Dell UK MD Hopes For Boost From Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Tim Griffin tells TechWeekEurope that Glasgow 2014 will show people that Dell isnt just a PC company

As official hardware supplier to the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014, Dell plans to bask in the reflected glory of British sport, and take the opportunity to prove it is no longer just a PC manufacturer.

To run the tech side of the Games, Dell will provide 1,500 desktops, 200 laptops and around 60 servers,  in more than 40 competition and non-competition venues, assisting organisers and spectators with everything from ticketing to security,Tim Griffin, vice president and managing director of Dell UK, told TechWeekEurope.

With just one year to go until the opening ceremony, Griffin says that Dell’s involvement will bring many benefits to the company and showcase its recent transformation.

Dell’s transformation

Tim Griffin Dell UK MD“There’s a decent amount of public image we will get in terms of our positioning in the various different venues, which is good, obviously,” he said. “But the biggest ambition for us is not to be positioned as a PC company.”

“We’ve been in businesses for 29 years now and for the vast majority of that time we were a PC company and we were a hardware company. We’re very different today.”

Dell has made a number of acquisitions in the enterprise, service and software spaces, while its takeover of Wyse has given it a foothold in thin clients.

Although Dell is working to a pre-agreed deployment schedule, Griffin says its portfolio of products and services meant it was able to meet new requests from the organisers that weren’t even present at the start of the project.

“Our technology is intended to ensure the smooth running of the games and the enjoyment of both athletes and spectators,” he said. “It’s everything from the data input from the various different venues, to providing desktops and notebooks, to officials across the games. In the back end we’ve got server storage to process all that information and generate results in real time.”

Business boost

The recent success of British athletes and the hosting of the London Olympics last year has arguable made sport  more popular in the UK than ever, and Dell hopes that a successful Commonwealth Games will allow it to capitalise on the national sentiment.

“I think the Commonwealth Games allows us to build on that legacy and there is clearly an emotional engagement at a deeper level for the general population around sport,” said Griffin. “For companies like Dell that can facilitate these achievements, there is a halo effect.

Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games 1“We’re trying to support that triumph of human endeavour and to get associated with it across the broader population.”

To this end, Dell has recruited four sporting ambassadors for Glasgow 2014 who will be involved in a range of marketing and advertising activities for the company in the lead up to the games. These are Lynsey Sharp, Scotland’s 800 metre European Champion, cyclist Elinor Barker and two-time Paralympic gold medallist swimmers Sam and Oliver Hynd.

Scotland’s games

All four will use Dell technology in their training regime to demonstrate the company’s products and services, especially tablets, which Griffin boasted are different from the competition because they are completely focused around businesses.

He freely admitted that the contract was designed to promote and showcase Dell’s business, but Griffin also stressed there was a strong community aspect to this partnership, especially since Dell has many employees in Scotland.

“We have our people in Scotland involved with the volunteering process, we have close ties with the Commonwealth Games organising committee and they’re coming over and spending time with our teams,” he said. “With a year to go, I actually think the legacy within Glasgow and beyond will be longer than the Olympics.”

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