The many benefits of taking customer relationships to the next level

In addition to their deep knowledge of technology to enable our customers to be productive in some of the most difficult environments on the planet, our Dell Rugged Solutions team has an unexpected expertise.  They could write a definitive guide to airports and rental car agencies across the country.

That’s because we prefer to meet our customers face-to-face in the field rather than talking to them on the phone or by email. Whether we are developing the perfect solution tailor-made to meet their specific technology demands, or whether we are learning what technology needs aren’t being met in order to ensure those demands are incorporated in our next generation of ruggedized notebooks—when it comes to developing a deep relationship, there is no replacement for seeing first-hand where and how customers are using our solutions.

Even with similar missions or jobs, every organization has unique needs based on a number of factors: budget, proposed use and number of employees.  Even trivial factors like local weather and environment can make a difference. To best serve our customers, it’s not sufficient to provide a blanket set of solutions based on industry averages. That’s why we send our team on the road to meet with customers. We need to understand exactly how customers plan to leverage our technology in their work before we can develop a custom solution that will enable them to excel at their jobs. One example of how our customer needs vary based on a simple difference within the same industry can found in law enforcement.

The Los Angeles Police Department is one of the largest and most famous in the world.  While working with the LAPD, our team developed a unique solution that includes semi-rugged notebooks docked in a custom box stored in the trunk that connect with a dashboard monitor so officers can work off their systems while in the field. Due to the size of the LAPD, they never remove their notebooks from docks and instead file their reports at one of many station depots throughout the city. For the smaller Sunnyvale Police Department, another California law enforcement customer just a few hundred miles away, the technology needs differ. Sunnyvale police do not have the same number of station depots as their LA counterparts, and instead found the best solution was to assign fully-rugged notebooks to specific officers. While the LAPD’s semi-rugged notebooks stay docked in their protective box, the Sunnyvale fully-rugged units are carried by officers from the field to the desk when it’s time to file a report.

Both solutions provide elite computing performance in the California heat and vibration of a moving vehicle but without spending significant time in person with each customer, we would not have been able to discern the best possible solutions based on their varying needs. That’s why our Rugged team will continue to rack up hotel nights and frequent flyer miles, to best serve our customers.


Drew is the Executive Director and General Manager for Dell’s Rugged Mobility Product line, with cradle to grave responsibility for the development, marketing, service and customer experience of these products designed to thrive in the harshest of work environments. Learn more at