It’s an understatement to say that the COVID-19 outbreak is putting a strain on business. Throughout the country and world, people are being told to stay home, and aside from businesses deemed “essential” (e.g. groceries, pharmacies, and liquor stores) pretty much everything else is closed indefinitely. The government has swooped in with the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which authorizes forgivable loans to small businesses so that they can continue to pay their employees during the crisis. Still, this only goes so far, and doesn’t really meet the needs for technology infrastructure. As a tech analyst, I’ve been concerned about this, and was heartened to see the likes of HPE and Cisco stepping up with initiatives to inject much needed liquidity into the economy (follow the hyperlinks to read more about these efforts). Dell Technologies is another company who has sought to reduce the financial burden on its partners and customers—first with programs to aid its channel partners (announced two weeks ago), and this week, with the major unveiling of a $9B financing program to support its customers. Today I’d like to take a closer look at these efforts, and how they stand to alleviate customer and partner financial strain during these challenging times.
Massive relief initiative
The world may be mostly closed for in-person business, but that doesn’t mean businesses’ infrastructure gets a break. If anything, with more people learning and working from home than ever before, infrastructure is working overtime. Against that backdrop, this week Dell Financial Services announced the availability of $9B in financing for customers struggling to fund their critical infrastructure needs. The heart of the initiative is the company’s new Payment Flexibility Program, which gives customers the option to defer payment for 180 days, with 0% interest rates on all of the company’s infrastructure solutions. In other words, customers can gain access to any Dell Technologies infrastructure offering now when they need it, without having to make any up-front payments.
The company’s Dell Technologies On Demand program for flexible infrastructure consumption is also being modified to suit the current times. In addition to the three- to five-year term options that were previously available, there is now a one-year term option for businesses who want to utilize Dell’s hyperconverged, hybrid cloud, storage and data protection solutions on a pay-per-use basis.
In addition to critical infrastructure, the 180-day deferral of payment also applies to commercial laptops, desktops, and services—all of which are in demand now to support the massive work-from-home migration. Additionally, Dell says it is offering short 6 to 12-month terms and rotation options on laptops and desktops. This could be attractive for those remote workers and students who expect to go back to the office or campus after the country reopens.
Dell says its commitment also covers its channel and global alliance partners whose customers utilize Dell Financial Services. Two weeks ago, the company announced its plans to deliver immediate financial aid to its Gold, Platinum and Titanium partners. This relief comes in a few forms. Dell says it will deliver one-time cash payouts for up to 50% of partner Market Development Fund (or Business Development Fund) balances, to be used for marketing efforts. Approved partners will get the money up front immediately, which Dell says will free up critical cash flow. Applications for the program are open now until June 20th. The company also announced it extended the unspent earned MDF/BDF that was set to expire between March and July to July 24th.
Dell also announced it will waive the fees for Services Deployment training for solutions providers looking to improve competency with Dell’s Unity XT, VxRail and DP4400 offerings. Dell’s solutions providers will also have access to the company’s new, affordable team-based pricing options for training. For the sake of distributors, the company also decided to remove client solutions growth targets for the first half of FY21 and increase base rates.
Many Dell partners and customers are no doubt thankful to have the company on their side during all of this. As I said earlier, it’s important that organizations keep their critical infrastructure humming to support the demands of wide-scale working-from-home and remote learning. Dell’s relief programs make sure that the immediate financial concerns which many small businesses are facing won’t prohibit them from getting the technology they need to power through.
Note: Moor Insights & Strategy writers and editors may have contributed to this article.