Michael and Kevin @ Tech Day


Yesterday, Michael and Kevin both presented at our Tech Day event. One important thing I wasn’t able to reference in any of my work from yesterday was something that Kevin announced with Joe Tucci, Chairman, President and CEO of EMC—the extension of our partnership with them. Kevin also discussed how Dell as a company will continue to evolve—Dell 2.0.

Michael also talked a bit about Dell 2.0. He launched our Dimension products yesterday, including our first two AMD products for consumer and small business customers.

You can check out video and slides from both Michael and Kevin’s keynotes here (free registration required).  Michael’s keynote is toward the end of the clip that the above link takes you to.

Since I haven’t yet figured out how to be in more than one place at a time, there were some other things that happened at Tech Day that I wasn’t able to capture. Here’s a rundown:

Breakout Sessions (all links below are in PDF)

  • Mobility: Taking the Workplace and the Living Room on the Road; Alex Gruzen and Sam Burd’s presentation
  • Solutions & Services: Managing the Enterprise Beyond the Box; Paul Gottsegen and Steve Meyer’s presentation and Dell Services Fact Sheet
  • Design: Meeting Customer Requirements for Design and Usability; John Medica and Neil Hand’s presentation

Other things I didn’t get to:

This concludes my coverage of Dell Tech Day in NYC.  Thank you.

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16 thoughts on “Michael and Kevin @ Tech Day

  1. Dell 2.0, unveiled at Tech Day, promises fresh air at the company, a contrast to previous repetition of the self-mesmerizing, stale mantra, “the Dell direct model continues to offer unparalleled advantages…” even in the face of evidence, in a changing world, of deep problems in both the business model and the corporate culture.  The commitment to re-evaluate all aspects of Dell’s operations is commendable as is (at last!) the focus on industrial design (the dowdy Dell store, missing only potted palms, notwithstanding).

    Nevertheless, the public response has been a shrug — with most commentary calling Dell 2.0 devoid of substance and the stock price remaining unmoved.  In the absence, to-date, of many concrete components to Dell 2.0, the success of this “evolution” depends on the quality, creativity and discipline of management.  Part of the public indifference is probably based on the unsatisfactory performance of Kevin Rollins and Michael Dell at Tech Day.

    Questions were asked about the need for management change, including the replacement of Mr. Rollins.  From the vantage points of shareholders badly let down by the company and customers who have been burned, nothing could be more legitimate.  Yet Rollins acted as though doubts about his competence were just media hype (“my job’s decided by the board, not journalists”, to paraphrase) and Dell laughed them off as silly “speculation”.  Obviously these men aren’t supposed to grovel, but their responses are inappropriate.  Under any responsible system of accountability, such as the military’s, Rollins would be out.  Two years of drift and error is enough.  Where does Dell management get the idea that in a competitive world, managers get three or four years to figure things out. They don’t seem to get it, questions about management remain, and Dell 2.0 is just another promise, like those that have accompanies the last five or six quarters of earnings announcements.

    Finally (and this is a fundamental point about leadership and strategic communications in crisis not an ad hominem attack), Mr. Rollins prefaced about one out of every three sentences at Tech Day with a verbal tick, “tsck”, a notorious emblem of sibilant softness.  CFO Jim Schneider, in his public defenses of the company, uses “you know” literally 100 times in a twenty minute presentation.  Eighteen year olds in the military have this verbal sloppiness drilled out of them so that they can speak like confident adults.  Dell shareholders have been decimated by the company’s management, but can’t they at least expect similar self-mastery from Dell’s highly compensated leaders.

