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Dell Enterprise Support Rocks

January 1, 2011

We have Dell PowerEdge T105 server in our house running Small Business Server 2008. It is cover by Dell’s Silver Premium and Next Day Support, which as I discovered this week, is really excellent—a better experience that any other OEM support I have used.

Here is what happened. Several days ago I noticed some problems with the server, that I traced to three of its seven USB ports suddenly having ceased to function. I switched some devices over to working unoccupied ports and fixed the problem, but I wanted the issue fixed. So I called Dell at about 10pm on December 29. There was no wait, the tech asked a couple of questions and concurred that this was a system board issue. The call took about 30 minutes (and would have taken less absent some issues with running and mailing back the diagnostic report he wanted). Dell shipped the part the next day and they scheduled a repair visit for December 31. I was going out with our kids during the day so I was able to schedule the service for a time of my choosing (in this case 4:00 p.m.).

The repair tech arrived a little early and quickly installed the new motherboard. Only issue was that it had a new firmware version so needed new drivers (including the Ethernet driver). However, because this is an SBS box, it runs the DNS server for our network, making it normally impossible for other PCs at our house to access the internet and download the new internet driver. We solved this problem by hooking one of our laptops directly up to our cable modem and downloading the drivers that way. The Dell tech on the phone did a great job of walking me through this process (and a few false starts). A reboot or two later and the server was as good as new.

Sure, in an ideal world Dell would have anticipated the need for new drivers and sent them with the new motherboard, but given the situation all involved did a great job in expeditiously resolving the issues that arose on New Year’s Eve, when any consumer tech support would have been closed making me wait an extra three days. What I saw was a real commitment to problem solving, not to reading through a script (as when it took me 2 hours on the phone with HP to get a replacement mouse) and that is well worth the $300 I paid for three years of such support.

In fact, when it comes time to replace our Media Center PC, I am tempted to buy a Dell Server, add the Ceton OCCUR tuner and call that our new Media Center PC.


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