In the summer of 2010, Microsoft made headlines by giving out more than 90,000 Windows Phone 7 phones to its staff. Not too long after, there were reports that Dell was planning a similar move. Word on the street was that the company would move its 25,000 employees over to its own line of smartphones, giving them all Windows Phone 7-equipped Venue Pros in exchange for handing in their BlackBerrys.
Though it's obvious why Dell would want all of its employees using a Dell-branded cell phone, the company said that the switch would also help keep costs down, too. CFO Brian Gladden said at the time that the company would be working with T-Mobile to hash out a deal that would allow Dell to purchase minutes and data in bulk rather than buying individual plans for employees. The switch itself would eliminate the need for BlackBerry servers, saving Dell 25 percent in communication costs.
Though it sounds like a wonderful plan, the switch hasn't gone quite as quickly as one might have thought. However, it seems it is still trundling along at a steady enough pace. WMPowerUser cites Dell global chief information officer Robin Johnson as telling the Australian (subscription required) that the company has replaced more than 50 per cent of around 30,000 BlackBerrys worldwide with Dell's own Windows Phones.
Dell used to be a "100 per cent BlackBerry shop", Mr. Johnson said, adding that the switch has allowed the company to manage its costs as well as drive innovation. Johnson did not give any indication as to when the switch would be complete. Dell has yet to release a follow up to the Venue Pro, which might be a problem when the Venue Pro starts to get a bit long in the tooth.