Flexible working is in our DNA: Alok Ohrie, President & MD, Dell Technologies India

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April 30, 2020 1:30 AM

In collaboration with the health ministry, Dell has prepared a Covid-19 awareness video for community health workers,which is available on the ministry website in 10 regional languages.

Alok Ohrie, president & managing director, Dell TechnologiesAlok Ohrie, president & managing director, Dell Technologies

The coronavirus pandemic has forced majority of businesses globally to work from home. Committed to ensuring business continuity for its customers, Dell Technologies is promoting greater engagement through collaboration tools and promoting online productivity tools. “We believe that a modern workforce is a connected workforce and the current situation requires a digital workplace—personalised team member experience, simplified IT consumption and enabled dynamic teams,” Alok Ohrie, president & managing director, Dell Technologies, tells Sudhir Chowdhary in an interview. Excerpts:

Given the current situation, what are the measures that Dell Technologies is taking to manage its workforce?
Our top priority is the safety and well-being of our team members, customers, partners and the community in which we work and live. We quickly enabled a work-from-home posture globally and have adopted technology to stay connected with our teams and customers. We are fully prepared to support this flexible work environment.
Our remote/flex work journey started about a decade ago and flexible working is in our DNA. We had implemented this as a company initiative many years ago. Dell has the infrastructure, automation, monitoring tools and network topology, which has been empowering work from home for our team members. Our infrastructure is being used to manage our facilities remotely, securing workspaces and seamless connectivity, to enable all our team members to be productive from any location.

Some of the key steps undertaken are: Activated corporate crisis management teams (CMT) have been set to collaborate, assess and respond to team members; Mobilised remote workforce by providing flexibility to all the team members to choose the work style that best fits their needs; Educating all the team members about the importance of health and safety, based on WHO guidelines; Digital enablement through modern operating models with the help of cybersecurity, infrastructure and team member experience teams.

We are promoting greater engagement through collaboration tools and promoting online productivity tools. A modern workforce is a connected workforce and the current situation requires a digital workplace—personalised team member experience, simplified IT consumption and enabled dynamic teams.

What are the customer concerns you are hearing about in this environment?
Given the current situation, businesses are required to be closer to their customers and their business partners than ever before. Dell Technologies has rolled out its own work-from-home guidance and has been supporting customers accordingly. We have our business continuity plans and our supply chain and services teams are working to help customers meet their business-critical technology needs. To ensure business continuity:

Our services and sales teams, supply chain and partners are working to meet our customers’ business-critical technology needs;
We are providing up-to-date information to our customers, partners and sales people; All Dell Technologies’ products are manufactured in accordance with our global health and safety policy and undergo rigorous screening prior to shipment regardless of factory location;
Our tech support teams continue to serve our customers’ needs globally, by working from home where needed or shifting support calls to other locations.

What is the feedback you are receiving from partners and external stakeholders?
Our partners are as much concerned about the ongoing changes, as all of us. The current situation demands businesses to collaborate and address the challenges together. Businesses which are agile, responsive and are able to address changing needs of the customers will thrive in this unpredictable time. Customers and partners are looking up to technology players like Dell, to enable business continuity response processes to mitigate fluid situations. Flexible supply chains, technology-driven organisations, which allows flexible workforce, will see opportunities of growth.

We understand that financing and cash flow liquidity play an important role in any business continuity plan. Many of our partners may need help in this area, as they try to serve their customers and help their employees remain productive during this difficult time. Keeping that in mind, we have launched a Partner Relief Package to provide immediate financial relief to our metaled partners, while helping them build capabilities and pipeline for the future.

In addition to this, Dell Technologies Working Capital Solutions (WCS) Programme and Dell Financial Services (DFS) are working on ways to continue supporting partners, to help them support their customers. We are also introducing new team-based pricing options for solutions providers to make all training more affordable for our partners’ teams.

Have you seen a surge in demand for laptops and cloud enterprise services?
We are seeing interest in remote work solutions including business PCs, Workspace One, Virtualisation and SD-WAN solutions, monitors, and other peripherals. We’re using our flexible supply chain to fulfill orders as quickly as possible, exploring all sourcing, production and logistics strategies to best meet our customers’ needs.

We have enabled all our team members to take the devices home, where applicable, to ensure productivity. Video conferencing and frequent communications are very critical, currently. Virtual platforms like Zoom and Skype are ensuring that there are no disruptions, while engaging with customers, partners and even team members.

Are you working on any special projects with the government considering the present situation?
Our priority is to preserve the health and safety of our team members and their families, and support our customers, partners and our communities. We have developed a focused approach to support the government through various efforts nationwide. Some of the key initiatives are:

Dell is technology partner to ministry of family health and welfare for the Ayushman Bharat Non Communicable Diseases (NCD) programme and has developed a technology platform which is being used across 21 states. The Dell team is enhancing the NCD software system with a module for Covid19 Risk Assessment and monitoring of NCD patients.

In collaboration with the health ministry, Dell has prepared a Covid-19 awareness video for community health workers,which is available on the ministry website in 10 regional languages.

Through our partnership with Invest India—a national investment promotion and facilitation agency of NITI Aayog, we are contributing Rs 3 crore to provide Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers. We have provided 25,000 N95 masks to healthcare professionals through Invest India.

To help the daily wagers, who have been the worst-hit community in India, due to lockdown, we are focusing on fund-raising efforts to support them with our NGO partner HOPE Foundation.

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