Company Name: Dell
Interview with Christopher Moran, Dell OEM–Americas Program Marketing
Why did Dell decide to develop the OptiPlex XE PC?
For those readers not familiar with Dell OEM Solutions, we power companies who want to turn their intellectual property into solutions for their customers. These companies (also referred to as manufacturers or OEM customers) can leverage Dell’s world class engineering and supply chain capabilities to help their customers focus on what matters most—innovation. We deliver world-class hardware and services and work with customers in over 40 vertical and sub-vertical markets.
How is this product different from similar PCs on the market today?
Designed to withstand challenging conditions such as 24/7 operations, high heat, dust, and wet environments, the OptiPlex XE is an industrial PC that delivers on Dell’s commitment to purpose-built solutions for manufacturers. The system is easily placed within medical carts, kiosks, retail POS solutions, and other custom deployments that may require easy remote management and long-term system stability options. Unique features include:
• Heat tolerance up to 131°F with optional ducting kit and a ‘mount virtually anywhere’ capability, ideal for enclosed spaces, while standard port covers offer basic dust protection and an optional dust filter is designed to help reduce system downtime normally associated with dust removal.
• Long-term system stability with a 3-year sales lifecycle and 6-month managed transition period making it easy to maintain a consistent environment while planning for future deployment.
• Highly customizable service and support solutions throughout the PC lifecycle with Dell ProSupport and Dell ProManage.
Any problems come up during the development process?
The biggest challenge we faced during development was ensuring the resulting product would deliver on the requirements our customers demanded. Because the OptiPlex XE would often be placed where airflow was sub-optimal—such as inside cabinets or under desks—we had to ensure the system could tolerate these harsh environments.
How long did it take from conception to final production?
What effect did cost factors have in changing the final design of the product?
Dell OEM Solutions realized the need for this type of hardened system for markets like kiosks, factory automation, and retail. We built the OptiPlex XE from the ground up and designed it specifically for our OEM customers. The development cycle for this product—from conception to final production—was roughly two years.
We always consider cost when designing products, both from the development and customer perspective. One huge benefit for Dell OEM is that we can leverage existing Dell development investments. What’s unique about products like the OptiPlex XE is the impetus to build the product out of a customer’s direct request. Based on that request and size of the resulting opportunity, we can justify investing where needed to meet customers’ requirements. Additionally, once the product is built, our sales teams are able to leverage the product for other customers and use cases. From the customer’s perspective, we can provide world-class, dedicated engineering and supply-chain capabilities, allowing manufacturers to focus on innovation while reducing operational costs.
Who is your target audience and what benefits will they achieve from using the OptiPlex XE?
The primary audience for the OptiPlex XE PC is manufacturers who require a PC that can stand up to challenging environments. We are working with customers across all verticals, including retail, healthcare, industry automation, aerospace and defense, and many more.
Is there any other interesting information you want to include?
Dell OEM Solutions is unique in that we’re a global tier-1 manufacturer whose product portfolio reflects the customer challenges we’ve been asked to help solve in order to help customers design, deliver, and support end-user solutions to new markets. Our business was conceived and continues to flourish through direct collaboration with our customers.