Unlocking technology for medium and start-up companies

A group working around the Dell C7520QT monitor. Picture supplied by Dell SA

Cost and scale are no longer barriers for medium-size businesses to adopt enterprise-grade technologies. The powerful systems that raised the game of enterprises are now also open to smaller, agile, start-up and niche businesses.

That’s according to Sabine Dedering, Regional Sales Director at Dell Technologies South Africa, who said medium and start-up businesses have very similar needs to a large company, but not necessarily the internal resources to always pull it off.

“Dell Technologies worldwide has a lot of focus on the medium business. This includes South Africa, where we established a dedicated medium business team about a year ago.”

She said medium-sized businesses – those typically between 100 and 1,000 IT users – do not necessarily have smaller IT footprints than their enterprise peers. Some manage large and complicated accounts or service enormous user-bases among their customers.

“In the big picture, they deal with the same complex market demands that the large players do, but until recently often had to make do with much less in access to technology due to constrained resources such as limited IT teams and budgets.”

She said this balance shifted dramatically with the advent of cloud, scalable services and hyper-converged infrastructure. Yet despite the doors opening, the traditional gatekeepers – other vendors and their partners – still habitually focus on enterprise players. It undermines the new possibilities technology can offer to medium businesses, a world that often marches to the beat of its own drums.

“These are not small customers,” Dedering explained, referring to medium-sized companies. “Sometimes they are market leaders in a specific niche. But they don’t have thousands of people. You get your traditional companies that may have a few hundred employees. They provide a certain service on a regional basis or in a niche market and might never grow much beyond that because that’s what they do really well.”

Ambitions to use modern enterprise-grade technologies can be purely functional, such as hunting for efficiencies and streamlining processes. But they can also include the adoption of emerging technologies such as machine learning, mobile workforces, predictive analytics, real-time data, Internet of Things (IoT), automation and active business continuity.

These capabilities are available because their services are able to fit the mould of the business, instead of traditional monolithic technology systems that dictate cost and availability.

“But just because the technology is more accessible doesn’t make its adoption seamless. That still requires a business-first view and as such a reliable partner. Too many vendor ecosystems obsess over large enterprises. But Dell Technologies has seen the demand from medium businesses and is actively meeting them on their terms,” Dedering said.

In line with this position, there will be a stand dedicated to medium businesses at the Dell Technologies Forum on 27 June at the Sandton Convention Centre. To attend for free, register here. – GeekWire.co.za