back to article CEO Dell: We're losing our religion

Dell today leaked a memo to the press, hoping to prove that it's serious about making a strong comeback. CEO Michael Dell penned the memo that went out first to employees and then shortly thereafter to the Wall Street Journal, once Dell's PR team gave the all clear. The e-mail made ample use of broad statements and rhetoric to …


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  1. Frank

    Dell 2.0 or Dell -2.0

    So what is this all about, Dell 2.0!

    As a former employee, I have seen the mails above and some more.

    Is that what Dell is about? According to Micheal Dell it is and I really value his opinion and vision.

    BUT and yes there is a big BUT!

    Does this reflect the business hwere the business is done? In the support departments? NO, it does not.

    I have tried to get in contact with Mr. Dell, from the inside, but did not get any reaction on my mails ( the vision of his emplyees is valued? or not).

    I have seen, each and every person who dared to tell management that they did something wrong, get fired! Is this the way to deal with positive critizism?

    It is not all about prizes in the market, but most off all about the support people get from the company after they bought there servers.And those contracts run for 3 to 5 years. What has gone wrog over the last years will show itself in the loss of these contracts. And those contracts can only return after another 3-5 years. The business is goneor a long time (Dell lost out on a Euro 30 million deal in the Netherlands, for example, caused by bad support)

    So what is the real cause?

    First off all, bad management, no direction where to go to and most important off all Dell management is fooled by lower management, as the data fromsurveys is"adapted" to look good.Techs are put under so much pressure that there is no oe sitting in the supportfor more than 2 years.

    And as a last point, the reliability of the products. None of the Dell servers are reliable. Each server series has problems, problems the employees are forbiden to tell the customers, but cause data loss on storage devices.

    I have stated that this company is rotten from the inside, in my letter to Michael Dell and I stay to that.

    After two years with Dell, I could write a book, how the Micheal Dell way does not work. Neither for employees as for customers.

    I have finished my letter to Michael Dell, stating that I would not advice Dell to any of the people I know or companies I work for.

    Neither would I have my enimies work for Dell as a company, there is no one who deserves that.

  2. Wade Burchette

    Dell not #1 because of not listening

    Instead of giving customers what they wanted, AMD products, Dell was too busy telling them what they wanted. That is why Dell is no longer #1. Dell is still Intel's lapdog, which is the key problem of Dell. Intel says jump, Dell jump; Intel says "Don't sell AMD until we offer the better product called Core 2, that way we can claim we aren't anticompetitive", Dell says "Yes Lord".

    American automakers have been doing that too, and they are bleeding money. Ford, GM, Chrysler tell Americans they want big vehicles despite rising gas costs. And when demand cools, they sell them for even less instead of changing their focus. Brilliant. It is no wonder Daimler wants to ditch Chrysler. It is no wonder GM is losing ground quickly to Toyota.

    You don't gain customers by telling customers what they want. You make products people want. It is a simple lesson that big corporation fail to put into practice.

  3. Craig Foster

    Ho hum

    I've tried three time to get Dell to accept my order of a AU$4000 laptop, and between the cart expiring after one day (once) or Dell losing my damn order and tracking number (twice) I find it hard to recommend Dell to anyone else.

    Dell couldn't make money even if we offered it to them :S

    There's at least half of the laptops, for teachers at our school, becoming ready for renewal. Guess who the deals won't be going to...

  4. Jack Pastor

    Same old Story

    Dell had quietly been in the Channels for years. Compaq salespeople used to fume, seeing stacks of Dell boxes in reseller warehouses where fresh custom images has just been applied and 3rd party add-ins installed.

    And they've been chattering on for YEARS that they will bring the "Dell Effect" to the Services biz.

    Hey Dell !! Ya can't do that with slave-wage dumb-ass college grad employees. Experienced people won't take a job with a quarterly probation.

    Why not stick to what got you where you were in the first place. Sell mediocre boxes cheap, and replace them right away when a customer has a problem.

    You ain't in the league with HP, IBM or even Sun !! Why not just roll in tour own mud, and enjoy it??

