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Leslie Harlien, VP of public sector strategy at Dell Technologies

What lesson will you take with you from the pandemic?

We had to be more empathetic and more conscious. That really means being flexible with how we’ve worked internally in the past. We spent a lot of time having more one-on-ones, and instead of being all about what was going on with the business, it was more personal. 

How did you maintain relationships with your customers?

It was very challenging at first. Some of our customers either didn’t have the tools and the processes set up to be in this virtual world or they had different tools than what we were using, so we had to adapt. Once we got past maybe month three, it actually worked better. We were able to see more people because we weren’t spending time traveling to the airport and being on a plane for a few hours.

What opportunities do you see today in the SLED market?

We’re focused heavily on working with our customers on cyber resiliency, looking at security end-to-end, and being able to provide that across all of their infrastructure. We also see customers looking to provide better services to citizens. Citizens want to do even more virtually. The pandemic also brought out loud and clear an issue around digital equity, so a big focus that we have been working hand-in-hand with our customers on is around broadband infrastructure.

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