DELL Sales Development Manager in Russia and Turkey, Mark Miller, who has worked for DELL for 9 years already, recently visited Armenia for the 2nd time to attend the opening ceremony of Microsoft Innovation Center. He had many business conversations with people from IT sector as well as with government representatives. During an interview with PanARMENIAN.Net, Mr. Miller said Armenia will have really good days for the future of the IT market.
What do you think about IT development level in Armenia?
I think that Armenia has fixed considerable progress in the IT sector. In general, I must say that Armenian population is quite educated, although the percentage of computers sold in the country is quite low compared to other states. For example, Russia has invested a lot of money in software development. Besides, there are many local companies engaged into the IT market. A large amount of money and resources is also subsidized by the government. Usually speaking, I would say that Armenia can be probably ranked as average in this region.
What kind of problems do you have with DELL products delivery to Armenia?
Due to its geographic location, Armenia is a kind of landlocked country, what poses obstacles for delivery and slows down the process. There are 3 ways to get here: by plane, by car or by train. So, there are some challenges for getting products quickly here, especially for IT industry.
Are there other countries with similar delivery problems?
All countries in the region experience similar problems.
What do you suggest? Is there any strategy to apply or to borrow from other countries?
What we are trying to do in Armenia is to scale our business like in the other CIS countries, specifically Russia, in order to establish a localized infrastructure with the assistance of our partners like Vallex. Russia is the best example, given the common language [Russian] and market rules. Many people in Armenia speak Russian, and in the IT sector too. So it’s easy to elaborate resources being in developing countries like Russia for their further appliance in Armenia as well.
What about Armenia’s IT ranking among CIS countries?
I think it’s difficult to rank. For DELL, every country has the opportunity to develop and move forward.
Can you compare the IT development level in Armenia and Turkey?
The Turkish market is much bigger, thus making the demand for IT products much higher. It’s difficult to compare because of the size of the market. In Turkey, companies have a larger area to expand their business. In Armenia, respectively, less number of companies are engaged in the IT sector.
HP printers are more popular in Armenia than DELL ones. What is the reason, in your opinion?
These are different things. From a global business perspective, HP has prioritized printing and imaging. It is the number 1 or 2 in printing in all CIS countries, including Russia. As for DELL, our top focus for is to evolve the company into a total solutions provider.
As I understand, DELL is more focused on commercial customers than home users. Does DELL have any plans to expand activity at home users market?
Over the past seven years, DELL has been reorganized to become more focused on different areas of business, including home users market. We have already negotiated penetration into the market because we have great products to offer people who love netbooks, notebooks, tablet and phones. We’re just developing a market strategy to be applied in countries like Armenia. For instance, we’re participating in Computer for All program as a provider.
What kind of investments DELL is going to make in Armenia?
I don’t have any specifics ready at this point to discuss. We’re looking forward to providing the Armenian market with IT equipment and to finding partners here to make DELL’s business more profitable.
Also, investing in headcounts is on the agenda. We want to develop different channel programs to support channel partners in Armenia to have better brand recognition and profitability for our partners.
I think it’s difficult to actually put a figure on it, because it’s hard to determine the amount of investments to be made in Armenia. However, 90 per cent of what we’re doing in the country is going to be the same as in most of the CIS member states. We are going to come up with different strategies on how to take advantage of each country’s peculiarities.
Is Dell going to make its own tablet? If yes, do you think it will be in demand in Armenia?
We have plans to launch the tablet as well. It’s going to be marketable for every country that purchases netbooks today. I think people who would generally buy a netbook will look at tablets as a possible update. But now, consumers prefer netbooks.
Do you have something to add?
I have enjoyed my visit to Armenia, where hospitality is great. I enjoyed the culture, the people and the atmosphere. I have had many business conversations during these few days and I think people are excited about how IT can develop in this country. I see really good days for the future of the IT market, the education sector, the government sector as well as for large commercial organizations, small and medium businesses, and, of course, consumers.