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Dell boss says IT firm up to speed for Games

THE boss of IT giant Dell in the UK has declared the firm is on track to fulfil its role as sole computer hardware and data centre supplier to this summer's Commonwealth Games.

Managing director Tim Griffin was in Glasgow to meet Games' chief information officer Brian Nourse as the firm and organising committee work on the "incredible logistical challenge" of meeting the event's technological needs.

As official IT sponsor, Dell will provide thousands of computers and back-up support such as data storage, results monitoring and ensuring competitors are able to maintain their social media profiles.

With the opening ceremony just three and a half months away, Dell, which employs 600 staff at its base in Glasgow's east end, revealed it has started delivering what will ultimately be 2,400 desktop and notebook computers to the Games' venues.

The equipment and services Dell is providing will be used by the 1,600 staff directly working on the Games, as well as for visiting organising committees and journalists.

Noting that Dell has "just been through a well-publicised privatisation", with founder Michael Dell taking back the business he founded 30 years ago, Mr Griffin said the sponsorship marked a key staging post in the company's evolution.

Mr Griffin said: "We've leveraged the Glasgow involvement very heavily to help position us much more as a solutions provider end to end. We have been able to use our association with the Games and specific athletes - we have a number of ambassadors we have engaged - to help us position ourselves as a solutions provider.

"Because of the nature of the way the Dell business has evolved over time, a lot of the public perception is that we are a consumer IT company.

"It couldn't be further from the truth in terms of where our out business is focused. It's much more around providing business solutions to corporate. So being able to talk about the range of solutions we provide has really helped."

Mr Griffin added that the company has been able to draw on its experience supporting similar events, notably the previous Com-monwealth Games in Delhi and Melbourne and the Olympics in Beijing, to help ensure preparations have been as smooth as possible.

Asked to comment on the challenges involved in delivering the Games from an IT perspective, Mr Nourse, who was also involved in Mel-bourne and Delhi, highlighted gaining access to venues which are heavily used by communities, the scope of the requirements, and a lack of opportunity to test the systems.

He said: "Testing is always a challenge because you can never do enough testing.

"We have quite a significant testing programme that's been underway for a number of months, particularly around the timing, scoring and results aspect, but also the infrastructure we have been building.

"The reality of a Games environment is that we never get the opportunity to have everything live to be able to test in.

"There are a number of strategies and plans we undertake to deal with that, and a lot of that has been underway for some time."

Meanwhile, Mr Griffin declared Dell has been "fighting our corner well" and held its market share throughout the recession.

He noted: "I'm delighted we have bounced back through that. We're No.1 in terms of share of the PC marketplace... and will con-tinue to look to win."

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