  5. Mark Walmsley

    What about quality of hardware.

    Mr. Dell never addresses the real problem with Dell, and that’s Quality. I have a couple of Dell laptops in my back room that died 2 days after a one year warranty. Also a big 27 inch lcd tv and many reading this also do. I have many friends in the IT industry all have stopped buying Dell products for 2 reasons. The first is quality of their products second is you have a hard time talking to someone that can speak English when you have a problem.

    Word of mouth is a powerful thing Mr. Dell your company squander all the good will it had. My HP laptops are on their second year and still running fine and some of my Toshiba laptops are approaching four years and more wish I had a Dell product that last that long.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nothing ever changes.....

    The problem with a lot of these companies is that they don't listen to their employees. From what I have heard and what I have read, Dell is yet another classic example of this. At one time I really wanted to work for Dell. Now that I have moved to Round Rock, I have no interest in working for them now that I have spoken to some of the people who work there.

    It would appear that a lot of people cover their butts and would not go out of their way to help anyone else. Why should they? What's in it for them? A very sad culture.

    But I guess Michael Dell will not listen to the likes of me, someone with more common sense than degrees. Need to motivate people to work harder and actually take pride in what they do, then I can help. But hey, I suppose you are better with all those MBA types.

    Like the old saying goes, "It takes 9 months for a woman to have a baby, but an MBA will tell you that if you get 9 women, it will only take a month."

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yeah yeah yeah, same old song & dance

    Mikey just doesn't get it... I'll be the first to admit that as far as equipment goes, Dell makes some of the best. It's relatively affordable too. Where Mr. Dell completely misses the point is support. People have bitched, moaned, written and complained, but does he listen? No.

    Corporate support is adequate, but consumer support? Not on a bet. The amount of ineptitude I have personally witnessed makes me want to tell people to go to HP, Gateway or Sony.

    To put it into perspective, Dell's consumer support is sub-par to AOL's and that's on a very good day.

  8. Warren Buckles

    What's R&D when you build commodity systems?

    Dell did its thing by wringing every ounce of fat out of a commodity product.

    This means they have no R&D to speak of - just a bunch of packagers who have never felt any stake in the company besides their paychecks; all the kudos have gone to the marketers.

    They bought alienware because it looked like something they recognized: a packaging operation. Then they sucked all the air out of the design staff and turned a half-interesting product into another ho-hum box.

    I can't see them producing anything innovative or even interesting, and anyone bought by them will bleed talent. Nobody ever advanced at Dell by taking design risks - marketing, yes, design, no, and the creative staff of their takeover targets will wait just long enough for their stock to get in the money and head for the hills.

    If Dell is serious about getting some new products out, they have to turn the whole corporate culture around, and that just won't happen - anybody high enough up in the operation will be threatened and go into CYA mode.

    Maybe they can turn their Titanic around, but for now Dell is just iceberg bait.


  9. Clay Garland

    Dell 2.0. . .

    Well, the cornerstone of their "new" business model is to essentially copy Apple and have their own retail stores. Only problem with that idea is the fact they they will probably end up in the same place ans the maligned Gateway store. Why? Apple has unique products, sold at unique stores, that are pleasant to be in and staffed with, for the most part, employees who wish to be genuinely helpful. Dell, however, will be trying to emulate this model with bland products, in bland stores, with dumb clerks trying their best to make a commission by saying whatever computer mumbo jumbo they can muster up in hopes of confusing the consumer into buying something that they likely do not need.

  10. Chris Reynolds

    Don't knock Dell's African business

    Dell's EMEA Distributor Business is a significant part of its EMEA operation.

    Dell sells through distributors in the following African countries:

    Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Equatorial Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, RDC, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe

    Individually, these markets may not be large enough for Dell to deal direct in, but together they make a reasonable contribution to Dell's bottom line.

    Don't forget that the A of EMEA stands for Africa. It may be home to abject poverty and warfare, but it's also a market that Dell operate in and which MSD has every right to mention.

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