will start at $199 -- surely a bargain compared to hours of pulling your hair out over buying the wrong hardware.
Next, Dell will install all the necessary components to complete the aforementioned network. It will also make sure the information and files from the business' old computers make it onto the new ones. Obviously, this is where Dell will make the most moolah, as it sells its own extensive line of products to small businesses.
Lastly, for $99 a year, companies will be able to sign up for Dell's Business Professional Training, with online courses for more than 340 applications. For those impromptu IT staffers, this should be a significant help.
Dell didn't estimate how much it could make from this new venture, but given that most American businesses employ far fewer than 100 people, and that it's difficult to imagine a business that wouldn't benefit from the efficiencies of technology, you have to wonder what took the computer giant so long.
For Dell, small should indeed be beautiful.