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Dell Launches IT Service Plan

Dell seeks to expand in the lucrative business of maintaining other companies' computers, plans to launch a new service plan that uses Google mapping technology.

Dell Inc., which is seeking to expand in the lucrative business of maintaining other companies' computers, plans to launch a new service plan Wednesday that uses mapping technology from Google Inc.

Dubbed "Platinum Plus," the new service lets Dell customers use the 3D mapping program Google Earth Pro to see in real-time how the Round Rock company is responding to technical support issues around the globe.

The idea is to make it simpler and easier for medium to large businesses using Dell to maintain their systems, said Steve Meyer, vice president of Dell Services.

Instead of having to make a telephone call for an update, customers can quickly see the status of open service dispatches on a computer screen.

"We've removed the mystery of what's going on out in the field," Meyer said. "It's just representative of a different paradigm for infrastructure services."

The tracking ability is the most recent in a string of deals involving Google.

Earlier this month, Dell reached a deal to supply Mountain View, Calif.-based Google with customized computer servers the search engine company will sell to corporate customers.

And in May, Google said it would start bundling some of its software on Dell's personal computers.

In the past several years, Dell executives said the company has spent more than $200 million to add thousands of IT workers and to build special monitoring centers to enhance its services business.

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