  2. Dear Dell:

    I would like to express my dissatisfaction with the Inspiron 1200 laptop I purchased for my daughter’s high school graduation gift.  It was purchased May 2005 and she used it at college until June 2006 when the screen suddenly would go black and stay black.  I understand there was only a 90 day warranty but the laptop quality did not last more than 12 months.  I find this product to be very poor quality.  I found a local computer tech to look it over and he had to send it to New Jersey, which was the only place that had a used inverter which was determined to be the problem.  $200 and a month later, I received the repaired laptop.  I am extremely angry that your product did not hold up to your considerable advertising.  In fact, when my other daughter graduates, I will be researching laptops more and I certainly will hesitate about buying another Dell product.  As it is, I have a Dell home computer system which I’ve had to call your service tech on and I was unable to get assistance due to the fact I could not understand your technician.  It has been an extremely frustating experience for me owning two Dell products.  Why can’t you stand behind your products better and do us all a favor and employ american people that speak the american language well enough to assist your customers.  Believe it or not, you depend on us as repeat customers, something I don’t believe you’ll be getting from me.  I am very angry about my laptop repair.  Perhaps someone from your company will read this letter and give me the courtesy of answering by e-mail my complaint.  “Dude, I got a Dell, but I should have gone with HP!”  Sincerely,  a disgruntled customer, Lynn Landry


  3. Lynn: Thanks for your comment.  Sorry that you had a bad experience dealing with Dell to get your daughter’s notebook fixed. Just so you know, we’ve increased the default warranty on all new systems to 1 year. This includes entry-level desktops and notebooks. Additionally, the warranty now includes basic operarating system support.  For a time, we charged for operating system issues.  Those are two changes that resulted from customer feedback.

    I know we have further to go, but we are making an effort to improve things for all of our customers. I hope when it’s time to upgrade the notebook, that you’ll consider Dell again.

  4. The break-out presentations lack inspiration. These are content light and backward focused. Nothing new, nothing that sets the company apart.

    Asserting that current actions and products are “leadership” is laughable. It is a shame to see that a once strong company was only strong because the competition was so pathetic.

  5. Lionel,

    The XPS 700 users are still awaiting responses.  It sure feels like we are being ignored and that the issues are just being swept under the carpet.

    We will not go away.  We paid too much for these systems to let our issues go.

    ChrisM is fully aware what I am talking about and I am sure you are to.

  6. Can you address the issues we are still facing daily with GX270s (and
    some GX280s) with bulging capacitors? – probably 50% of our current PCs
    out of over 3000 are GX270s – currently for every single PC we have to
    phone up, spend half an hour diagnostics with dell for them to arrange
    a motherboard replacement – in each instance we (myself and the Dell
    tech) knows that the problem is resolved by a motherboard replacement –
    this fixes 100% of the GX270s we’ve had problems with, yet this is
    taking hours of productivity (per incident) away from the staff we
    support and from us as IT support technicians – surely there is a
    quicker solution to this problem?

  7. Linonel,
    As a long time Dell user, and a very pleased one at that…..my heart goes out to these XPS700 owners.  Lionel they expected a roaring system not a cripled one.  No, I do not own one….but I have alot of empathy for these guys.

    Gamers want a machine that is expandable and not locked down.  They want the full 590 chip capabilites, the want unstraped down RAM, in short they want what all the other gameing systems provide.

    These people are so dissappointed  and I really feel bad for them.

    I own Dell stock, it has been going down.  Please Lionel, make it right by these guys.  That’s all that I am asking for them


  8.  Lionel,

    Thanks for the response.  Many of us have been trying to get Dell’s attention and have been ignored.  Our attitudes towards Dell have dramatically changed in the last 6 months.  Alot of us “enthusiasts” work in IT positions and recommend Dell each and every day.  It is getting harder and harder to recommend Dell when we continue to be ignored. Someone from Dell needs to take control of this XPS situation and speak to the XPS 700 community directly.  I am sure you agree, the longer that Dell is silent, the worse the situation gets:

    1. http://biz.yahoo.com/seekingalpha/060921/17293_id.html?.v=1

    2. Not to mention the Wall Street Journal article that was released today regarding the XPS 700. (Could not link to it but was released today.)

    As I mentioned before, we wont give up.  We were promised an enthusiast machine with a FUTURE upgradeability path.(BTX MOTHERBOARD, ETC)

    Were still waiting.  The numbers are growing on the forums..

    Thanks for listening.

