An Interview with Mr. Donald Heath and Mr. Steven Mast of Dell
New York, NY -- As part of ongoing effort to bring you the inside scoop from the major players in the printing industry, we were able to speak to representatives from Dell, Inc. Joining us for this interview from Dell are Mr. Donald Heath and Mr. Steven Mast, senior product managers in Dell’s printing and imaging group.
Dell has traditionally been strong in customer support and customer loyalty. Going forward, does Dell see itself focusing more any more on one area of the printer market (e.g. consumer, business, etc.) than any other? Also, given the high cost of ink, does Dell see itself changing ink prices or developing a low cost ink like Lexmark (510 pages for $4.99) in the near future?
Over the past 2 years, Dell has expanded our printer lineup to provide full coverage of the customer spectrum, from entry consumer inkjets up to high duty cycle workgroup multifunction printers with advanced workflow solution support, including new 11x17 format offerings. We will continue to provide products covering this broad spectrum of customer needs moving forward. Our consumables pricing is highly competitive among our peers in the industry and in most cases we can demonstrate Total Cost of Printing savings relative to like industry products. This is especially notable when factoring in our free fuser replacement during the warranty period, standard 3-year warranty on 5000-series lasers, and advanced exchange warranty (not return to depot) as the base warranty even on our entry level printers.
How long has Dell been making and selling printers? Does Dell make their own printers or do they buy the engines from another company?
A: Dell has been making and selling printers since 2002. We view our technology partnerships with printing no different than we view our partnerships in any other part of the business. We have partnerships with Xerox, Lexmark, Kodak, Samsung – we leverage the very best in the industry to deliver the very best to customers. We make a lot of investments ourselves in terms of industrial design and intellectual property. We take these parts from partners and improve them to make them the best in the industry. You can buy print engines from anybody – what makes an interesting product is the service and support model around it, the look and feel, management tools, etc. – all of those are what we make investments in.
An article appeared earlier this year on the PC World website with regards to Dell and MPS. Are the three platforms, the Health Care, Classroom, and Legal being met with the same level of success you anticipated? If you can comment, where is the next sector Dell plans to hit?
Dell does not comment on specific sales numbers. However, the three Solutions launched earlier in the year have been received with much interest by our customers in Healthcare, Legal and Education markets, as each of them combines the ability to print, copy, scan and fax into one efficient footprint, with specially designed healthcare, education and legal functions that are easily accessed through icons on the MFP’s user-friendly touch screen, allowing clinical, educators and legal staff to complete complicated workflow processes easily, while reducing costs and improving productivity.
Dell currently provides managed print services for a number of our larger Dell Managed Services customers as well as a Dell-enabled, partner-managed solution for small to medium organizations. We continue to evaluate the market opportunity and gather customer input. Dell has not formally announced plans to provide a standalone managed print services offering.
What trends or new technologies does Dell see coming down the line both for themselves and the printer industry as a whole?
There are several trends that will shape the printing industry in the years ahead. Environmental concerns are a top concern for many organizations and consumers and we expect to see more power efficient technologies moving forward including better toner formulations that reduce melting points (therefore reducing fuser temperatures and power consumption), smarter power save modes with more configurable parameters, use of more recycle materials, less weight, new innovative packaging design and more environmental features like duplexer standard, new font design, smarter software to reduce paper waste (e.g. skip blank pages) and ability to print on 100% recycled paper across all printers. Equally important, organizations of all sizes are looking to save money and printing costs are high on the list of cost saving opportunities. One trend we see is consolidation of distributed, smaller printers across the enterprise to smarter, more powerful multifunction devices with lower cost per print and a more robust set of printer management tools. Also, many organization are looking for Managed Print Services as a way to reduce their printing costs.
HP has made news in the recent weeks with their ePrint solution. Has Dell talked about anything like that? Is Proximity Printing moving along as expected?
Dell Proximity Printing (DPP) Solution has been well received by our customers. They have recognized the many benefits of Dell Proximity Printing Solution (DPPS) as a mobility solution whereas it enables employees to access any nearby printer resource on the network, regardless of its brand or location, using a map of the enterprise network that highlights the location of printer devices. Dell continues to invest heavily in printing software and solutions to meet our customer’s needs, including mobility solutions.