Starting next week, 25,000 Dell employees will be able to trade in their BlackBerrys for Dell-branded “Venue Pro” smartphones running Windows Phone 7. The company will offer a similar option for switching to Android phones in the future, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Aside from eating its own dog food, which is a smart move for any company that’s trying to sell products, Dell estimates that it’ll be able slash its corporate mobile spending by 25 percent. BlackBerry phones require special servers to handle e-mail functions, which Dell will be able to nix.
Dell will also be using the experience it gains from making the switch to try to entice other large companies to switch from BlackBerry products to Dell mobile products running Windows Phone 7 and Android.
A BlackBerry executive said, “We find it highly unlikely that they will actually save any money with this move and far more likely they were looking for a little free publicity. Consider all the hard and soft costs of purchasing, deploying and supporting new devices and new software inside a company.”
That may be true in the short term but in the long term, Dell’s making a smart move by, you know, using its own products. What a concept.
Dell CFO Brian Gladden said, “Clearly in this decision we are competing with RIM, because we’re kicking them out.” It’d be a pretty tough sell for Dell to try to convince other companies to switch from BlackBerry phones to Dell phones without first doing the same inside its own corporate environment.