The Salon des Entrepreneurs is a really valuable event as it gives young entrepreneurs the opportunity to meet with technology advisors face to face and get advice and information on how the right technology can really help them become run their business more effectively – regardless of size! For example – mobility for young entrepreneurs is key for a busy professional life, where business trips are numerous and security vital. So, bearing that in mind we showcased Vostro and Latitude – two ranges are specifically aimed at small to medium-sized business and dedicated to mobility. We also demonstrated our Latitude XT2 notebook and the Inspiron One 19 Touch our latest examples of tactile technology and great mobility.
We took the opportunity to learn what small businesses and in particular start ups need and want to help the run their business and learn more about their choices of IT solutions. Many of them give us direct feedback so that we can work on the development of new solutions for small to medium-sized businesses.
The second highlight of this year’s Salon des Entrepreneurs was a conference organised by Dell on IT tools for small to medium-sized businesses. With a 50 strong audience, mainly from small businesses, the conference was led by Arnaud Le Gal, Editorial Director of the publication L’Entreprise. Olivier Midière, President of the CGPME Commission for IT Development was also present, along with representatives from two businesses: Implanet (winner of Dell’s Small Business Excellence Award in 2009 and specialist in orthopaedic surgical implants) and Adhara (a nationwide network of IT training centres). These two companies talked about some of their innovations which were developed with the help of Dell solutions.
I would like to highlight this point using Implanet as an example:
Implanet’s innovation was the use of traceability in their implants via an electronic chip with a serial number which meant that information on the item could easily be found (patient, date of manufacture, date of commissioning). Its success was based on the advantages that it presented to hospitals and specialist services, particularly in terms of internal cost reduction (and best of all, much less paperwork!)
Implanet had to do more than just sell these new implants – it had to defend its innovation in the face of resistance to change from sales teams and customers. Nevertheless the company managed to highlight the product’s innovation – its traceability – and convince its customers of the benefits of such a service.
For this project, Dell participated in the virtualisation and protection of sensitive data created by Implanet with a “bunker” system.
During the conference, we concentrated on certain key elements:
The optimal use of IT in a business. Businesses don’t want to waste time on their computer systems, Dell therefore emphasised its expertise and solutions, and most importantly, support offered for the implementation of IT systems in businesses: the choice of appropriate and personalised services, and the installation and startup of the system, as well as onsite help and troubleshooting. Buying a computer or a server from Dell today is not limited to choosing a hard disk or processor, but includes choosing a service complete with guarantees and solutions.
Innovation. “Functioning as a link between a product and a service, technological innovation must help the company as well as the customer. Innovation must also allow companies to improve their manufacturing process by focusing on each stage of the procedure […] The smooth running of systems is more important than the product itself.” These were some important points raised by Olivier Midière on the subject.
I’ll end on a phrase from the conference which is relevant to young entrepreneurs just starting out, to us, Dell, in our constant determination to always be one step ahead, and to the general economy, which desperately needs new dynamism:
“Innovation is a state of mind. Once you start innovating you cannot stop.”
For more photos from the event, check out the set on Dell's Flickr page.