Dell opens Internet Partner Division

Dell opens Internet Partner Division

Dell on Tuesday unveiled its Internet Partner Division, which is intended to increase sales of Dell PowerEdge servers and PowerVault storage systems to ISPs and ASPs (application service providers).

First announced last November, the new marketing division will set up shop on the company's Website,, with plans to serve customers' server and storage needs on a more individual basis, according to Dell officials.

"Dell hosts the world's largest e-commerce Website, which generates $35 million a day in revenues and leads in offering direct online service and support. We are taking steps to share this knowledge and capability with our customers to deliver them the infrastructure for the new Internet economy," chairman and CEO Michael Dell said in a statement.

One analyst sees the Dell Internet Partner Division as mirroring similar efforts by Hewlett-Packard and Sun, but with greater customer segmentation and emphasis on profit.

"This is basically Marketing 101," said Carl Howe, an analyst at Forrester Research. "HP and Sun have gone down this road, providing Web servers and storage up front, [starting at] 5 per cent of the revenue, until the equipment is paid off."

"Dell just plans to make more money doing the same thing," Howe said. "It intends to segment its customer base more finely here. Rather than a broad offering for all customers, Dell will have a specific offering for small, medium and large businesses, targeting their exact set of needs."

"In other words, Dell is saying they'll take whatever deal makes sense, as they have the financing arm," Howe said, adding that by monitoring the profit/loss statements of participating ISPs and ASPs, Dell can gauge and attest to the success or failure of its own programs.

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