Direct in diversity
By Bill Amelio (February 2003)
If there is one question that is most asked of Dell in Asia Pacific/Japan (APJ) it is, "How do you make it all work in this amazingly diverse region?" People have a healthy curiosity about how we adapt the Dell direct model for this region of the world. The answer is simple: We remain attentive and relevant to customer needs.
Averaging 10 percent of the company's global revenues, our region may be smallest in contribution, but consider this: By 2003, APJ is expected to surpass Europe as the second-largest PC market. By 2005, APJ will be the largest1 PC market in the world. China and India alone account for nearly 38 percent of the world's population2 and PC penetration rates are as low as 2.7 and 0.73 percent respectively for these countries. The region clearly offers tremendous opportunity to Dell-as long as we continue to customise our model and solutions to fit local realities.
Direct customer feedback in Japan has contributed to the launch of innovative, relevant products such as the DellTM DimensionTM 4500C, Dell LatitudeTM X200, and, most recently, the Dell OptiPlexTM SX260, our smallest desktop in history for space-conscious users. Similarly, when faced with the reality of Japanese consumers' preference for touching and feeling products before purchasing them, the local team launched the "Dell Real Site" program. Today, that program successfully features more than 30 display outlets in principal cities, much to our customers' delight.
To maintain our promise of making business with Dell an easy experience, we have also launched some creative customer-oriented initiatives in China. Among various payment options, consumers here can, at their convenience, pay on delivery through handheld terminals with their bank cards. Or if they prefer, they can pay at selected local banks.
We have found that the best policy is to be direct-a principle that resonates with customers everywhere, across nationalities and geographic boundaries. A good case in point is Dell's High Performance Computing Clusters (HPCC) program. Combining a large number of individual standards-based servers to function as a single, extremely powerful system at a fraction of the cost of traditional proprietary supercomputers, HPCC is increasingly winning over some of the region's reputable institutions such as Australia's Swinburne University and the National University of Singapore's School of Computing.
We believe that the best in customisation is yet to come. How do we get there? By asking our customers to keep telling us what they want-straight, simple, and direct.
Bill Amelio is a Dell senior vice president and the president of Dell Asia-Pacific/Japan.