  9. Josh: Thanks for the comment.  I’m looking into it and will let you know.

    Mr. Anderson: Thanks for your comment.  I hear you loud and clear. Know that there are several questions from XPS 700 customers. I’ll continue to seek clarification from the development team and others.  Please be patient.

  10. B.L. Ochman: Sorry for the additional frustrations with your desktop. Lots of
    people here at Dell are committed to improving our customer service overall. 
    We’ll continue to make incremental improvements where we can, but we recognize
    that it will take time to get where we want to be.

  11. I just skimmed the 10 most recent posts to the “Customer Experience” blog. 8 of 10 (including this one) appear to be off topic. They include PR posts, battery recall posts (which have their own blog) and posts about specific hardware models.

    You can’t fix Dell customer service problems by creating a new initiative, giving it a new name, rolling it out with a big PR announcement and then trying to sell it to an audience who consist largely of people who are still struggling with the existing system. The last thing that most customers want to hear is positive spin. We want solutions to our problems — now.

    Dell 2.0 means nothing to a customer with a 10 week old notebook that has intermittent video problems, who just can’t face running the technical support gaunlet again. It amounts to battle fatigue: you get to the point where you can’t bring yourself begin the process because you already know the level of time and committment that it will take to get the problem diagnosed and repaired.

    There are people right now on the Dell support forums who share common problems and who try to get each other to “phone it in” in the hopes that they can avoid the inevitable 1 hour and 45 minutes on the phone that it will take to get some action. To them (us) Dell 2.0 has no meaning.

  12. Glen T.: I’ll take the blame for the categorization.  If the posts (or the links within them) have some element of Customer Experience in them, then I’ll include them in that category. 

    Laura Bosworth and Downs Deering both blog about CE-related issues.  We don’t yet have functionality built in yet, but soon, you’ll be able to access posts by individual.

  13. I have never been so frustrate by the lack of support by a company.   I have a laptop that has had hard disk issues since I have had the computer.  The computer did not come with XP disks or a boot disk and I am now getting “Files not found” error and cannot even do a restore.  I need to replace the harddrive but need an opperating system software to load.  I have searched the Dell web site for the ability to order the XP opperating system but cannot find that option anywhere.  Dell was at one time one of the better manufactures but with such terrible customer support, even a good hardware manufacter will not last long.  If you read their own press, you would link they are the best at customer service.  It is too bad that their customers do not feel the same way.  With such lack of support, I do not know how anybody could recommend Dell.

  14. David: Sorry for the poor support experience you’ve had with us up to this point.  I’ve emailed you seeking more details.  From there, I’ll have someone on the Support team follow up with you.

  15. The Dell brand offers such a rich potential for a positive on-linne puchase expereince, however, that has not been my case. Its obvious that customer service is a bureaucratic mess which is an afterthought instead of a primary focus. For example, the phone system “info tree” is something from the dark ages forcing you to go to the end to get information. Of course, the experience does not seem to want the caller to talk to a live person (whom I’m guessing is woefully unprepaired to help anyway). I’ve had shipping issues and now billing issues and there ought to be an expediant way to handle these issues, without taxing my time and patience.

    The web experience is not much better requiring up-front information which you may or may not have. The search system was very taxing to get the data I needed to support my querry. We’re all busy so ease of use is a primary concern. It appears the customer service management is ill-prepaired to deal with these issues as these problems are not new if you review the media. They cannot possibly be measuring performance as how could you continue such poor performance without doing something about it. Lastly, I equate the level of expertise here at Dell with the old AT&T, possibly the worst ever. Now they’re a model of how to do things.

    You need to face up that future purchases depend on  the level of service.

    Dell’s reputation continues to spirial down based on poor customer service execution. I would love to spend a day in their headquarters questoning the people who are in charge of these areas. They are NOT thinking about customers that’s for sure.

    Dan Stellmaker

    Union City, CA


  16. I need a restore disk for my Dell laptop….operating system XP….please let me know how I can obtain this from you. I have already spoken to your techinal support….not resolved yet….if you look at my customer file you will see I recently got a home desk top…ordered under the name Joe Bickham and also a Dell laptop under Hilda Bickham….Please tell me how I can order this disk…Thank you!

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